back to article Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction

Tomorrow is election day, and on most issues the politicians aren't offering you any clear choices. Nobody's being open regarding what they'll do about the public finances, for instance: more than one politician has revealed total ignorance combined with terrifying eagerness to make policy. But on one issue there is a clear …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Can't score a penalty how do think England would hit an asteroid with a nuke?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Thank you

    For that, but please stick to IT news, its what you are ok at.

    1. ThomH


      U r a IT news fanboi hahahaha.

      There you go, now this reads like some of El Reg's recent articles and most of the comments posted after any story that involves that fruity company.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Nukes are really going to deter a nation of suicide bombers ....... Get Real FFS

    The USA is really going to let us retaliate with weapons they effectively control if we have already been attacked .... same applies

    So when would we use these expensive luxuries ... first strike .. like they'll let that happen.

    1. IanPotter

      Re: WTF

      "The USA is really going to let us retaliate with weapons they effectively control if we have already been attacked"

      The US do not (contrary to popular belief) have final control over the UK's nuclear weapons. As I understand it each submarine commander has sealed orders from the serving PM defining what the commander should do in the event of the destruction of the UK. That may be "submit to the control of the US" but may it may not. If the instruction is to fire on an identified attacker then the submarine can strike with no further input from anyone. British nuclear doctrine has for a long time been based on the idea that a US president could be unwilling to risk his own country on the behalf of an ally that was already a smoking cinder.

      Unlike France the UK system is not truly "independent" as most of the technology is American even if the warheads are built in the UK, but saying the Americans "control" it at an operational level is just plain wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        the moon is made of blue cheese.

        Do you seriously belive that the USA would sell us dangerous toys that we may use to start a world wide conflict that could lead to their destruction without having some way of stopping it.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: And

          Jesus wept! I'd have thought an IT site would have a readership who understood that physical access to the hardware gives you total control. Even if the US *had* inserted something into the control systems of the ICBMs, they've been in our possession for some years now and you can be damn sure that we have the only key and once they are launched they stay launched.

          You'll be telling me next that JFK was bumped off by the Lizard People.

        2. IanPotter
          Black Helicopters

          RE: And

          I can and do:

          The Tridents themselves are drawn from a common pool with the with US navy and get replaced from that when they go back for maintenance so any "technological" method you allude to would also be present in their own missiles. I doubt they would like that idea either. The warheads are made here (to a US design, probably) Nor are they dependant on the GPS system being inertially guided.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Well, given that we had already developed and deployed those weapons independently...


    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: WTF.

      The USA does *not* have any control over our nuclear weapons. If we decide to land a spread of warheads over the USA then the subs could easily land a warhead on the Whitehouse lawn without leaving the Clyde.

      Yes, although we could do it we wouldn't because the US could do the same to London. But hey, that's deterrence and not any fault of the weapon system.

      The vaunted "control" over our weapon system is the fact that we bought Trident from the US. That's it.

      The USA has the same level of control over our warheads as your stationary supplier has over your pen. They don't have a key or any such like nonsense. The only people that say we do are just sprouting the usual "it's pointless" propaganda from the CND.

      Trident is not an "expensive" luxury at £25 billion over it's when compared to £186 billion of benefits payments. A year. In fact, I think you'll agree it looks downright trivial.

      And if you come back with the tired argument that international trade will prevent wars in the future, please look up who Nazi Germany's biggest trading partner was before the start of WW2. Given that trade didn't seem to protect France, I think i'll place my faith in the ability to reduce any possible aggressor to a molten crater. It's the golden standard of ensuring that we won't see another generation conscripted and sent to fight in a world war. Massive conscript armies are simply pointless in the face of nuclear weapons, and long may it remain the case.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Your right, shame this lot as no idea what they are talking about...

        ...beyond what they read in the papers.

        I’m afraid the average intelligence in the IT community is somewhat lower than that id expected, Peter2 you are indeed correct but i don’t think people on here have the first clue on anything Historical so we are at a loss on this one, but just think, if this lot get there way in 10 years or 50 years or 150 years’ time if the world goes tits up and hundreds of Millions die because of their ignorance we can sit back on whatever seat we reside and hope they feel a level of guilt, of course they will probably blame it on someone else but that is there nature.

        If only they would realise that the future is uncertain that no amount of thinking and forward planning can take every possible eventuality in to account, they would see how much of a gamble removing our Nukes is, as I’ve said in my big post somewhere below Removing them potentially gambles with Millions of lives vs. the slow but steady increase in world stability since the two wars, and not one of you can say I’m wrong,

  4. nigel 15

    unusual pice for the reg.

    but i completely agree with it.

  5. Daniele Procida

    Daily-Mail-style-ludicrous-hyperbole warning required

    This really has to be one of the daftest pieces of political writing the Register has published in a long time.

    Lewis Page is coming dangerously close to having a single-issue bee in his bonnet.

    I'd suggest that anyone who thinks that space migration or nuclear missiles are amongst the country's most urgent priorities needs to have his head examined, but I wouldn't go anywhere near it until that ridiculous bee has been dealt with.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Paid per comment?

  6. Ash 5
    Thumb Down

    Crap article

    Take a flimsy interpretation of Lib Dem policy and then extrapolate it to an absurd and illogical conclusion. Base your entire argument on the absurd and illogical conclusion.

    Between Orlowski and Page this website is becoming increasingly shite.

    1. Stewart Stevens
      IT Angle


      Perhaps the techies could provide a filter to block out Orlowski and Page articles.

      There had to be a an IT angle there somewhere!

      1. Gerard Krupa

        Ask and you shall receive

        Just install the Greasemonkey on your browser and add the following user script...

        var author = document.evaluate("//p[@class='byline']/a/text()", document, null, XPathResult.ORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE, null);

        if (author.snapshotItem(0) != null) {

        var name = author.snapshotItem(0).textContent;

        if (name == "Lewis Page" || name == "Andrew Orlowski") {

        document.getElementById("body").innerHTML = "<p>I just couldn't give a toss what " + name + " has to say.</p>";



        1. Stewart Stevens



          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            Another alternative

            You could just stick your fingers in your ears and go "la-la-la" really loudly.

            Keep it up El Reg, hopefully the whining little frigtards here will eventually sod off somewhere else.

    2. The Original Steve


      "Between Orlowski and Page this website is becoming increasingly shite."

      See title

  7. Angus Nicolson

    Blindly pro-nuclear

    Masterful analysis that fails to explain the slight logical problem that none of those countries who *might* just try to nuke us have weapons delivery systems that can make this happen.

    Never mind, Trident will defend us against the much more probable dirty bomb delivered by hand, won't it???

  8. akicif

    Don't vote liberal or we'll shoot your straw dog?

    Oh dear. Those reasons for not voting Lib Dem would be very good reasons indeed if the LDs were in Opposition and in danger of achieving actual power on their own.

    But as the very best they can hope for is to be the minor party in a coalition, and that after a certain amount of wheeling and dealing, there's no danger of one of the two big parties agreeing to those particular planks of the LD platform when it so contradicts their own.

    To be honest, it all seems much of a piece with the Murdoch press's scare-mongering, designed to hand power over to Cameron's cronies: if you want a Tory Government, fine - just don't pretend that's not what you're after.

    1. ThomH

      How I'd play it if I were a Lib Dem, assuming the poll numbers are correct

      (1) become a coalition partner with whichever party will agree to any of the floated ideas for electoral reform;

      (2) get the electoral reform passed based;

      (3) find a suitable moral issue such as Trident to act as a pretext for walking out of the coalition;

      (4) wait for the inevitable early election and grab a hundred or more extra seats under the new rules.

      The Lib Dems with just about 100 more seats are as large as the Conservatives were post-1997 and post-2001.

      1. Andrew Smith

        there won't be an election over nuclear!

        Since we're talking coalition government here, technocratic (i.e. big and bloody complicated) matters such as this were the partners disagree will be put to official review and a compromise deal reached. Any party that forces an election over subjects such as this will feel the full fury of the public who would be rather that the new series of Apprentice was not delayed again. With both the other parties broadly agreeing on these matters the Lib Dems would be obliterated if they tried to take it to the electorate.

        The Lib Dem base might grumble and mutter into their beards when their policies are brushed under the carpet but they'll have PR, a fairer tax system and a hand in many other policies.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Makes me wonder how Germany, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Norway, et al ............ survive!

    1. Glyn 2


      This is true, but they've not annoyed as many nasty people as we have by asking "how high?" when the yanks say "jump"

      Me, I think it's a little bit hypocritical to have a go at Iran and whatnot for wanting weapons that we have, we're hardly couched in the Chair of Righteousness are we ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Really

      By staying (relatively) neutral maybe?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        there's a plan!!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Some balance please

    Cameron is a toff cock and Brown thinks ID cards are a good idea.

    1. Jimmy Floyd
      Thumb Up

      More balancing

      As heard on the Tube t'other day (the utterance came from someone not entirely sober):

      "This election is between the toffs and the chavs, so I'm voting Lib Dem."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No need to nuke

    If the UK needs to import 65% of its power, there is no need to nuke. Just switch the power off at source and wait.

    We are now a minor nation, little more than a laughing stock, £11billion in debt (most probably to the Chinese), we encourage tax evasion and grant privileges to the rich (who then rape our assets and avoid tax).

    The days of Empire are long gone, it's time we realised that our place is to do what America (or China) tells us and shut up. Unless we get a parliament with some balls and integrity.

    And judging from the candidates the parties have put forward, there's not a hope in hell of that happening. Even if it did, the unelected quangos in the EU (who meet in secret, of course) would attempt to block any actual change.

    "Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the bathtub.

    [And a borrowed bathtub at that.]

    Britons are now slaves.

    [Thanks to Brown, Blair, Mandelson et al]"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Go check your debt figures

      It is closer to £1 trillion.

    2. Sooty

      Don't be silly

      <daily mail mode>

      We just need to get all the poor people to run on giant treadmills to generate power, make them work for their dole money.

      </daily mail mode>

  12. Naughtyhorse

    Not an end to the brit space race!!!

    I can understand an ex-warmonger like yourself (subs by any chance?) being in favour of big bangs, the bigger the better. But we really dont need a nuclear deterent. the USSR is gone, and the loons currently trying to get into that game will not be deterred by anything.

    The greatest risk to the UK is now and always was friendly fire. and if you are proposing we get tooled up to parity with the inbreds across the pond, you are barking.

    Best way to reduce friendly fire - change our friends.

    Power stations - fair point we are in the brown stuff now and it will only get worse and nukes are the only sensible way to go.

    the british space programme


    it that really the best you can do.

    in space no one can hear you laugh

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yay for reg commenters

    good on all the other commenters pointing out what a crock of shit this article is.

    Really, if you want to attack a party for being in any way "anti-science" you should be pointing the gun at the conservatives and their christian-powered, devoid of fact or reason policy machine.

  14. tgm

    doomed to humanity

    Possibly the worst piece I have read on the reg for some time - I thought the Sun was good at scaremongering but this takes the biscuit.

    Welcome Lewis to my new ignore list - you and Orlowski will be very happy together.

    Many more articles like this and I'll be setting my homepage to the bbc instead.

  15. GrumpyJoe

    Let me join the chorus of...

    WTF? If we have to vote for the least-worst party, then the Lib Dems get my vote - I'm FOR nuclear power but taken as a whole their policies match me the closest.

