Campaign blown out the water
I suspect I am not the only Faslane base employee angered by the yes/SNP’s insulting and insensitive implications when they quote that “only” 520 jobs at Faslane are “directly” related to Trident, as though their loss would have minimal impact or be somehow worthwhile.
Typically superficial, their simplistic hope that the Scottish Defence Force and its headquarters would in any way replace the numbers, skills and diversity (and thus pay) required to service, provision, maintain, arm, train and operate the Royal Navy’s large, complex nuclear submarine force stretches the yes campaign’s dented credibility beyond belief.
Facile comparisons with Norway and others do not stack up when Norway can only man two of its five Spanish-built frigates and has even considered requesting support from the Royal Navy and Netherlands to do so. And she doesn’t have to start from scratch or compete for talent with a neighbour offering a more attractive career for the ambitious.
Similarly, I can assure the yes/SNP campaign that weekend commuting from Faslane will not change just because they take over. Many naval families anyway nowadays prefer to buy their houses – that is why so many of us remained in Helensburgh even after we were posted elsewhere.
I am also staggered by their failure to appreciate (or more likely acknowledge) that jobs in the base’s social facilities are as essential to the local economy as any. Don’t they realise able service people like travel and diverse challenge instead of staying predominantly in Scotland?
No, I will vote no thanks to retain the 22 percent increase in jobs already coming to Faslane over the next few years, keeping a strong defence and maximising security internationally. And I don’t want to not gamble Helensburgh wages and mortgages on unfavourable odds. Were these shorter, Messrs Salmond and Robertson would surely personally have told Helensburgh face to face given the votes involved.