E-Cigarettes are more Dangerous than Nuclear Weapons
This week’s Parliamentary debate on Trident safety was preceded by a Peace Camp trespass on Tuesday night to highlight the total lack of security at dangerous sites immediately adjacent to the submarine base at Faslane.
At least one person climbed over a gate and had the unchallenged run of the fuel oil depot next door to HM Naval Base Clyde for around ten hours. A rainbow peace flag was flown from the top of the highest building in this area for the duration, but the trespass wasn’t detected until a participant wandered down to the main road and complained to a security guard at the refuelling jetties.
During the night, a Royal Navy tanker cabin parked at a filling station was responsibly damaged to highlight the possibility of more dangerous sabotage. Staff attending to this were certainly concerned for the integrity of other vehicles and equipment at the facility, and were overheard referring to the possibility of ‘total disaster’ if they had been tampered with. In the event nothing else was touched, because come on.
Wednesday morning’s arrestee lost their boots and trousers to a forensic investigation into the matter. Meanwhile they’ve been charged with a breach of the peace which won’t stick; police claimed to have been required to ascend to an unsafe height, but never asked for cooperation before climbing up to meet the trespasser. Perhaps aware that it’s unlikely to go further, the Procurator Fiscal has since summoned up an historical charge instead, making
this person the only one we know of facing prosecution for April’s Big Blockade. O well.
This effort was intended to display the potential for great harm to come from actual bad guys being able to access such sites. The fuel depot and jetties are close to the main gate and sub pen of Faslane respectively, and any kind of fire or explosion in these areas would be hugely hazardous for the safety of the nuclear site. It’s exactly these kind of vulnerabilities which terrorists would identify and exploit.
The possibility of terrorist sabotage or infiltration was one of the concerns raised by William McNeilly in his recent report. The MoD’s response to this in advance of Thursday’s debate was fascinating. It seems they’re more worried about unauthorised use of electronic cigarettes, despite these being no safety hazard, than they are about any of the other matters identified by McNeilly. He’s currently still in their clutches at Devonport whilst the Ministry tries to convince him that he shouldn’t be worried about these things either.
So, Faslane isn’t secure, submarines aren’t safe, and trying to do something about either gets you locked up. Plus ca change…