    Trident - WHO are we threatening again? I'd be really intersted to see where those Nukes are pointed at, I really would. It's the equivalent of the Tanks at Heathrow after 9/11 (remember those?). Bluster.

    Yes some of the LD policies do not match my own but nobody is going to fit me precisely, and policies can change in the light of reality.

    Your article is a charter for 'Don't bother' politics really - shafted if you try, shafted if you don't.

    1. Anton Ivanov

      The nukes are pointed solely at Russia

      The subs are stationed in the Atlantic and do not venture outside the few thousand clicks kill zone from which they can nuke Moscow. The Trident range is 7400 for the original one and 12000 for the "improved". I suspect that this is down-rotation figures so they are a 1K or so less shooting counter the earth rotation.

      In order to have a working nuclear deterrent in todays day and age Britain either has to develop proper ICBMs with "anywhere on Earth" range, position extra 3-4 subs so it can have some stationed in the Indian or Pacific Ocean or simply make it realistically limited - sized up for North Korea, Pakistan or the like and not for USSR, USA, China or France.

      Trident as current, updated or envisaged is an obsolete weapon and its ability to retaliate at "anyone launching an attack" is vastly overrated. There is simply not enough of them out on active duty to cover the currently known "anyones". ICBM or long range cruise missile bearing frigate fleet or train-based whole-planet range ICBMs are probably better suited for today's world.

  16. Leo Rampen
    Thumb Down

    Considerable flaws

    There's a lot of reasons this article is flawed, not all of which I can address. I can however address a fair few of them.

    Firstly: Professor McKays book, while an incredibly interesting read and definitely recommended, simply adds up the cost of our current lifestyle and then looks for power to keep it going. The book doesn't address many energy saving measures, and so the claims that the UK would need to be packed to the rafters with wind turbines are somewhat redundant.

    Secondly: Nuclear power is prohibitively expensive. We don't realise this now, because the last power stations were built over 40 years ago. Nuclear power has benefited from huge government subsidies, in the form of various nuclear related agencies, limits to public liability insurance, and because of the by products it can produce. Without such subsidies, the economic viability of it is questionable. Nuclear power is inherently linked into the government, and so benefits from a lot of public agencies. If new power stations were solely public affairs, and these costs were taken into account in the cost of electricity, then this wouldn't be so bad, but the fact that new nuclear power stations would likely be private companies means that the government is essentially giving them a free ride.

    The article discusses some pretty fanciful things, like space flight, destroying asteroids and technology development. There are a number of problems with your arguments here as well.

    If there is an asteroid threatening the earth, the UK is unlikely to be the one called on to provide a nuclear strike. Given that we have no space program whatsoever (due to labour and conservative governments), it is highly unlikely we would have any real input on the matter, trident or not. Trident isn't capable of destroying asteroids anyway, so the point is pretty much moot.

    Without a space program, the UK is unlikely to explore other planets. This is pretty much unrelated to civil nuclear power. The nuclear power used by spaceships is very much unlike that used for civil power, and the two have very little bearing on each other. If the UK chose to not use nuclear power, it would have no effect on the development of small scale nuclear reactors for space ships.

    Finally, suggesting that voting for the lib dems tomorrow will result in the entirety of humanity becoming extinct is pushing it a bit even for the register. Voting Lib Dem will *not* cause humanity to die out due to asteroids, and is likely to have no affect on any space programmes anywhere in the world (given that we don't have one anyway). It will, however, bring the electoral reform this country needs. It will reduce the number of stupid databases the government holds. It will ensure that the poor are protected from poverty, it will bring a fairer tax system, and it will bring the governmental shakeup that this country needs.

    This article is mostly crap, with a smidgeon of idiocy mixed in. I understand that (for some reason) the register has a right wing political agenda (has anyone ever got to the bottom of why an IT news site catering to educated professionals is so right wing/climate change denying?), but that doesn't really mean you should push utter tripe onto your readership.

    1. Professor Tinklepants

      I was going to up-vote you...

      ....til the climate change dig.

      There's absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the consensus and looking at the actual science.

      Sure, El Reg can be a little one-sided on the subject but I haven't seen any other 'mainstream' news site doing any real questioning at all.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @ Leo Rampden

      I'm sorry but claims that the UK would need to be packed to the rafters to have any credible energy input from wind turbines are not redundant in the slightest. It comes down to simple maths:

      In 2004 the UK generated 382.7 TWh of electricity. For the sake of argument I'll agree with your "energy saving measures" and work on the principle we could save 50% of electricty through those measures. Using the 2004 figures that means we would need to generate 191.35 TWh of electricty. Say we wanted to generate half of this through wind power we would need to generate 95.68 TWh from turbines. Your average onshore wind turbine is rated at 2MW (yes, I know offshore turbines can be rated up to 6MW, but bear with me), and is about 25% efficient i.e. accross a 24 hr period it's average generation will be 0.5 MW. This means that in 24 hrs your 25% efficient 2MW turbine will generate 12 MWh, accross a year this equates to 4,380 MWh of electricty. To produce the 95.68 TWh (or 95,680,000 MWh) mentioned above would require no less than 21,844 turbines. This equates to 50% of our required electricty assuming we can cut our electricty use by 50% (impossible IMO). Don't even get me started on what happens when the wind stops blowing or everyone moves to electric cars!

  17. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down


    Has the Reg been bought out by Murdoch or something?

    Lewis Page is looking more and more like a militant nutcase.

  18. Tom 15


    Yet more dribble from El Reg that shows why it should stick to IT news rather than the political campaigning that this place has turned into... all three main parties are pro long-term disarmament but believe we should maintain a nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future. All they disagree on is what form it should take; Labour and the Tories go on about the up-and-coming review of our seriously out-dated military but they've already committed them to an over-priced and out-dated nuclear deterrent in a form that is of no use to us. Having a single submarine at sea with our nuclear deterrent on simply gives us a single point of failure for our entire future safety, much more logical to have a good few land launched ICBMs or the ability to mount it to Eurofighters/F-35s as that way it can be kept separate, isolated and safe.

    As for nuclear power, I do overall agree with you that nuclear power is a necessary way forward but the Lib Dems raise the very good point that the lights are probably going to go out in 2014 but we're not going to get a new nuclear power station until at least 2018.

    As for the rest of it, they're hardly priorities.

  19. Roger Paul


    I'm glad that was marked as opinion, because a lot of it seemed to be making some pretty big assumptions. Like everyone else I'll just put in my worthless two penneth and sacrifice it to the internet gods.

    I think the commitment from the Lib Dems is that the Trident system will be added to the list of things discussed in the next strategic defence review, something all parties believe needs to be done I might add, and have merely suggested that there may be alternatives. No commitment to scrap, but equally no commitment for a like for like replacement.

    I also find it difficult (not impossible mind,) to imagine a genuine need for an exchange of nuclear arms on any kind of scale. Lets take the implausable scenario of a radical state developing a nuclear capability and producing a lone long range nuclear weapon. Lets further assume they detonate it over Birmigham. Would we retalliate? Realistically? And assuming we did, I think its safe to say that the UK's nuclear arsenal would be fully to committed to retaliation. Even if this system had been downgraded to cruise missiles and similar systems I think there'd be more than enough firepower to effectively delete a country.

    Again, I just don't see it as a likely scenario anyway. I certainly can't envision a scenario when a nation with a nuclear arsenal would start firing weapons off willy nilly as there are no illusions as to the consequences that would hold for their own nation.

    I'm trying to think of a nation with that kind of capability and the will to do it. Iran and North Korea are the obvious choices but their programs are very much in their infancy, despite what they want the world to believe. If someone knows better or can think of another nation with any sort of capability and the political will to cause problems for the UK please say.

    Personally I think nuclear power is the way forward so the Lib Dems and I disagree wholeheartedly on that point, but I think the automatic assumption that an unwillingness to invest in it will lead to power shortages and some kind of Heath Robinson-esque power system from overseas are a bit far fetched. It's easy enough to play the 'Bah, they're all pliticians' card, but I think common sense comes into play at some point, even for those with moat cleaning bills.

  20. stu 4


    what a bunch of absolute mince.

    Lewis - meet Andrew, Andrew, this is Lewis. Welcome to my kill file. you'll find refreshments on the side table. some might taste a little aniseedy...

    1. The Original Ash

      Aniseed is fine

      Watch out for almonds, though. Death Cap fungi smell of almonds and honey.

      Wait, doesn't cyanide taste of aniseed? I forget.

      1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

        Nope, almonds.

        The flavour of almonds actually comes from hydrocyanic acid, which is what you get when you dissolve hydrogen cyanide in water.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Can we also have a kill file

      For whining Commentards?

      Good work Lewis.

  21. Simon Zerafa

    Well I would have to question your assumptions ...

    Why would cancelling or scrapping Trident rule out a keeping nuclear deterrent?

    ICBM's are inflexible and only really good for blowing the crap out of entire cities or most likely whole countries. They are good as a deterrent and that's about all they are good for. Anyone who actually uses one sign's their own death warrant. That's the MAD concept. Even the soviets got that.

    The chances that a country would launch a huge attack against any one else is now very small. The most likely cause would be an accident or a rogue element in the military.

    More worrying are terrorists and given their tendency for stupidity, it's a wonder that one of those missing soviet brief-case nukes hasn't been used before now. Difficult to trace and who do you attack in retaliation?

    Why not replace Trident with a more flexible missle system which has options to launch various precision non-nuclear weapons as well as lower yield nuclear weapons? Something small and stealthy and keeps the enemy guessing would be ideal lauchable from subs and aircraft would be super.

    With modern accuracy you don't need megaton weapons to cause serious damage; surgical strikes against infrastructure would be more effective in the short and medium term. The soviets want for big bangs because their accuracy was very low.

    However any use of a nuclear option, even in retaliation might well cause such a backlash from around the world politically and economically that it's use might not be worth the consequences.

    Conventional weapons can cause enough damage to make an enemy think twice about attacking. And we are not even taking about bio-weapons or nano-tech which would be far more scary.

    An EMP weapon detonated at 10 - 20 miles up would force most modern countries back to the 17th century for a while; probably at least a generation. Screw up their banking systems for long enough and they would be on their knees in quick order. Back to barter and exchange of gold / silver coins etc.

    All of those older generation of Plutonium based or triggered weapons can be recycled into new lower power options and civilian power sources at lower cost then having to make the stuff from scratch and keeps the stuff locked up away from terrorists.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Problem, officer?

      >>one of those missing soviet brief-case nukes hasn't been used before now

      I have never heard that "soviet brief-case nukes" actually exist outside of writer's imagination.

      I have also never heard that any of those non-exiting "soviet brief-case nukes" has disappeared.

      The entry to Dick Cheney's bunker is that way ---->>

      >> Something small and stealthy and keeps the enemy guessing would be ideal lauchable from subs and aircraft would be super.

      Uh yeah. Super idea. Who do you want to keep guessing and why. Is Britain looking into doing nontraceable nuclear terrorism or something?

      >>An EMP weapon detonated at 10 - 20 miles up

      Most tiresome regurgitated PNAC bullshit ever.

      >>Screw up their banking systems for long enough and they would be on their knees in quick order

      This is currently happening through government-controlled central banking and the belief in the Ponzi Scheme, you might have noticed.

  22. Robert Carnegie Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I thought the Lib Dems were the only ones even thinking about the asteroid problem.

