Monday, 10 December 2007

Why so enthusiastic?

If you put a high priority on a certain policy outcome as a matter of ethics, it makes sense to vote for the leadership contender who favours that outcome, and since policy is about actions not thoughts, it does not matter whether his reasons for that policy position are pragmatic or ethical. For this reason, given my friend Linda Jack's principled support for unilateral nuclear disarmament, I am unable to understand her enthusiastic cheerleading for Nick Clegg's leadership campaign that endorses the policy of wait and see on Trident. The Trident issue is extremely important on numerous grounds: it is a symptom of how the United Kingdom sees its place in the world; it has the potential to divide Scotland from the United Kingdom; it could influence whether the future will bring nuclear disarmament or proliferation. It is the issue that started me blogging as a reaction to the Lib Dem parliamentary leadership's methods of influencing the conference's decision on Trident: I felt that the Lib Dems' policymaking process had been subverted and the wrong policy reached. I would not be able to support enthusiastically a candidate who was so uncritical of it.

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