Where is Paxman when you needed him? Those were the words that instantly leapt into my head as I watched Theresa May avoid every remotely difficult question on the Andrew Marr show yesterday. No questions more important for the Prime Minister to answer was whether she was aware of the Trident Missile malfunction this year and if so why she withheld it from Parliament.
So it was left to congenial Marr, who trying his best to politely pressure May into an answer was never going to push a Prime Minister and a Conservative one at that to the point of any real pressure. No that is saved for people who think £100 billion a year would be better spend on public services, the health service and paying down the escalating Tory debt.
So what actually happened? According to the MOD sources this was a routine test. The fifth since 2000. The plan was for the missile to be set on a course to the Southern Atlantic of the coast of West Africa. Instead the guidance system appears to have malfunctioned sending it on course over the US. Thankfully the missile did not contain a nuclear warhead and what was a small number of explosives within were detonated before they reached the shore.
The previous 4 had been tested successfully and were all briefed to the press of the success of the testing. Yet the press and more bizarrely MPs were not briefed of the incident citing national security as the reasoning behind this. What is becoming clearer through media outlets today was that upon taking office the Prime Minister was informed of the malfunction and omitted this information when giving a statement to the House regarding the vote on the renewal of Trident.
If this is true and I have every reason to believe that it is. Then this means that the Prime Minister has deliberately misled the House by not giving the members of the house vital information regarding the safety, security and reliability of these weapons of mass destruction.
There are of course a great number of reasons as to why MPs could have and I believe should have voted against the bill. Not due solely to their clearly unpredictability but that they are obsolete in modern times. No weapons of this magnitude can ever be used in a first or second strike capability without guaranteeing the destruction of human existence. A series of articles could be written as to the reasons why nuclear weapons should be removed from our shores and suitable conventional defence replacements. (For more information visit the CND website: http://www.cnduk.org/ ).
But the issue of a Prime Ministerial cover up is far more pressing. It displays a truly damaging nature of the Prime Minister in which is is clear her party and her own political ideologies at placed before the safety of the people she represents as the Head of Government.
The public have long held the view that politicians can no longer be trusted but there is an assumption that in the interests of national security and public safety that those elected to represent will do so with the safety and prosperity of its citizens as paramount. Theresa May should not let the fact that she was not elected by her party or the public to be the Prime Minister to assume she has carte blanche to mislead or cover up vital information which could vitally alter the voting of MP’s whether or not to renew our nuclear capabilities without knowledge of their use, reliability and security.
If Theresa May has deliberately refused to release this information as it would be damaging to her and her party’s voting preferences then this is a clear indication that she is not a fit and capable Prime Minister. An enquiry should be held and May should be held to account for her actions and her dereliction of duties to protect the people she serves. It may be time for Theresa to get her coat, from an ever shooglier peg.