    Also, from your argument that no one would attack a nuclear-armed nation, nor, on the other hand, would NATO allies retaliate against an attack on any member - despite that being precisely what NATO is for - you've just proved that the 9/11 attacks in the nuclear-armed U.S. did not happen, nor did Britain go to war in Afghanistan and, for some reason presumably, Iraq, last decade, on account of our NATO mamber obligation.. Well done, I must have dreamed it. What a relief.

    As for nuclear power plants, economically they are mainly used for manufacture of nuclear weapons. Without the military cross-subsidy they are basically unaffordable.

    Mine's the dirty-bomb hazmat suit.

  23. Alastair 7


    "Consider what follows, with Nick Clegg or a similarly-inclined Prime Minister, following an ICBM strike on the UK."

    Interesting how you don't elaborate on who might do that, or how it would happen. The Cold War is over, these days we have to meet diverse threats like suicide bombers. Unless you intend to point ICBMs at the arrivals lounge of Heathrow, I don't think they're going to help much.

  24. nordwars

    Damn you

    I finally thought I had a decision, and now you go and force me to rethink. They are some pretty bad points (bad points for the LibDems, good points from you).

    What are the options if you don't want to vote for stifled technology, but still like their policies about political reform, and reversing the wave of civil liberty erosion the UK has suffered? Surely these are more central to their party values than their technology policies (being liberal and all). I would hope that they would be more flexible on the technology side of things.

    Unfortunately for me, technological development and civil liberties are my top two issues. Why oh why do the Lib Dems have to do so well on one and so poorly on the other?

    1. Roger Paul

      Easy now...

      Don't take the article at face value, a lot of the content is blown out of proportion. Nick has said he'd add Trident to a defence review, that's all. If the review came back saying 'we need Trident or a replacement' then that's what he'd do.

      Don't let looney articles like this sway you, and for god's sake don't take this reply at face value either. Have a look at what Nick has actually said and interpret it yourself.

      I hear Lewis is an escaped mental patient. I don't know where, it's just what I heard.

    2. David Adams

      You don't need to rethink, you know the answer already and it doesn't come from Lewis Page.

      The single most important issue facing us in this election is electoral reform.

      Once we have reformed our broken electoral system, there will be another election and that is where the other important issues, like these, will be discussed.

      (Although I can't see that us having the ability to destroy asteroids is that big an issue!)

      The Tories are using every scare tactic they can think of to stop a hung parliament because it terrifies them so much.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        "Although I can't see that us having the ability to destroy asteroids is that big an issue!"

        And you won't be worried or see the point of asteroid deterrent until someone spots the one that'll hit next week.

        Same with a nuclear deterrent- when the call comes to wipe the buggers who just bombed us off the face of the planet, you'll whine when we can't actually do anything. Even if they (whoever they turn out to be) don't attack us, just having people who don't really like us that much arming themselves with nukes when we've given them up sounds... well, daft.

        1. David Adams

          here we go again

          "And you won't be worried or see the point of asteroid deterrent until someone spots the one that'll hit next week."

          Even if they do spot one next week, what are we going to do?

          It's not possible to predict where an asteroid will impact exactly and with the relatively (to the circumference of the planet) diminutive size of the UK, there is more than enough of a margin of error for it to fall short and hit Russia (in which case the Russians might want to deal with it) or overshoot us and hit the Atlantic (in which case I guess the USA would do something about it to avoid the resulting tidal wave wiping out their eastern seaboard).

          Can't see Russia or the USA waiting to let us have a shot at it first can you?

          Can we all accept that the asteroid argument is just bollocks please?

          And no-one who would want to attack us with Nukes has the facility to do so.

          Yes, they may in the future, but a cold war submarine launched weapon isn't the answer to an attack from Iran or North Korea is it.

          If a Nuclear launch is detected by any nation, everyone panics. The one thing they won't do is sit and see where it lands before deciding what they are going to do.

          If they do wait for us to be hit, how do they know where our retaliation strike is going?

          They don't, Russia and China shit themselves and launch against us anyway as it may be an automatic response to an attack, and it could be heading their way.

          To launch at us, Iran have to overfly most of Europe so any member of Nato could be at risk not to mention Israel. This will bring about a Nato/US/Israeli response.

          Korea on the other hand would have to overfly China, Russia, Canada or the USA, none of whom would take kindly to being in the possible firing line.

          If anyone launches at us, we aren't going to be able to retaliate, with or without Trident.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Totally agree,

        If people actually knew that a vote for the Liberals would definitely mean more Liberal MP's then I think that a hell of a lot more people would vote for them.

        This is why PR terrifies both the old stalking horses as the seats in parliament have to come from somewhere.

        1. David Adams
          Thumb Up

          break up of big parties

          Most forms of PR often mean more smaller parties. This isn't neccessarily a bad thing, contrary to what the Tories/Murdoch would have us believe.

          If you vote for one of the Main Parties at the moment, you are compromising.

          I doubt anyone can say that they whole heartedly believe in everything their chosen party stands for. There is always something you're just not comfortable with.

          What this leaves us with, is a system which means that when a party gains power, they assume they have a mandate to do everything they want, without having to acknowledge that not everything they want to do is welcomed, even by their own supporters.

          More political parties mean you are more likely to find a party which matches your beliefs closer than the big main parties do at the moment.

          This means that you don't have to vote for someone just because you hate them less that the other lot, you vote for who you want to represent you and who reflects your views most closely.

          Loads of small parties sounds like a nightmare, and if you have too many it could become a joke, but going from 3 to 6 or even 10 smaller parties will mean that there are enough with quite a bit in common to form a workable coalition government.

          Instead of Labour, Lib-Dems and Tories you could have:

          Old Labour, Labour, SDP, Liberals, Conservative, UKIP, New Labour

          each of which would better represent their supporters.

          More representation and more representative representation will give us a stronger democracy.

          (Think I'll copyright that!)

  25. Squirrel

    Or vote laborious or convicts

    The two 'main' parties are so close on the political compass they might as well be the same party. Alternating between them ad infinitum is madness. Only mad people repeat the same mistake over and over and expect the result to change.

    Conservatives want "change"? wait what was your party name again? no kidding.

    ICBM is not a valid threat to this country and hasn't been for many many years. The UK is a toothless lumbering wreck on the international stage. We need to call everyone back and completely reevaluate what we do. We're just a tiny island not the USA and even contributing 1/6 of what the US do is far more than our fair share. We spend far too much on 'defence' for all the wrong reasons.

    Asteroids, if we see them coming I'm quite sure our current tridents have zero chance of hitting them because they don't have enough fuel to break orbit and reach a roid before it's too close to make a difference (it'll break up and scattershot the planet), leave that to the yanks or russians.

    Power is a different issue and I agree that for the foreseeable future nuclear is important until solar & wind power catches up, and then we'll still need nuclear as backup for windless cloudy days. And do as some remote US towns do and use massive batteries to assist power peak usage and other deficits.

    Luckily air con is a US fad for residential or we'd be properly screwed.

    We can do it on wave/wind/solar but we're not quite there yet, maybe in 10-20 years with higher efficiency tech. OFC population caps/limits need to be seriously looked at like in China and Japan or power requirements and imports of all kinds will just continue climbing.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Voting Liberal anyways. Dont give up the day job Lewis!

  27. R J Tysoe

    Stick to IT

    It's about time you got rid of Lewis. His lunatic rants are lowering the tone of the place.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I must agree...

    A shite article.

    If I want biased policital coverage i will got to the tabloids.

    Whilst I wont be voting liberal and happen to agree that scrapping our nukes is a bloody silly idea. i find this article to be a party political broadcast.

  29. Is it me?

    We are a broad church

    As a seasoned Lib-Dem, I can tell you that not all within the party happens to be anti-nuclear, as a seasoned human being I can also tell you that there is one hell of a lot of difference between a party manifesto and what the party will actually do, be they Labour, Tory, LibDem or Monster Raving Looney. I am actually a Multi-latteralist and pro-nuclear power, and I don't base my support for the party on the policies I disagree with but on the balance of all policies. It is however a moot point as to the affordability of a new system, just now.

    party manifestos are usually documents to get activists excited enough to actually go out an bang on doors, very few people actually read them, in fact I think journalists and commentators are about the only ones who do. Possibly the odd fanatical activist. If you really want some fun at election time memorise all the manifestos, keep them by the door, and challenge anyone who knocks on the dorr to explain the manifesto.

    Don't worry, when it comes down to it, saner heads will prevail, and we will land up with a more sustainable mixed energy economy. Either that or we have to encourage about 50 Million of our population to B*gg*r off somewhere else, so that we can be self sufficient in Energy and Food within the UK.

    Mind you it is so much easier to peddle doom, gloom and disaster.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Replacing Trident

    Come on, Trident is up for replacement in, what, 12 years? Do we really think whoever wins this time around will win again in four years let alone twelve?

  31. The Original Ash
    Dead Vulture

    On /. I filter out kdawson

    I wish I could filter out Lewis Page and Andrew Orlowski on The Reg.

    Goodbye IT news, hello anti-Liberal propaganda machine.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge


      Last I looked, the author's name appears at the top of each article. You might try reading that. There's also a clue in the category. Complaining that "This article published under the Opinion banner is rather opinionated" is a bit like saying "Where's the IT angle" for a Bootnote.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Help! Help! Save me from Lewis Page!

      So you want to censor views that upset your cosy little view of the world.

      I'm sure there's a blog out there somewhere where you can feel safer. Would you mind fucking off there?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        AC@ 23:09, Why don't you fuck off and get a dictionary

        It isnt censorship to ignore what you percieve as ignorance.

        It's only censorship to try to block it from others.

  32. Carlo Francolini

    Who is this idiot?

    Sooo many holes in this logic that I wouldn't even know where to start. If I could be bother refuting them. As others have said, stick to technical analysis and leave us to make up our own minds on politics. Really, really disappointed in you, El Reg.

  33. Busted

    The Cherno Problem

    Having read and a listened about what when on in and around Chernobyl I can safely say I'd rather burn fossil fuels and pump money into various alternatives than spend another penny on Nuclear.

    Also when polution has a half life longer than we have had modern man on this planet you have to wonder is this really the clean alternative.

    Nuclear Fuel NO, Nuclear Weapons NO and sorry to say Lib Dem's NO.

    Still don't know who I'll vote for but I know who I won't and they both start with L.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      What Cherno Problem?

      I agree, we shouldn't choose an unsafe design (RBMK) that was never accepted in the West, skip safety tests in order to beat deadlines for propaganda purposes, allow safety features to be deactivated and staff the control room with incompetents.

      But what's that got to do with nuclear in the UK today?

  34. JasonW

    If there's been an ICBM strike on the UK...

    ... the likelihood is that it's too late anyway (since the country is so London-centric it's more likely to land somewhere inside the M25 - the irony is that the BBC won't be able to report on it because they'd be up in smoke too) and the PM of the day might well have been incinerated in the process so will be unable to 'return serve' as it were anyway.

    1. David Adams

      Aha, but

      "the irony is that the BBC won't be able to report on it because they'd be up in smoke too"

      That's why they're moving half the BBC to Manchester.

  35. irish donkey

    ToryBoy Alert - ToryBoy Alert

    Try and do something different from your father, Think for yourself!

  36. Stefing

    "following an ICBM strike on the UK"

    You know what - I think I'll take my chances!

    It seems to have worked for... well, EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      What about Japan?

