Saturday, 20 December 2008

Aldermaston - the Edge of Darkness

We hear today that the British government has completely given up control over the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, near Reading. This reminded me of the 1985 series Edge of Darkness - currently being remade as a film. This powerful series had Ronald Craven (Bob Peck) investigating the death of his daughter and getting embroiled in the politics of the privatisation of the nuclear industry. Darius Jedburgh (Joe Don Baker) played the hard bitten CIA agent. If you have not seen the series I wholeheartedly recommend it. Indeed, the statement from Jerry Grogan (Kenneth Nelson) "I do not subscribe to the conspiracy theory of world history" in part inspired the title of this blog.

Is the British government so short of money that it is being paid to promote the new film?

This action was reported on the BBC as removing the control of the production of the UK's nuclear warheads from government control. Frankly, this is an understatement of the implications. If we take the stance of "hope for the best, plan for the worst", then the idea of a private company, not matter how it is audited, controlling any nuclear bomb is terrifying. We may be sleepwalking into a nightmare of unimaginable proportions.

I also did some research on the original 1958 march on Aldermaston, and noted that CND estimate that the 50th anniversary protest had around as many attending as the original march, about 5,000. This is nothing compared to the millions who marched in an attempt to stop the illegal invasion of Iraq, but it is still a remarkable figure. Aldermaston is still a current issue - and well it should be. he question that needs to be asked is what can the thinking citizen do to remedy the current failure of government at all levels?

The answer that I keep arriving at is best summed up in an old joke...

A driver is lost in the darkest depths of the countryside trying to find his way back to the hotel where he is staying. In desperation he pulls over to ask directions from one of the locals. “Excuse me”, he says, “Can you direct me to the Hotel please?”. The local looks at him for a moment, sucks his teeth and says “I wouldn't start from here”.

It strikes me that we cannot get to a sustainable, sensible future from here. We need to find a way of changing the rules so that our society makes its decisions with a millennial view, not the ultimately short term that we suffer.

Do I believe in the conspiracy theory of world history? Well only as a model for working out what will happen. If there should be a conspiracy, it should be formed of thinkers promoting a long view. I urge you to campaign with this in mind in all your actions. As I have said before, 'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'.

Update 31st December 2008

The government seems to be intent on recreating nightmare TV dramas - the plan to allow a p
rivate firm to track all email and phone calls seems to be based on the BBC series The Last Enemy. Let us just hope their next target is not Survivors.

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