Saturday, 1 July 2006

Nuclear base on Clyde to be handed to multinationals!

On 29 May 2011, The Scottish Herald told us this:

"The running of Britain’s nuclear bomb base at Coulport on the Clyde is to be handed over to a consortium of multinational private firms led by the controversial US arms dealer, Lockheed Martin... Defence ministers in Westminster have decided that the highly sensitive job of managing more than 200 Trident nuclear warheads, and arming the Royal Navy’s submarines with them, should be taken over by the group of companies within the next year...

According to the MoD’s detailed internal plan leaked to the Sunday Herald, ABL will be granted a contract to run Coulport for 15 years... Defence ministers rejected an alternative plan to keep Coulport in the public sector but improve its management. Outsourcing to ABL, they decided, 'offered the best value for money'...

Coulport's Royal Naval Armaments Depot is meant to be one of the most secure places in Britain... Surrounded by cold war-era watchtowers and fences, are buildings and bunkers in which Britain’s nuclear bombs and missiles are kept.

The fact that private companies were bidding to take over running the site caused a furore when it was first disclosed by the Sunday Herald last October. At the time, the MoD said that Coulport’s management was under review, but insisted that no decisions had been taken...

According to the leaked MoD plan, ABL will be responsible for 'processing, handling, and storage' of Trident warheads and missiles, along with dockside handling, explosive handling, radiological safety and nuclear emergency response'...

John Ainslie, co-ordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, pointed out that Lockheed Martin would now dominate Britain’s so-called independent nuclear deterrent. He added: 'NUCLEAR SAFETY WILL BE COMPROMISED as the MoD try to cut corners at Coulport'...

Lockheed Martin has been criticised in the United States for its 'mixed record' on managing large-scale public projects... William Hartung, from the Center for International Policy in New York and the author of a book on the Lockheed Martin, said a nuclear weapons depot was much too sensitive to be handed over to a private firm. 'This is particularly true in the case of Lockheed Martin,' he told the Sunday Herald."
UK Defence Minister Peter Luff MP said:

"The decision to outsource this work has been taken to ensure that these high standards and critical skills are maintained and sustained into the future."
Angus Robertson, the SNP’s defence spokesman, said:

"Weapons of mass destruction are the most sensitive areas of military technology and should not be put in private hands."
Pretty obvious really, isn't it, Angus? But only if you're on the side of the natives. If you're at war with them, putting their most formidable weapons in the hands of foreigners makes all the sense in the world.

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