Tory cuts risk nuclear catastrophe in ‘remote Scotland’, 40 minutes from largest city

Today in the Herald, but also covered in the Record five days earlier

SAFETY fears have been raised over the home of Britain’s nuclear weapons on the Clyde as managers have slashed firefighter numbers alongside a ‘failure’ to provide promised safety equipment. Union Unite has slammed the move to go ahead with cutting eight posts from the specialist fire safety crew at HM Naval Base Clyde – a reduction in strength of 15 per cent – as an “an accident waiting to happen”.

Six years before, a Freedom of Information request to the MoD asked:

Dear Ministry of Defence, I was particularly alarmed by the revelations that the Trident base is a “catastrophe waiting to happen”. I trust the Senior Service will seriously tighten up security and act decisively on the frightening information in the Public Domain.

The MoD response which you can read at the link above is disturbing.

The Herald headlining this story, clearly not good for the Union, reminds us that it is not always at all times perfectly loyal. It’s a business. Clickbaits are common. Many of its dominant writers are consistently sometimes venomously anti-SNP but not all are and sometimes this kind of thing slips in, breaking their coverage’s typically coherent pattern with the other MSM.

The above fears are clearly not to be stoked by BBC Scotland as it attempts to reinforce the Union with royal empathy:

I can see the story nowhere else but in the Glasgow Times.

18 thoughts on “Tory cuts risk nuclear catastrophe in ‘remote Scotland’, 40 minutes from largest city

  1. Get them out of Scotland. The Tories spending £Billions on Nuclear and starving people. The Royals head of the Church and the Military. Conflict of interest. Thou shalt not kill. Westminster unionists illegally supplying weapons worldwide. The Royal head of State.


  2. Once the Tories had agreed to site the US nuclear base at the Holy Loch (rather than Loch Linnhe), then the UK was also gung-ho to site its nuclear sub base, also just a stones throw from Scotland’s population centres.
    Any major accident to impact hugely on Scotland (MacMillan thought it would “devastate Scotland”), but leave England unaffected.
    Nuclear war is a different scenario.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well it’s perfectly safe, Gavin. England wouldn’t be affected.

      And just think – if they were down south they’d be near Plymouth!


    2. Thanks gavinochiltree for recalling MacMillan’s role in all this. It prompted a quick online search which came across this published on 4 September, 2016.


      Headline: “Britain based its nuclear deterrent on the Clyde so American sailors could enjoy nights out in Glasgow – President Dwight D Eisenhower insisted his men be based near a large city like Glasgow because it would be better for morale.”

      The article notes: “Newly declassified top secret documents show that Harold Macmillan, then Prime Minister, was strongly opposed to having American weapons stored within 30 miles of Scotland’s largest city in the early 1960s.

      “He tried to persuade President Dwight D Eisenhower that subs carrying Polaris missiles should be sited in more remote locations in Cornwall, Wales or Loch Linnhe, near Fort William, rather than the Holy Loch in Dunoon.”

      And then this in a comment piece by Harry Reid in The Herald on 22nd April 2014 entitled ‘Macmillan’s sell-out a vital lesson for Scotland’

      “The debate about the future of Trident – the current successor to Polaris – is crucial in the continuing Scottish referendum campaign. The story of how the Polaris weapons came to be sited on the Clyde is deeply and alarmingly apposite. It is a straightforward story of abject submission. Scotland’s interests seem to have been regarded as of zero consequence when the key decisions were taken – by the Americans.”

      Reid adds: “Prime Minister Macmillan no doubt thought he had done his best. He certainly put up at least some resistance before he gave in. ….

      “His entry in the Dictionary Of National Biography (written by his fellow Tory Lord Blake) insists he was, and I quote directly, “determined to keep in with America”. There you have it, in six simple words. Ultimately, America was more important to the British Prime Minister than Scotland.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Once I had a conversation with the Head of The Scottish Fire Service and overall safety in his opinion boiled down to 2 vital areas
    1. Speedy and proper efficient response Asap when no matter how small the fire is.Why because it can take only 3 minutes for any fire to become cataclysmic and uncontrolable
    2.Never panic, one wrong move will result in terrible consequences
    He finished with the caveat that there is no such thing as good/bad luck where fire concerned.You are NOT given a 2nd chance
    Now demand a response from the M.O.D
    to all I say
    And a further example i give was at a very small fire @ former BP refinery at Grangemouth (now Ineos ) over 30 yrs ago all while Snr.Management where about to implement cost savings with their internal Fire Brigade
    A very small fire broke out next door to the Hexanol plant,which if the fire reached it would have exploded resulting in a huge release of a lethal toxic gas which is odourless and colourless
    And if wind conditions were in a certain direction the loss of life would have been in thousands
    The internal fire team managed to respond and extinguish the fire in a most expeditious manner
    The team manager reported to Snr.Management stating clearly that if the proposed cuts were made that he had no doubts that this fire would have gotten out of control and that the local public fire brigade service only arrived after his team succeeded
    In conclusion ALL staff were given fire safety training and after external consultants engaged and reported extra manpower and resources were allocated to fire prevention and control
    Like the Fire Chief said you do NOT get 2nd chances with fire

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Iusedtobeenglish
        It was after
        I know all this as my father was employed there at the time
        Snr.Management were visibly shaken at such a small fire may have had catastrophic consequences not only for
        Employees and surrounding civilian population
        But also for the very future of BP being very seriously comprimised


  4. Do they make it clear that defence and the MOD are reserved powers to Westminster.
    Far as I can see Johnson is more and more like Trump, the UK’s Trump, a loose cannon. Terrifying, for Scotland.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The more one looks into the history surrounding the use of the Clyde as a base for nuclear weapons, the murkier it becomes. And it reveals how little democratic leverage the people most effected, the people of West Central Scotland and Scotland more widely, have had since the beginning. We have never been well served by Westminster on these matters and still we are not. As we know, for many years now the democratic deficit faced by Scotland within this Union has only become more egregious.

    From the New York Times (3 November 1960): “The agreement for a Polaris submarine support base in Scotland was said authoritatively today to leave the United States free to launch nuclear-tipped Polaris missiles without prior consultation.” That is without the obligation to consult the UK government.


    And from The Herald (14 January 1989) under the headline: ‘Radioactive waste was dumped in Holy Loch, says ex-Polaris captain’ we learn:

    ‘US NAVY submarines ”took advantage of the people of Scotland” by dumping radioactive material in the Holy Loch throughout the 1960s, according to a former nuclear submarine commander. In a television documentary to be shown on Channel Four tonight, Captain James Bush, former commander of the Polaris ballistic-missile submarine Robert E. Lee, admits he has been ashamed of his actions ever since.’


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