      Do you think the Yanks would have nuked them if they'd had similarly powerful weapons? Or, if they did, do you think they'd have left enough of the country un-nuked that we'd have seen images of mere injuries?

      No, the Americans would have either held back- or nuked the crap out of Japan and hoped they could defeat any retaliation.

      But the Japanese didn't have nukes so they did get nuked. The US and the USSR had fscking huge stockpiles of nukes pointed at each other, hated each other for 50 years, fought wars-by-proxy and still didn't use their nukes.

      So, stefing, I think that's quite a big fail for you!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about Japan?

        The whole deterrent effect of nukes came about because everyone saw that the consequences were horrifying and indiscriminate, that such weapons could be deployed with considerably less effort than conventional weapons, and that it would serve no-one to start using them unless it were part of an end-game. Indeed, the western powers and the Soviet powers went on to fight proxy wars almost immediately after the Second World War, and nukes never came into play. Naturally, had the Koreas or Vietnam had nukes and the capacity to use them against larger powers, it might have been different, but when your country is being laid to waste, that certainly meets the end-game criteria.

        Generally, you have to be in a desperate total war to want to use nukes. And unless you have no sense of humanity, you get to feel very guilty about it afterwards, unless you've very carefully targeted the military of your opponents.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Face Palm Logo Required.

    You could almost be a an actual politician in the election with the crap you spilled forth! Let's face it it's going to be a 'best of a bad bunch' situation at the polling booth tomorrow whatever party you support so why try this political garbage in an IT news site!

  38. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    The *first* think the LibDems would do in power would be to change the voting system. Having done that, they'd never have a majority in parliament for any of the things Lewis is worried about.

  39. Bluetoothh
    IT Angle

    Say whut?

    I not going to make this a long one.

    You say dont vote for the lib dems, so who should we vote for? conservatives who want to fire people like myself for doing their job? (Public sector it tech) or should i stick with labour who want to fudge over my raises every year? (0% over the next 3 years when i am paid under HALF of what private techs guy).

    Seriously, this is an IT website, about IT news, you want to post rhetoric like this go to the daily mail or something. Tomshardware has gone severely downhill lately and thereg was one of my havens of technology news, i have no lost this haven.

    Buck your ideas up.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Say whut?

      I'd just like to point out that the Reg has always run political coverage and opinion, so there should be no surprise or outrage that it's happening now the day before a general election; so if you could restrain your abuse to Lewis, that'd probably help your blood pressure. I'm just looking out for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You get less than half....

      ...what private sector people get for the same work? That means that you're working for the wrong people then!

  40. Neil Gardner


    Is El Reg run by the pro-nuclear, pro-big-pharam, pro-GM and vehemently anti-green Frank Furedi sect, currently known as Spiked Online. Check them out at .... They exert significant influence on the media and really just apologists for big business...

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Technocrats?

      Dear Neil, no we're not. Regards.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        must be laughing your socks off moderating this one!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Yes but...

      Sourcewatch is a couple of bedwetting Chomskyite students in their bedroom.

      Different points of view seem to terrify you. Why is that?

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


      >> Is El Reg run by the pro-nuclear, pro-big-pharam, pro-GM and vehemently anti-green Frank Furedi sect

      So what exactly is wrong with being pro-nuclear, pro-big-pharam, pro-GM and vehemently anti-green?

      I will take my nuclear reactors over a coal-fired horror anytime, with GM corn on the side, too, as long I see all the Intellectual Property B.S. legislation sink and burn.

  41. Nick Kew

    Come on

    Humanity to extinction? Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration?

    I'm sure Britain can sustain some population long-term without nuclear energy. Maybe 10% of what we currently have.

  42. Anonymous Coward


    The Register is all about the technology, not some unctious eejit scaremongering. But for the record, the UK is NOTHING on the world stage of war and that, with the exception of being a lapdog to the USA. We don't need nuclear weapons because there's no enemy we could fire them at any more - terrorists famously don't live in Terrorististan. The cold war is over.

    This whole piece is made of utter FAIL. Sack the author now, he sucks.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Sack the author

      I'd rather have Lewis Page writing articles than Anonymous Coward writing comments.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        I don't agree with Lewis Page on nukes, but he makes a reasonable case.

        Can we just turn comments off? The intolerant boneheads here don't make El Reg any better. Not one rational remark yet, just whining.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    PR to the people

    What a rubbish article.

    And to be fair, by the time any country starts chucking nukes about, life ain't going to be worth living for much longer afterwards.

    PR to the People

  44. Graham Marsden

    Who are we going to nuke in retaliation??

    Ignoring the ridiculous Tabloidesque anti-Lib Dem rhetoric that sounds more like something from the Murdoch Press, would Lewis Page care to tell us *who* is likely to try to lob an ICBM at the UK and *which* cities (and their millions of civilians) we are going to oblitterate in our "nation wrecking" retaliation?

    In case it has escaped his notice, the Cold War has ended, so it's very unlikely that any country that actually has the ability to launch an ICBM strike on the UK *would* do so and the so-called "rogue states" like Iran or North Korea know damn well that don't have enough bombs to stop the rest of the world dropping on them like a ton of bricks if they did start lobbing nukes around.

    A more likely scenario might be to put a nuke (or a dirty bomb) on a boat and sail it up the Thames, but then who do we lob a missile at in payback?

    As for Space Travel, I'm all for it, but perhaps we'd better fix the big hole in the bottom of the boat before we start re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic...

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha ha ha

    Vote Lib Dem = Death to humanity from asteroids.

    It's true because Lewis says so.

  46. Pete Baker

    I don't think so

    Lib Dems are not going to be in power next week, so its safe to say that their energy policy isn't going to take hold, especially as the two other major parties are strongly pro-nuclear. Its safe to say that the UK will be building new nuclear plants, even if you do vote Lib Dem tomorrow.

    Its also safe to say that voting Lib Dem isn't going to commit us to a firey death from some rogue state's ICBM. Its never going to happen, so please limit your fearmongering to this year's acceptable topics, such as terrorists and immigrant paedos.

    I heard the Lib Dem's were going to give kids swine flu. Oh hold on, my mistake that was last year.

  47. waarg

    El reg trying to do politics


  48. Willowbark

    Very disappointing

    If you're going to start blasting out narrow-minded politically biased twaddle - at least make it funny!

  49. John Savard

    In That Case

    Clearly Canada (and Australia, for that matter) need to get cracking on developing their own nuclear arsenals immediately, because obviously the United States would never risk its own people by retaliating if we were the target of a nuclear attack.

    The logic of the article may be quite correct, but it implies that having any of the world's democracies in the non-proliferation treaty is quite daft.

  50. Critical

    Nonsense - as a science-related website you would do better to support them..

    Check out and read the actual policies, or just see how respected people like Evan Harris are in the science community.

  51. Rogerborg


    Unfortunately, we cannot afford to have one either.

    We're boned either way. Might as well have a big party, and spunk the last value out of Sterling. Fire up the Quattro!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good call

    For once I completely agree with Lewis. Once you add in their dangerous policies on PR and taxation the Lib Dems are definitely the most dangerous party to vote for. Despite the fact that I believe the current Labour Party to be the worst thing for the UK since the late 70s and IMF bailouts and a winter of discontent, I would actually vote Labour ahead of the Lib Dems.

    PR sounds nice on the surface, but perpetual hung parliaments would be a disaster. Every hung parliament in the UK has been a disaster, and every country in the world which has hung parliaments has nightmares getting anything done. The Belgian government has collapsed, Israel is run by extremists, etc. All thanks to hung parliaments.

    The entrepreneur tax (more than doubling capital gains tax) that the Lib Dems want to bring in might bring in more income for a year or two, but the mass exodus of entrepreneurs would cost the country very dearly in the medium term. Increasing the tax allowance to £10k is a voter bribe, nothing more nothing less. The country can't afford it at a time when we are about to get a credit downgrade and have a mountain of debt to issue next year, without the support of Quantitative Easing.

    I'm happy to say that I'm an ex-pat. So vote Lib Dem if you want, I'll sit in another country and laugh as Britain destroys itself.

    1. Jim Hague
      Thumb Down

      @Good call

      So, every country in the world which has hung parliaments has nightmares getting things done, and it would be a disaster?

      Remind me - it's obviously Greece, with it's record of strong majority government, that is currently bailing out the Federal Republic of Germany, which has enjoyed a mere two years of non-coalition government in its history. Or did I get that wrong?

      Oh, and it's a crap piece too. The question, Lewis, is whether you want a Trident replacement to deter the Soviet Union, or a carrier that might actually be useful in the modern world. We aren't going to afford both, thanks to a financial disaster produced by organisation that boast both NuLab and the Tories as their cheerleaders.

    2. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      Correct me if I'm wrong

      but isn't Germany, a rather successful and well known country by many metrics, run by a coalition government? A case of picking your examples to suit your agenda perhaps?

  53. Iain 4

    El Reg struggling financially?

    Is it time to brush up your resumé before applying to work for a Murdoch paper, then?

  54. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    How to Nuke Al Qaeda?

    The UK's nuclear deterrent (SLBM based) is based on the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) principle. Nobody can nuke us out of existence without us being able to nuke them out of existence too.

    This is fine against superpowers, but is of no use at all against the likes of Al Qaeda, Taliban, etc. If one of Mr Bin-Laden's followers sneaks a WMD into the UK and sets it off, what good would SLBMs do us? Who, what and where would we nuke in retaliation?

    When it comes to countries that may be a nuclear threat to the UK in the future (Iran, for example), SLBMs are, pretty much, overkill. What do you gain by nuking a stone-age country back to the Precambrian? Nuclear SLCMs / ALCMs are just as capable of doing that, and cost a fraction of the cost of replacing Trident like-for-like.

    I suppose the only country the old MAD doctrine still applies to is North Korea as they have sufficient air defences to combat a cruise missile attack. The question is, is it worth spending all of those £billions on a submarine / missile system to protect us against one 3rd world country that has enough trouble of its own (and with its southern neighbour) without picking fights with an insignificant country in northern Europe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who to aim at

      Simple (and doesn't need ICBMs): submarine sitting permanently in the med armed with nuclear cruise missiles aimed at Mecca. Make it known that any Islamic NBC attack on the UK will result in Mecca being wiped off the face of the earth within, say, 6 hours (to allow civilians to leave the area).

      Unless Allah actually does exist, of course, in which case we're well and truly FUBARed anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        That works really quite well

        Any Islamic powers could point their nukes at the Vatican, and the Atheists could sit back and laugh.

        Not sure who you'd target to dissuade atheists, though. Cern, maybe? Cape Kennedy?

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Why not blow away Jerusalem instead?

        Because half of it is under a "don't ask don't tell" Samson option?

        "What is Jerusalem worth?"

        "Nothing ..."

        "Everything ..."

      3. Eponymous Cowherd

        And watch them do the opposite..........

        Now, what do you think the reaction would be if you gave the Islamic world 6 hours to get clear before you nuke Mecca? How many people do you imagine would be still around at T-Zero?

        Answer: At least twice as many as when you issued the warning. Men, women, children, babies, 99.999%+ of whom are innocent, but devout, Muslims.

  55. Chad H.

    Dear el reg webmaster

    Dear Mr Webmaster,

    there appears to be a problem with the coding on your site. It appears to be pulling stories from News Ltd publications instead of your own staff. You may want to get this fixed before Mr Murdochs lawyers find out.

