THE election on December 12 is not merely a matter of political preferences; it has a fundamental moral dimension, which must be given unconditional precedence.

Scotland has suffered immensely from the depredations of the British military. At one end of this land, we have the firing of more than 6000 DU (depleted uranium) shells into the sea off Dundrennan in Dumfriesshire, at the other end we have the bombing range at Cape Wrath, the only place in Europe live shells are fired from the sea onto the land. This also happens to be a nature reserve.

Most of the Highlands is an area of Ultra Low Flying (ULF), where military aircraft can fly at altitudes forbidden in the rest of the UK, with consequential environmental degradation. To crown it all, at Coulport, some 35 miles from our largest city, we house the biggest arsenal of hydrogen bombs in Europe.

The epitome of this abuse is the imposition on us of Trident, the world’s most powerful machine for the mass killing of human beings. For me it is a source of anguish to live in a society that cravenly accepts its servile status. We stand by impotently while convoys carrying hydrogen bombs trundle along our roads, hoping there won’t be a catastrophic accident.

Today the Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than it has ever been at any time in the past, even at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which has been described as the most dangerous moment in history.

But nobody seems to worry about it any more. Trident has become normalised and we have become habituated to planning the unthinkable. But it is only by stifling that spark of basic decency that lies in the heart of every human being, that we can plan mass killing. The terrible truth is that we are our first nuclear victims, not our human targets. We have murdered our conscience.

Trident degrades and corrupts us so insidiously that we do not even notice it is doing so. Everyday people drive past Faslane as if it were a yacht club or marina, and do not see what it is – extermination, the ultimate blasphemy, the reversal of genesis.

This election gives us the chance to make the crucial moral decision. Either we elect a MP who is firmly opposed to nuclear omnicide, or we elect someone who supports it. All parties supporting independence take a position of principled rejection of nuclear weapons, while Unionists all support so-called "deterrence". An independent nuclear-free Scotland can join the other 122 states that voted for a Treaty banning nuclear weapon worldwide in 2017. and we might have a future after all.

The real problem is, do we have the integrity and the courage to make the right choice?

Brian M Quail, Glasgow G11.