Campaign blown out the wa­ter

Lennox Herald - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

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.

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