Response to correspondence: a letter on Trident
I have received many e-mails from opponents of Trident asking for my position on the vote that will take place soon in the new Parliament.
I start from a position of extreme scepticism about the need for, and the cost of, Trident. Having said that I will not at this stage commit to vote against its replacement. Rather I will use the parliamentary debate that will precede any decision to inform my vote. In addition to that I will, as I would with any number of ethically complex decisions, draw upon my personal values to help me decide.
So that you gain some insight into those values I can say that I came into front line politics because of my experience – as a school governor - of the effects of austerity in an economically challenged part of South West London. I saw the impact of ideologically driven cuts upon some of the most disadvantaged members of our society: life chances reduced, families under pressure and food banks flourishing, even in Twickenham. At the same time I saw the increasing prosperity of a privileged elite and the growing separation of the wealthiest 1% from the rest. I came into politics to work hard to put this right. It follows that better, more principled use of public spending and a fairer distribution of tax will be my key priorities.
On that basis I find it difficult to believe that I could ever be convinced that expenditure on Trident should outbid the investment in jobs, infrastructure, education, skills and of course health service our country so desperately needs.
Nick Grant, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Twickenham