  56. Robert Ramsay

    How bizarre.

    That's got to be the strangest outburst from Lewis ever.

    I'm still voting for the Lib Dems tomorrow because a) I live in one the places where it's a fight between them and the Tories, and b) whoever gets in will have a good chance of needing their help...

    Lewis speaks as if there's going to be a Lib Dem landslide tomorrow all over the country. Well, if that happens we'll march up to the House of Commons, kick in the doors, and say "Look, we'll pay for the damage..."

  57. Michael 82

    Thats it I'm off! Powering down..

    Mines the one with the passport and work visa to the USA in the pocket, if you cant at least stand shoulder to shoulder with them, join them

  58. Tim Wolfe-Barry

    Swap Trident for the Carriers...

    Lewis - I agree with you most of the time, but I think you're wrong here...

    The main problem with scrapping Trident is it makes it harder to argue we should put Nuclear into the Carriers. As far as deterrence goes Trident is pure vanity.

    The only nations with nukes & delivery systems that Trident could deter are US/France/Russia and China. We can hope that 2 of those are on our side (ha!) and the other 2 both have enough warheads they can blow us up, take a full-scale Trident strike and then blow us up again.

    We should cancel Trident and Eurofighter T3. Put some of the money into Nuclear carriers (we still have nuclear attack subs, so we'll keep the infrastructure) with catapults. Scrap the F35-B and get -Cs for the Navy. The Riff-Raff can get F35-As with the money we'll save from T3 and we'll still come out ahead.

    Taking the defence argument further, the Trident savings will have enough left over to build some more helicopter/marine carriers to help with peace-keeping/anti-piracy jobs.

    We can reduce the threat from dirty/terrorist nukes by growing testicles and adopting a non-US-centric foreign policy (the Lib Dems would help here I think).

    On nuclear power; you're right, we can't do without it, but we *do* need to work out what to do with spent fuel for the next 50K years - I'm not sure that ponds at Sellafield are a good long-term solution - so the quicker we get Fusion going and move away from Fission the better.

    In truth, this argument is largely redundant as even the most woolly liberal knows they won't be in power by themselves on Friday. I do hope that they can get Trident brought into the defence review (and so save the Carriers, which look likely to get the chop otherwise), but no-one really thinks anyone (even a Liberal PM) would actually bin civilian nuclear and that certainly won't happen in coalition.

  59. Paul_Murphy

    I can't let you do that Dave..

    ... is by voting against the Lib Dems.

    Since I can only vote FOR a party - not against ones I don't want.

    I wonder what the elections would be like if we were able to pick the parties that we didn't want - it would at least make the 'X' useful, since we could also select a tick mark for parties we do want.


    1. Graham Marsden

      if we were able to pick the parties that we didn't want

      That's known as Single Transferrable Vote where you rank parties in order of preference...

      ... hey, isn't that PR which the Lib Dems are in favour of...?!

  60. milosevic999
    Thumb Down


    your reporting on IT is good, and amusing - keep off the politics - your arguments are badly made and are verging on persuading me to vote Lib Dem, not your intention i'm sure.

    You unfortunately sound like a tentacle of the Murdoch press (it's not like we need another one really now is it?)... stick to what your good at.

    Hint: it ain't political commentary.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      hu hur hur

      tentacle of the Murdoch press...

      sounds a bit like testicle



      dude!, that dude said testicle


      ad nauseam

      Though on a more serious note. what a roasting lewis is getting. Thouroughly deserved if a bit of a shame! I love all the boffin stuff though.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Technology as weapons

    ...I could - plausibly - batter some poor bloke to death with an ipad...ergo Lib Dem should.ban the ipad!


    As a side point...who let all the lib dem supporting "up voters" onto this forum?

    1. sandman

      Re: Technology as weapons

      All us "up voters" aren't necessarily Lib Dems, I just agree with the posters who critisised the tone and factual content of the artcile.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Technology as weapons

        " I just agree with the posters who critisised the tone and factual content of the artcile."

        Nobody has done that yet. It's just a bunch of people crying all the way home - Little Nazis trying to bully anyone who expresses an opinion they don't like.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Dead Vulture

          ...and QED

          ...and I'm down-voted 7 times already, as has anyone else who agreed with me, or even seen some validity with the article itself (some poor bastard has been downvoted 45 times). Bunch of closet LibDemtards the lot of you.

          There's no "Winston's victory hand gesture" icon?

  62. Hieronymus Coward

    Well I'm sold...

    having discovered my local lib dem candidate is on a team at the weekly pub quiz, he seems like a genuine down to earth chap with sound sociopolitical ideas and ideologies.

    But now I know about the Lib dems evil plans, i'm much more inclined to vote for the current conservative arse who tells me 'we share simmilar concerns' (over the Mandy Bill) and then doesn't even bother to go and vote... or the other destroyer of liberty, whoever the hell that is.

    Seriously, who out of all the 'super powers' in this day and age is going to drop a nuke?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From someone in the know (not me)

    We need a nuclear deterrent for two reasons.

    China (fairly obviously)


    America (not so obviously)

    1. Miek


      Sorry to burst your little bubble but, America (Lockheed & Martin) provide us with the Trident. It is unlikely we will be sending them back to the USA "With Love"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I said nuclear deterent

        Not Trident....

  64. Mark Rendle
    Dead Vulture

    Utter crap

    Others have very eloquently made the case, so I'll just add this as a +1.

  65. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Down


    Have to say this is total balls, we don't need trident and we never will.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    What a load of...

    .....steaming horse manure. and utter bollocks to boot.

    Let's hope we get a balanced parliament come Friday. For too long we've had 'strong' governments passing crap laws because they whip their members into voting them through, let see if common sense can prevail for once.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    I've tried to tell them, but would they listen?

    I actually wrote to the Liberal Democrats as I believed their stance on nuclear power to be not grounded in science. Heck, even Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, supports nuclear power!

    I explained to them about Thorium reactors and hybrid fusion/fission set-ups, both of which largely solve nuclear waste problems (the latter is capable of using 99% of nuclear fuel, in comparison to today's fission reactors which only use 20%) and solve proliferation problems. On top of that, the latest generation of nuclear reactors can produce hydrogen, which could be used for fuel cell vehicles or hydrogen ICE vehicles.

    I also mentioned the inability of renewables (with the exception of biomass) to provide the base load power requirements of our nation, due to the variability of environmental conditions. The problem with biomass, however, is one of energy density - you'd need an awful lot of biomass plants to generate the same power as a single nuclear power plant.

    The only response I received 'we will pass this onto our policy unit for consideration', rather than a response qualifying their position. I really do like the vast majority of Lib Dems policies, but their anti-nuclear policy is simply idiotic.

    Terminator, 'cause Skynet is fond of nukes too.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I was enjoying that

      until you went off on one saying hydrogen fuel was useful.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        It *is* useful.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've tried to tell them, but would they listen?

      "I explained to them about Thorium reactors and hybrid fusion/fission set-ups, both of which largely solve nuclear waste problems"

      Thorium? Sounds great, but it's just another breeder technology. Hybrid fusion/fission? What a joke! If you've mastered fusion, why would you mess around with thorium, uranium, plutonium? Such hybrid plants are promoted to help clean up the mess from existing fission plants, although they're not exactly the only way with a decent source of energy at hand. More likely, they're just another way for the vested interests to insist on the continued relevance of their pet fission-dependent technologies despite that relevance evaporating rapidly if you can deploy one of the fusion-based technologies.

      Fusion is fine. Fusion/fission is fail!

  68. Frozen Ghost

    Nuclear Power

    I don't care about Trident for all the aforementioned reasons, but the Lib Dems anti-nuclear power stance is one of the main reasons I would not vote for them. It's clear that they oppose it for ideological reasons rather than actual facts about supplying a country with power - I don't know if its the best choice but I sure as hell don't want some politician to rule it out in their manifesto before they even commission a review of power generation schemes.

  69. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Down

    More Balls

    "Nuclear weapons aren't, in fact, as deadly as the ordinary sort."

    Wow now that is what i call total BALLS !

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Nuclear weapons aren't, in fact, as deadly as the ordinary sort."

    Isn't that an argument for spending the money on the ordinary sort?

    Real deterrence is a stick that you'll use, not a suicide vest that you won't.

  71. Jamie Kitson



  72. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Bring back the boffins

    Dear Mr. Page,

    with all due respect this article is pants. Scaremongering pants of the worst kind. If someone, and it's a bit of a puzzle as to who that might be, does drop an ICBM on the UK I don't think anyone will really care whether "we" can retaliate or not. And if being in NATO actually means that no one will honour their commitments then why bother sticking around? We can't afford much of an army anyway. Not that you can see Norway loading up with Trident and they've got resources worth fighting for.

    As for your other hobby horse nuclear power. Well, this is going to be an ongoing debate but the fact is that even if new power stations were commissioned tomorrow they won't be ready in time for the projected shortfalls from 2015. Energy efficiency on the other hand can have an immediate and significant impact.

    Space race - really more money for Prof. Pillinger? Manned spaceflight is still prohibitively expensive and of little real value. Don't mind upping our contributions to ESA, though.

    Is nothing happening at CERN this week?

  73. jmarke
    Thumb Down

    Tabloidesque Garbage

    Simply wasn't worth the energy it took to read it.

  74. BurnStuff

    Is there a way to filter out Lewis and Andrew?

    Otherwise I may have to just find another source for my IT news. That so called opinion piece is exactly why I avoid the tabloids. I thought IT people were supposed to be forward looking not bigoted old Luddites?

  75. Miek


    For the scare tactics I'll be sure to ignore you Lewis.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Shite scaremongering article

    Thought I stumbled onto the Daily Fail for a second there. Since what you want is a war against China which will only invite doom to this pathetic little island, vote for warmongering Tories if you want to.

  77. James 71


    What a load of bollox, why is the Reg editor even letting this crap being posted. The author clearly drives a Chelsea tractor, never turns off unused electrical goods, wouldn't dream of walking to the local shop and sleeps with a gun under his pillow due to an extreme condition of paranoia and a massive case of being a dumb ignorant f$ck. Jesus

  78. Diccon

    "Believe humanity should travel to space one day?"

    Not since I was about 8 years old!

  79. Miek

    Nuclear Non-proliferation

    We should be looking to reduce our Nuclear "Arsenal" rather than extending it into the future. What good are the Six party talks if the countries lobbying for non proliferation are gearing up to renew extremely expensive and relatively ineffective nuclear weapons.

    I agree with Nick.

  80. nichomach


    ...stick to the defence stuff, please. You're fun to read on death-tech, but this lame-brained exercise in frothing, knickers-in-a-twist hysteria indicates that avoiding political analysis would be a good idea in future.

  81. Sir Runcible Spoon


    Article: Balderdash and bollocks.

    Point me at our Nuclear powered spaceships so I can leave this planet of lunatics. One way is fine.

  82. The Jase


    I was looking at what the Lib Dems said about Trident. I am all for MAD keeping the peace.

    I found that:

    The fleet consists of 4 boats only. That's about half of what is needed. Crews need to rest, boats need to be repaired and serviced.

    The nukes themselves are supplied by the yanks. Britain (unlike France) has no independent nuclear strike capability. Odds are the missiles will also need US controlled GPS guidance to work. It is unlikley that Britain would be able to launch a strike independently. The estimate is 18 months use if the yanks withdraw support.

