Leading up to this election, Jeremy Corbyn has led Labour to a surge in the polls and has seemingly closed the gap on the Tories substantially. His fair policies resonate amongst the masses and the effect of the right wing media working against him seems to be wearing off. However, on BBC’s Question Time last night, one policy was brought up which caused Corbyn to receive more of the distrust which he saw regularly in the early days of his leadership. It was concerning Trident and our nuclear weapon policy. Corbyn has made it clear in the past he does not agree with us possessing Trident and he voted against its renewal. However, in the manifesto of the Labour Party, it is claimed that Trident will remain. This is likely because of pressures received from the rest of the party, and to appeal to a wider range of voters as most people in the UK expressed concern with Corbyn’s previous opposition to the nuclear submarines.
As opposed to unilateral disarmament, Corbyn now claims he will keep Trident for now but seek multilateral disarmament across all nations possessing nuclear weapons, through a series of negotiations and peace talks. He came under strong interrogation yesterday for failing to answer an audience question. After Corbyn stated he would never operate a first-use policy with nuclear weapons, he was asked whether he would use them in retaliation, which he failed to answer clearly. Rightly so, he tried to explain his case on how he wishes to never reach that stage where nuclear war is an option.
It seems nonsensical to me how in the same interview, Corbyn was criticised for support of the IRA, despite condemning all their bombings and attacks. However, when he stated he would not be prepared to kill innocent people with nuclear weapons, he caused an uproar. This conservative government, alongside a right-wing media, has created a peculiar environment in this country where our public has been blinded by patriotism to the point where logic is not part of these discussions. Theresa May stating clearly that she is willing to kill 100,000 innocent civilians and receiving almost no backlash proves this. At the same time, Corbyn only has to refer to Hamas and Hezbollah as friends once, and the country turns on him for it, despite the fact that Theresa May continues to prop up Saudi forces in their horrific attack on Yemen, by selling arms to them. Corbyn has explicitly stated he is against violence, terror and condemns all bombings, and is called a terrorist sympathiser. May has overlooked a reign of continued terror across the Middle East, putting thousands of lives across the world in danger, including ours in the UK as our murderous foreign policy fuels hatred of the west from all across the world.
It seems extraordinary to me that we still need to debate whether we should possess the Trident submarines or not. The money saved from not renewing Trident could boost public services in the UK and also contribute to reparations that we owe to several countries across the world. It surprises me even more that Corbyn is being criticised for refusing to say what he would do in a hypothetical situation, regarding the destruction of the Middle East and being responsible for millions of deaths. There is a very evident lack of empathy within the UK concerning anyone outside of the country and particularly outside of the west, as a country, we continue to uphold the belief that our lives are more important than those in the Middle East and the rest of the third world. This is a barbaric attitude and needs to change, and we need a government led by Corbyn to prove that peace talks and negotiations are going to help us a lot more than needless murder.
Trident is no more than an imperialistic tool to keep us powerful in the world, and if we no longer operated Trident, there would be no risk of anyone striking us first anyway. Media fear mongering has led to the public believing that there is the possibility of countries such as the DPRK (North Korea) and Iran attacking us if we disarm, however, the truth is that our current hostile and threatening foreign policy will lead to much more retaliation and conflict, than disarmament.
This topic has hindered Corbyn more than helped him, however, I see it as another reason why it is vital that Labour wins this election. Attitudes regarding war need to change in this country because we are heading down a dangerous path, once again I urge you to use your vote sensibly on 8th June, foreign policy is one of, if not THE most important policy our government has to implement and Corbyn can change the way we dominate and bully the world for the sake of profit and power, and benefit us in the process.