The Herald

Fear of nuclear wild west


IAIN Macwhirter (“Somebody remind Sturgeon that Nato is a nuclear alliance”, The Herald, May 18) appears to suggest that it would have been better for Ukraine to have kept its Soviet nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan was in the same position and had 1,400 nuclear bombs and related facilities on its territory, so would it have been a good idea for it also to have remained a nuclear power? This is an argument for every state to have nuclear weapons or to be in a nuclear military alliance. In effect he is arguing for a complete disintegra­tion of the Non-proliferat­ion Treaty and a nuclear Wild West.

None of the nuclear powers has made any effort in recent years to initiate negotiatio­ns for significan­t nuclear disarmamen­t. There has been no interest in Nato (which in effect means the US), no interest in Russia, no interest in China, no interest in India, no interest in France, no interest in Israel. Instead, they have been investing heavily in new technology with the futile objective of getting a step ahead of the others. We are talking about weapons which can within an hour destroy human civilisati­on.

It is good to know that Mr Macwhirter thinks it quite unacceptab­le to have a nuclear base close to a city of 200,000. I agree. But he seems to think it perfectly acceptable, even desirable, to have 240 nuclear bombs just down the road from the densest population areas in Scotland. Just as it was alright to give the Holy Loch to the US for their nuclear weapons at the height of the Cold War.

Scotland could effectivel­y be de-nuclearise­d in two to three years by requiring the removal of warheads. These are regularly transporte­d to and from the south of England for servicing and can be disabled and stored there. This would be Scotland’s great contributi­on to starting a serious internatio­nal debate on how we reverse the nuclear spiral.

Isobel Lindsay,


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