    Renewing the current system is a waste. The system needs to be redone completely. That needs a proper review.

    What the LibDems say is:

    The current system is bad.

    More information is needed before a replacment is planned and (more importantly) budgeted and paid for.

    So Lewis, the wartech firms paying you to get my tax money thrown at them for free then?

    FFS you could have searched the LibDem site and got proper information. It took me all of about 1 minute to find and about 8 minutes to skim through.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      @The Jase

      Four boats is sufficient for the "always one at sea" criterion and the evidence of history is that the punch packed by a single boat is a sufficient deterrent.

      As noted in a reply to an earlier tin-foil hat, it is vanishingly unlikely that the US could stop us lobbing an entire boat's worth at the US because we've had physical custody of the hardware for several decades.

      It is unlikely that the missile's *depend* on GPS, since Polaris was a perfectly workable system in its day and that day was before GPS. Therefore, whilst someone *might* have put a GPS receiver in each Trident missile for "fine tuning", they would have no trouble in arranging for a purely ballistic fallback system.

      However, whilst submarine-launched ICBMs probably were the optimal solution in 1960, quite a lot has changed since then and so the Lib Dems have suggested that perhaps we ought to review this policy once every few decades or so.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mixed bag of arguments here

    I don't think disarming nuclear force Britain will result in a nuke strike right out. Most of what large or at least established powers are facing comes in rubber boats or manages to board aeroplanes without a passport. It's massive knee-jerking with the associated massive cost that's doing the most damage to our civilisation, and for that the best knee to jerk is the USoA still. Assuming a rational suicide bomber, you could very well strip nukes from all continents except the North American one and they'd still be prime knee-jerk-triggering fodder. All Britain has to do is stop gazing over the pond and wonder if yonder apes don't have a point jumping around, but instead go back to its former stiff-upper-lip stoic self. The latter would be a good idea even without assuming a rational suicide bomber.

    The argument that nuclear weapons are pretty safe because the two piddly tiny little ones that were actually and quite needlessly dropped on actual people did little damage in the greater scheme of things is, well, a bit specious. We simply don't know what the tsar bomba would do, but looking at the Chernobyl deadlands, I honestly don't want to find out. That, and that alone, is what makes nuclear weapons so effective.

    Further, the key to spacefaring isn't going to be nuclear either. Most power we can access is ultimately from the sun. The stuff that isn't is late big bang leftovers, or maybe just planet formation leftovers, and then from the sun after all. So to get us suitable amounts of power for spacefaring and growing so decadent that heyday USoA looks primitive and backward by comparison is going to need basically a big fat power connection right from there. All the rest, basically anything we can do on earth, is playpen fooling around. And so is sending nuclear powered science robots around the solar system. We need to get up there and secure a beachhead with power socket. And then we get to worry about not cooking the planet to a nice crisp with all that extra energy.

    My prime beef with nuclear is the same with all the others: The cost and risk including cleanup. Sticking the next fifty generations with glowing waste isn't my idea of leaving a lasting legacy while we hand over the planet to our children. Neither is turning the planet by way of runaway climate into venus or mars, take your pick.

    I have a real quibble with your overall argument, mind. But even if you can easily deflate clueless politicians' plans (that still seem to attract a following!), you're not nearly thinking big or long term enough either.

  84. James Thomas

    What are the editors thinking...

    The editors should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a blatantly partisan piece to be posted.

    The fact that it's idiotic drivel is almost irrelevant.

  85. David Griffin

    What a load of tosh

    A few facts

    - Trident (and other nuclear deterrence) has proved no use in Falklands, Balkans, Iraq or Afghanistan. ie you can still be beaten in conventional wars even while having a deterrent.

    Was Galtieri given pause for thought by our deterrent ?

    - Retaliatory strike capability assumes you know who did it. If a suitcase nukes goes off somewhere in blighty who do we respond against ? We still don't really see to be sure who did 9/11 even though we know the nationality of the actual hijackers, and there sure as hell won't be much evidence after a nuke goes off.

    - Suppose crazed terrorists get control of Pakistan. Is our plan to nuke a load of innocent civilians in Pakistan if they (the terrorists) nuke us ? Seems a bit extreme, as said civilians won't have had anything to do with it. And if so, would the Jihadists care ?

    - Suppose China becomes more of a threat. Hmm. So when they point out one day that they own London, will we nuke them ? They don't need military domination when they have financial domination do they ?

    Take Israel. They have an enemy nearby in the region who hates them and has nukes pointing at them. Oh hang on, that's Iran's situation. Sorry, Israel has an enemy in the region who would LIKE to have nukes pointing at Israel. They have a huge technical head start and an awesomely effective air force, secret service etc. Yet they can't get at an Iranian bunker (or they would have done by now). So who would they target with a deterrent ?

    I fail to see any actual real world scenario in which

    - Britain potentially gets nuked by a first strike

    - We would know who did it

    - The would be perpetrators are actually dissuaded by our possession of a deterrent so don't actually do it.

    If Jihadists finally get a nuke, is the logic here that they will only bomb a non deterrent holding country (er.. .Denmark, because of those cartoons) ? If so, why are Israel so worried about Iran, surely Israel are perfectly safe behind their deterrent.

    If we want to be safe we should spend some money learning not to piss so many people off abroad, and the rest looking after our own house.

    In my humble opinion...

  86. Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    This crappy country's going to shit so quickly that it might be better if we do get obliterated in a nuclear attack. It would put us all out of our misery.

  87. yossarianuk

    Unless we ban nukes no one will be going to space in the future.

    This article is Utter rubbish...

    I agree with the Libdems on scrapping trident anyway.

    Just because the world and humanity has been lucky so far that doesn't mean it will forever (or even much longer), especially when global warming takes hold and we start to run drastically low on resources the chance of someone using a nuclear bomb in war will greatly increase,

    There have been many times when the entire of mankind could have been wiped (no not straight away but a few decades after a nuclear winter ), the closest was possibly 1983 - which most of the west did not find out until decades later.

    The point is if there is a mistake EVER mankind will be wiped out or at least reverted back to the stone age - there would be no time to work out what happened afterwards - it would all be over.

    i.e if a mistake (similar to what very very nearly happened in 1983) there is absolutely no chance of mankind going into space for at least 100000 years.

    p.s : everybody who actually wants Nukes - watch Threads.

  88. stinkypaul

    what a nasty article

    It looks to me like since the cold war ended the only thing that the nucular weapons production and support was good for was lining the pockets of the defence firms who by-the-way "support" the government by the way of donations and secret insider trading so that the MP's families can make a profit. Or is that the US? Can't imagine it's much different here though so I'm all for not wasting billions on shiny bombs that we won't ever use.

    But please bear-in-mind we won't be getting rid of our current defences and as we need to we will maintain a deterrent, including a nuclear deterrent whichever major party gets in.

    At least with the lib-dems we might see a little bit of honesty for a change and some of the tax payers money might be used to make a better society.

    I live in hope.

    Don't believe the hype people, we aren't a super power, no-one wants to invade us but we can kick ass anyway. Don't give the money to the defence companies let a decent goverment use it for us for a change.

  89. Anonymous Coward

    For those interested about Thorium (sub-critical, nuclear wast burning) reactors...

    New age nuclear

    Green nuclear power coming to Norway

    1. Anonymous Coward

      For those interested in checking their sources...

      "Green nuclear power coming to Norway"

      This is, for want of a more qualified term, bullshit! Another hype piece from someone who would like to believe something to be true but can't be bothered to check the facts. Search for Norway, Statkraft and thorium and you get as the first hit (in Norway) a press release. I'll translate a bit for you given that the purveyors of hype can't usually be bothered to do anything other than repeat other purveyors and the rumour mill:

      Answer from trade and industry minister (in parliament): "Yes, I can only repeat in the strongest terms that the government has no plans to change its policy in this area. I am also in agreement with the [opposition] representative that the matter which came to light in "Brennpunkt" [a documentary] should not have been portrayed as such [that Statkraft were planning to build a nuclear plant based on thorium]. This the board and management of the company have made clear, and we are in complete agreement that there are no plans [to build new] nuclear power plants in Norway."

      You may now stand down from your three year old hype regurgitation. Please return when you actually know what you are talking about.

  90. Matt_V
    Dead Vulture

    tell me this was posted just to get as many people commenting as possible


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Conspiratorially : this could have been a straw poll.

      I've seen El Reg get us stirred up before. Get a lot of opinions for free. I don't mind. If this poll is anything to go by the Lib Dems would have an 18 year massive majority. It's their turn. Maybe that's the way forward. Take turns and have 18 years to slowly improve or wreck the education system.

      The same education system Lewis went through, I guess. Speaks volumes.

  91. Bluetoothh

    See these other comments?

    Do you? Im talking to you editors of the reg. Do you see what your fan base is saying?

    This frankly (and put quite LIGHTLY) crap article is infuriating your readers, 1 because of its full of tosh 2. This is supposed to be an IT website.

    We want to read about IT, funny stuff like the kid falling over on google streetview, the latest development in peripheral devices for porno games not this kind of political scaremongering.

    Get a grip and discipline the guy who posted this, its full of fail from the first word to the last (and the manager or whoever authorized the posting of this utter CRAP).


    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      As Ms Bee has rightly pointed out it is quite normal for El Reg to branch out into politics, and from what I've read of the comments so far it seems that most people are up in arms because the article was full of rabbit shit. It would have been easier to just put a link to Lewis' blog rather then reproducing it as a proper article.

      i.e. we don't like things that don't stand up to logic and reason.

  92. Dunstan Vavasour
    Dead Vulture

    Be honest, did you mean to press "Preview" and hit "Submit" by accident?

    Lewis's insights into government scaremongering "They might call it a credible terrorist plot, I call it some kids setting fire to a car" are usually readable and believeable. This was sub-par.

    There is a world of difference between the 10-15 kiloton fission bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the multi-megaton fusion bombs which would be used in any strike by a major nuclear power now. The line "they're not that dangerous because we weren't very good at making them in 1945" is flawed.

    Now, if a party were to say "actually there is little terrorist threat, and your kids are safe to play out" then I'd vote for them.

    1. David Adams


      "they're not that dangerous because we weren't very good at making them in 1945"

      How do you know we're any better at making them now?

      The bloody things are probably dud anyway.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


        A few Pacific islands thoroughly holed and Edward Teller cackling from beneath the daisies say otherwise.

  93. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Nuclear strike will be the least of our problems...

    You don't need to wait for a nuclear strike with Lib Dems. They will bring the country to total collapse on their own, without any enemy's help. I will give them a year to 18 months if they're put in charge by hoi polloi.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On nuclear deterrent

    Works so long as the power-to-be-intimidated cannot stop the retaliatory strike.

    1) Nuclear weapons on long range ballistic (ie very fast incoming) missiles on submarines.

    You don't know where the strike comes from, therefore you can't be sure to stop it.

    2) Nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles on land.

    Either the enemy knows where they are so they can be targeted first, or you have to have them constantly on the move (which means ideally lots of space required). Silos don't work of themselves - the UK invented them and gave them up as a bad job.

    3) Nuclear weapons on cruise missiles

    Take a long time getting there, which gives chance for them to be stopped enroute. Or have to be closer before firing which means more chance of catching the sub first.

    4) Nuclear weapons on aircraft.

    Much like 3, but now the targets bigger, and you know where the attack is coming from. Hence the swap from V-bombers to Polaris.

