has found a use for Trident - shooting the Labour party in the foot with it. Exploitin
g the power of his whips and backed by an opportunist Tory party, Tony Blair forced through a #60billion plan to buy the next generation of nuclear missiles. But his go-it-alone strategy leaves Gordon Brown with a bitter legacy of a divided and demoralised party. Nearly 100 backbench Labour MPs voted against the policy in the bi
ggest revolt at Westminster since the Commons was dragooned into the Iraq war. A deceitful dossier is also at the heart of this row. There was no need to take this decision now, because our current fleet of nuclear subs has another 20 years of life. The lie that it takes 17 years to plan, order and build a fleet was exposed when experts confirmed that the new subs could be launched in just seven. There are other arguments against spending such colossal amounts and no doubt they will rumble on - to Labours cost in the spring ele
ctions in Scotland and Wales. But the poison goes deeper. Blairs contempt for the Labour party has corroded the public trust in progressive politics. When his own personal position is threatened, t
he Prime Minister does dirty deals with the Tories. In the words of Labour MP Alan Simpson: This defines how short a step it is between New Labour and Blue Labour. One minister prattled about unprecedented consultation on Trident 2. Another lie. The public had no say. The party had no say. Calls for a free vote of MPs were suppressed. I have one question for Downing Street -
if replacement Trident is so essential to our safety, why dont the Germans want it?