Liberal Democrats in Gateshead have backed the policy proposals to delay a decision on Trident until 2014. We had a motion to that effect to Gateshead Council today. I seconded it.
The core of the argument we put forward was that a decision now is premature, there are uncertainties in the international arena but the situation will be clearer in 2014 when the situation with the Iranians' attempts to develop a bomb are clearer, taking a decision now could encourage rogue states to press ahead with nuclear development and spending money now could end up being a huge waste if by 2014 the international situation permits nuclear disarmament.
Labour's amendment was bizarre. It removed most of the motion, leaving in only the start that noted the Government's December announcement on Trident replacement. It then replaced the wording with a load of waffle about how well they allege the economy is doing and calling on the borough's MPs to ensure there was a balance of resources going to various spending priorities (which did not mention defence or the environment).
Even more bizarrely, the few Labour speakers prepared to contribute to the debate gave speeches which were in the main supportive of our motion, even though they were supposed to be in favour of their own wrecking amendment.
The important point on our side is that members were happy with the proposals outlined by Ming in December.