    This is for deterring nations (rogue or not) - not nutters with nukes groups which cannot be deterred

    All this applies to

  95. Piro Silver badge

    What's that? Vote LibDem you say?

    Sure, I plan to, because the way I see it, if they can even cause a shift in voting reform, they've done their job. You may not always agree with every policy of a party, but the LibDems are easily the best of the lot.

  96. Anonymous Coward

    Reverse psychology

    I reckon Lewis is actually a massive Lib Dem supporter and has written an article that is so full of rubbish that Reg readers will vote Lib Dem in protest.

  97. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Re: Full Disclosure

    « The Lib Dems are the only UK political party to have consulted Lewis Page on defence policy,»

    Why did you bury the best argument not to vote for them in such fine print at the bottom?

    (don't complain, my alternate one-liner was 'why, was Borat not available?')

    Full disclosure: as much as I disagree with you on the weapons (in my view Britain is not a nuclear power to boot, it's more a small outpost of the US nuclear power), I agree that banning nuclear leccy right now would be a huge error.

  98. MRKisThatKid
    Thumb Down

    Is this a joke?

    I find it very hard to believe that this guy actually worked with the Liberal Democrats because he sure doesn't understand them.

    The party has no ideological objection to Nuclear Power but they believe there are much better alternatives (with there are). Above all, the UK simply cannot afford them right now. In fact I'll go further at no point during the next couple of terms can we afford to even THINK about Nuclear Power. Even the consultation will be too expensive.

    As for trident. The party line is regarding the cost. My personal opinion however is that a country the size of the UK having nuclear deterrent is laughable, barely any countries in Europe do, even those more economically active don't. Lastly on this subject, if a country, any country used nuclear weapons against the UK do you seriously think the aggressor will last long? The UK wouldn't have to do anything, just sit back and watch.

    Lastly, haven't you seen any of the end of the world films? It's America where the astroid will land it's them who will save us! Plus doesn't the Liberal Democrats have UK's authority on astroids?

  99. blackworx
    Dead Vulture

    Cancel my subscription etc.

    FFS Lewis I don't even know where to begin. You've outdone yourself many times over with this one.

    Ok the easy stuff first. I agree with you on the need for nuke power. On this the Lib Dems' energy policy may be a joke, but it's no more or less of a joke than the other two, whose policies are equally rooted in fiction.

    And as for the nuclear deterrent - WTF? Do you seriously think Uncle Sam would let us use our nukes even if we *were* bombed by, say, an Iran or North Korea? Dude, it's not our deterrent - it's the eastern extension of America's deterrent, made with American technology and paid for by us. How long do you think "our" deterrent would last if the US dismantled its own?

    Most hated nation? Augh, Lewis, you sound like you really believe we'd we wiped out by angry A-rab hordes the minute we ditched our nukes. What about those oh-so-deadly conventional weapons you're banging on about?

    And as for the space exploration angle - REAL space exploration that is - it should go without saying that the human race either one day does that together or not at all. One planet, one species. As long as we're indulging ourselves in navel-gazing, petty bickering and posturing with nuclear weapons none of that will happen, no matter what the energy situation is on this particular lump of rock, so don't you dare presume to tell me who not to vote for on the basis of your prejudice.

    And what about other concerns? What about those of us who would rather die than vote Tory, and have been massively disillusioned by New Labour and their increasingly authoritarian government? What's left for us? A bunch of even more authoritarian socialist loonies (the Greens)? One of the various "shower of xenophobic/racist fuckwits" parties? Whoever our local variety of sponging parochial nationalists are? ... Or ballot-spoiling. Fucking great. Cheers Lewis. Thanks for your illuminating input.

    1. LPF

      @ blackworx

      The US does not control out nuclear arsenal, you fail at life :(

      The minute you ditch nuclear weapons and your opponents has them, your basically a joke !

      See Isreal, there is not a single arab nation who would dare attack them now, accpext via


      Because push comes to shove they get too annoying, isreal could make them glow at night, even

      if it werent for the fact that conventionally, isreal could hand them their backsides at any time

      conventionally! Not enough civilians to hide a conventoional army behind ;)

      1. blackworx

        Ha ha

        You fail at being a troll

      2. Red Bren
        Thumb Down


        "The US does not control out nuclear arsenal"

        Where do we get spares from? As they have never been used, how do we know there isn't a backdoor "OFF" switch in case the UK ever gets into a conflict with another friend of Uncle Sam?

        "The minute you ditch nuclear weapons and your opponents has them, your basically a joke !"

        Which opponents? The Russians? The Chinese? The French?*

        "See Isreal, there is not a single arab nation who would dare attack them now"

        Except nuclear-armed Pakistan, should some islamic fundamentalists get into power? (Okay, Pakistan is not an Arab country, but neither is Iran)

        The rest of your comment sounds like a puff-piece for playground bullying. But playground bullies have to grow up at some point, then they find no one likes them or wants anything to do with them. Isn't it better to learn to play nice?

        * "The French?! but they're our allies! Well, they might be now; but they were our mortal enemies for centuries, and old leopards don't change their spots" -,_Minister

  100. Ian K
    Thumb Down

    Oh Dear

    Normally a fan of Lewis's articles; sarcasm, irreverence and frequently killbots and/or big guns - what's not to like?

    He's seriously misfired with this one though - as others have said:

    1) Asteroid doom: It's not as though Trident would be of use in such a scenario in any event, so our lack of Trident makes no difference to world security at all.

    2) Space exploration: The famous UK manned space exploration program. Ahem. You're starting with nothing, so removing the portion of it dependent on nuclear power doesn't actually make an awful lot of difference.

    3) Deterrence: Who are we deterring again? Could/would we use even Trident without Uncle Sam's approval? Trident's damn expensive for something of questionable use, and usability.

    On the more practical short/medium term civil nuclear power side, yes, not adopting/replacing nuclear stations would be significant; it's the one part of the LibDem's policy I seriously disagree with. Not nearly enough to outweigh NuLab's horrid fixation with nobbling civil liberties, though, and I live in an constituency where the LibDems were less than 1,000 votes behind Broon's mob last time round.

    I agree with Nick, mostly.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Christ you have to wonder.

    I'm quite speechless at the drivel in this 'article'. Isn't it time The Register goes back to what it used to be good at?

    Regardless of any policy that the Lib Dems have, at this point in time it is nigh on impossible for them to form a government even if they get a massive slice of the popular vote. What will (hopefully) happen though is they will form part of a minority government, which will put election reform bang at the top of the agenda.

    And personally I see a minority government as a positive in other ways, no more dodgy laws being passed just because its a three line whip. In a country there 2 of the 3 parties have to agree, it would curtail the more 'extreme' legislation, and how is that ever not a good thing?

  102. Edward Noad

    Where to start?

    Nuclear weapons are no deterrent as anyone who would attack us also appreciates that we are politically unable to deploy WMDs. I also think the link between opposition of nuclear weapons and nuclear power is extremely tenuous. How about we scrap Trident and invest the money in kickstarting development of updated nuclear power stations? Or does that make too much sense?

    This awful piece just convinced me to kick El Reg off my RSS feeds list.

  103. TheAincient

    Utter Bollox

    I'm very disappointed that the editors allowed this piece of drivel on the reg.

  104. thingywhatnot

    I'm not voting Lib Dem

    But I just wanted to say that whoever wrote this has a very low IQ.

  105. Ramshackle


    Wars amongst powerful countries are fought economically these days, global nuclear conflict is bad for everyone's bottom line in the long run, and MAD deterrents don't work against decentralised terrorist cells willing to blow themselves to shit (most of whom seem to be funded and trained by people who care about the bottom line anyway). I think you may want to retire to your basement and sit polishing your guns and muttering quietly to yourself about your chance for glory.

    What you guys got planned for next week? Someone frothing at the mouth because brown people are getting jobs?

  106. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    Vote Tory much Lewis?

    I've noticed a certain blue leaning in El Reg's reporting over the last month or two. Not a problem, per so, but it would be nice if, when straying into the realm of politics, you were to be up-front about your allegiances. Personally, I'd prefer it if the Register remained a news source, rather than a mouthpiece for political ramblings.

    That said, you go to great lengths to suggest that not having Trident would leave us as a massive nuclear target. My question is; to whom? The need for a rapid response strike seems a rather outdated idea. I can't think of any nuclear armed nation that is likely to attack us.

    Trident was a weapon designed to be used against the USSR, and lets face it, if we ever got into a war with USSR (or modern day Russia for that matter), we'd be pretty much screwed anyway, regardless of how much of Siberia we could make radiactive in retaliation.

    With modern world politics, the most likely source of a nuclear attack would be either a 'terrorist' faction that somehow manages to get hold of an ex-cold war warhead, or a country such as North Korea, which has a very limited nuclear capability, and for whom such an attack would be suicidal anyway, as our response, even with cruise missiles, would be catastrophic for them.

    1. Gary F

      Tory bashing

      The article bashed a Tory MP right at the very start, so how can you suggest the author lent towards the Tories?

      Ditching a submarine based nuclear deterrent would be seen as Britain becoming even weaker. Not just on the military side, but Trident is like a status symbol and we wouldn't be taken as seriously when it comes to other international matters like trade deals. We'd just be a little country.

      We'd be even smaller if the LibDems push us into the EU treaty. I'd hate to give what laws and power we have left to unelected politicians in Brussels. Does our history mean nothing to people?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Does our history mean nothing to people?

        You mean the White Man's Burden part, the part where we bankrupted the Empire through meddling in the Continental Civil War or the later part where Mussolini was not Good Enough for an alliance but we promised Poland to save them from the two Mustachioed Crazies with a couple of Spitfires and a few dreadnoughts? All for the glory of [whoever wrote his biography afterwards to great applause].

      2. Naughtyhorse


        the article concerned

        a> wasn't written by lewis

        b> was relating to some chinless dickhead claiming the jesus phone was open source.

        which is kind of a tech story. and a deeply amusing one at that.

        There was also a suggestion that twattering civil service vacancies rather than advertising in the paper would fill the 150 billion hole in the economy. again a tech related faux pas

        Ditching trident would NOT have any such impact in trade deals. You DOLT. I regularly deal with govt organisations from middle east/asian/sub saharan africa and what impresses them about us it how WE made the world! (our proud history)

        Personally i'm quite ashamed of our colonial past, a view not too common in the old colonial countries - go figure!

        What really makes us look dickless is pandering to those viscious sods over the pond.


        who took us in?

        Heath - when did he lead the Lib Dems?... oh you mean he was a tory

        Maastricht - Paddy Ashdown's (or was it Charles Kennedy's) greatest triumph.. hang on that was tories too.

        the evil euro constitution was labour though... oh hang on it crashed and burned.

        The ERM - Wonk lammont's finest hour (with a little help from one D. Macaroon) - at least Soros thought so.

        you 'w**s start at calais' mob really need to pull your heads out of your arses every one in a while to smell the coffee (and perchance a nice croissant)

        I take it you objection to -unelected politicians in Brussels- lies in the Brussels part, say london-centric would be ok... yes thought so.

        Move along, nothing to see here just another whining biggot afraid that the people will choose democracy and take away his train set forever.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just like

        > we wouldn't be taken as seriously when it comes to other international matters like trade deals. We'd just be a little country.

        Just like those laughable and failed trading nations, Germany and Japan.

  107. milosevic999

    Aaah Good!

    At least i can have faith in the El reg reader base!

    Editors please take note: This is not the kind of article you should publish... regardless of whatever political flavour - too much more of this and I'll be looking elsewhere for my IT news. I come to El reg to escape this kind of drivel.. The only redeeming part of this is that it is pretty clear the commentards of El reg largely agree.....


  108. Citizen Kaned


    another tory article. im seriously going off this website.

    yes, a nuclear deterrant is great. but personally i would rather save the cash and have a decent economy, jobs etc. maybe if we stop being such cunts anyway (i.e. stop invading distant lands for oil etc) the rest of the world wouldnt want to blow us up. and just because we cant afford trident now doesnt mean we cant look again in a few years (afaik we have 12 years left with them anyway)

    same goes with space travel. we are in a frikkin global recession. the USA has heavily scaled back NASA. in fact the only people pushing are the chinese, and to be honest let them go for it. whats the point in a mission to mars if the country is broke?

    so then Lewis. when is your conservative backhander coming? have you forgotten about the last time that shower of self serving numpties got into power and sold everything off - its worked really well that didnt it? 17% interest rates on my mortgage - oooh yes please

    @"As for the idea that nuclear power is dangerous in itself - more dangerous than other kinds of power - this is rubbish put about by people who are actually, almost always, trying to get rid of the weapons." - yeah, chernobyl was just as dangerous as when a wind farm goes down isnt it? to be honest you sound like a total prick in this article. and the majority of commentors agree.

    half of me still thinks this is a litmus test to see how many of us are liberals. personally they fit the most to my way of thinking. that and 40 years of previous shite governments

  109. Anonymous Coward

    Ho hum

    Suprisingly, other things matter more to voters, like taxes, schools, healthcare, the economy and things like that topping the list. I guess this is a Reg pisstake with Lewis the unwitting victim of his own one eyed stupidity here

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    -156 rating

    is this a record ?

    1. Matt_V

      It's hit the -200 mark now....

      Says it all really eh!

  111. Anonymous Coward

    The Truth Hurts

    Libtards can't comprehend the truth, it's inherently meaningless to them. And you can expect personal attacks from them, as that's the only way they know how to respond to anything they disagree with. They can't argue with any facts, only attacks.

    1. Ian K

      Bit damp under the bridge?

      And yet many of the people commenting on Lewis's article do make reasoned arguments about his thesis.

      While you post anonymously and seem to be limited to calling people you don't like "Librards".

      Who was it that can't argue with facts and only attacks, again?

    2. David Adams

      read the comments

      "you can expect personal attacks from them, as that's the only way they know how to respond"

      Did you actually bother to read the comments?

      There is a lot of thoughtful, balanced, well reasoned arguments as to why Lewis' article is a steaming pile of turd not worthy of a Murdoch rag.

    3. Naughtyhorse

      bring it on

      I'm writing this slowly, as it's clear you cant read very fast...

      explain it to me in words of 1 sylable or less.

      what am i missing

      what are we all (except i think it's 4 posters so far) missing

      enlighten us.

      or try this....

      open your mind real wide.

      brace yourself.

      there is just a slight glimmering

      of a possiblility

      that there is a chance

      the we all know what our objections are (hence the vast majority of content based, non name calling criticism)

      and the real special needs case here might be.. you got a mirror near at hand, look into it. getting any ideas forming??

      in the words of the great Peter Kaye

      what a knobhead

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bill O'Reilly

      Is that you hiding in there?

  112. Rob Thorley
    Thumb Down


    If I wanted to read a blatantly anti-LibDem piece, I'd buy the Torygraph or the Mirror. I suppose the no-nuke future is slightly tecchie, but where does Apple fit in to this?

    You standards are slipping, el Reg, and I for one don't like it.

  113. LPF


    Oh lewis you seem to have given a wedgie to all the liberal fan boys that read the register lmao

    my god I can almost hear the screams of frustration and angry stamping lol

    The article was pretty spot on, in regards that ICBMs are what have kept the peace for so long,

    becuase unlike cruise misslies or planes they still cannot be intercepted with out a great deal of


    The reason that germany and the low countries have never felt the need to develop them is obvious, they know that they have france, GB and the USA who have made it clear that one strike on anyone of them, and the response will be nuclear!

    I wonder if the posters on here currently crying on their keyboards be so happy to give up

    triident if we alone were the only western power with nukes , while china, russia etc still had


    The reason why you your shouting and stamping your feet about trident is because you

    sitting there feeling safe because America has garanteed that any nuclear strike on europe

    would be treated as a nuclear stirke on them. One wonders what you would say, if they stated

    that Europe was on its own and if attacked they would not defend it!! Would you be willing to

    give up trident then ?

    Your the little boys acting all hard because you know that your big mate will come to your aid

    in a fight, if I was america I would say stuff europe and make us for the first time in 60 years

    pay for our own defence properly.

    1. Ramshackle

      nice one

      You realise you just completely contradicted one of the main arguments in the article for carrying our own deterrent? i.e. That no-one else would defend us if we were attacked. If only all Trident advocates could have supporters like you.

    2. Chris Harden


      "The reason why you your shouting and stamping your feet about trident is because you

      sitting there feeling safe because America has garanteed that any nuclear strike on europe

      would be treated as a nuclear stirke on them."

      As Gene said so well in Layer Cake: "Yeah, but we f*cking do, don't we?"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      WOW, What an utter twat.

  114. This post has been deleted by its author

  115. Stephen Channell
    Black Helicopters

    Land Based deterrent

    The case for a nuclear deterrent is somewhat different from the case for nuclear submarines as the platform for those missiles. The big advantage of submarines is that they can survive a surprise all-out total first strike from an enemy with lots of missiles capable of attacking multiple targets concurrently.. oh and they’re not stationed near anybodies house.

    In the age of missile defence, do we need a second-strike capability for deterrence.. almost certainly not. Could a land-based ICBM (like the boing Minuteman) double up as a satellite launch vehicle (the kind that we’d actually need to throw at an asteroid).. probably, the only question is where to put the missiles.

    Diego Garcia and/or Ascension Island would be ideal places to station the missiles

  116. Joe K

    What the fuck was that shit?

    That is all.

  117. Slackness

    Ohh ya!

    Are you touting this as an interview piece for the the 'Daily Fail' ?

    Almost worthy of a satirical 'eye' article, except you meant it!

  118. Ramshackle


    Hadn't noticed this gem:

    "Nuclear weapons aren't, in fact, as deadly as the ordinary sort."

    Those ad revenues must be pretty fucking sweet for you to be willing to make yourself sound that retarded in public just to get hits. Here's a quick test for you: fire a gun (or hey, throw a machete) into a crowd, then set a nuclear warhead off in the middle of a crowd. Compare death toll. You may notice a difference in the numbers.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Instead compare...

      The destruction wrought by $1bn spent on nuclear weapons to that by $1bn spent on conventional weapons.

      He has a point, although I think (more hope) this article's veiled satire of some kind.

  119. Anton Ivanov

    Missed the point again

    It is not only antiaircraft and antiship tech which is spreading. It is antimissile too.

    The writing is on the wall - unless Trident is updated to a something vastly more expensive which can dodge the anti-missile gauntlet in the final approach phase it will be _AS_ _USELESS_ as cruise missiles or bombs in 10-15 years against a "proper" nuclear arms bearing nation because it will also have a missile defence capable of taking out a "limited" nuclear deterrent.

    So the Liberal democrats are actually right here. There is no money to develop a British equivalent of the Russian Bulava class missile or making the deterrent "unlimited". So there is no point to have something against any sort of "advanced" opponent. In that case the potential target becomes someone like Kim and Co who have a couple of bombs and no missile defence worth of mentioning and have used their warhead only because they feel that no retaliation will be forthcoming. For them a salvo of cruise missiles is as efficient as a salvo of ICBMs while being vastly cheaper.

  120. Cynical Observer

    What a load of Loose Stool Water

    ... as Stephen Fry might say.

    Joshua: Greetings, Professor Falken.

    Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.

    Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

  121. Graham Bartlett

    I don't get it - especially from Lewis

    Lewis is usually so sensible on defence spending. What's gone wrong?

    As Lewis has pointed out on numerous occasions, planning for the last war is a fail. In the world today, we have no Red Menace preparing to roll over the battlefields of Germany, nor squadrons of B-52s ready to rain death on Moscow. Public opinion today is pretty damn clear that wiping out hundreds of thousands of civilians for no better reason than where they happen to be living is not acceptable. And public opinion is also pretty damn clear that fighting wars for no benefit to anyone involved is not acceptable.

    The problem with nukes is that they're called a "deterrent", but really they're not. Even if North Korea or Iran managed to plant a nuke in London, would we nuke the whole of that country and kill everyone? Nope. We'd want retaliation, sure, but launching weapons of mass destruction against the civilian population (which honestly is going to be most of the casualties) simply ain't going to happen on any modern politician's watch. Except GWB, but we all know he was a religious-fundamentalist nutjob.

    And of the people who could nuke us - NK, Iran, various terrorist groups - do we really think that our ability to nuke them back will deter them? Ain't happening.

    Yes, there's China. But anyone who thinks China is going to destroy their economy by launching first needs their head checking. China is utterly dependent on the West buying what they make - if the West stopped buying, the country would collapse financially in a way that'd make Zimbabwe look like the Pastures of Plenty. Even Taiwan isn't worth that.

    So what do we need to finance? Simple(s). The UK military needs the ability to put a competent, well-equipped expeditionary force anywhere in the world, with decent equipment, decent air support and decent logistics (including helicopters), in a short space of time. Increasingly the military role worldwide is going to be Global Policeman, so it's going to be a case of making sure we can do this well in future. Iraq and Afghanistan are making a start on this (with the US learning from the UK's greater experience on peacekeeping), Sierra Leone was an example of it done right, and Bosnia and Kosovo were classic examples of how to monumentally screw it up.

  122. Xris M


    I for for one welcome the day an "aggressor nation" launchs a nuclear strike at Lewis Page.

  123. dr_forrester

    One point...

    As a US citizen, I won't comment on your upcoming elections. They're up to you - just as I expect you'll keep out of our elections later this year.

    But I did want to agree with the author on one point. I have long said that nuclear weapons - both fission and fusion - and intercontinental delivery systems - manned aircraft or missiles - saved more lives than any other 20th century invention with the exception of antibiotics.

    Let's face it. Either Korea or Vietnam would have been more than enough to spark the Cold War hot - in fact MacArthur strongly advocated invading the PRC during Korea. The only reason he was overruled and those wars didn't spread was for fear of Mutually Assured Destruction.

    "A curious game. The only winning move is not to play."

    Again, no mushroom cloud icon, so I'll have to go with the hand grenade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That old chesnut

      You realise that whole "keep out of our elections" thing only counts if your country doesn't invade anyone it disagrees with or treat NATO like an annoying fly buzzing round it's imperialistic tendencies. At this point in history the rest of the world has every right to be concerned with U.S elections, just like many of them had the right to be concerned with who was running Britain when the empire was still rampaging across the globe.

  124. Maurice Shakeshaft

    The invariably serious and well informed Mr Page is having a laugh?


    1. The First Dave


      This article runs completely counter to every other article he has ever written, so what have you done with the real Lewis Page?

  125. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    well thats woken

    the liberal supporters up

    Including me

    Actually, although I support their policies, I cannot vote liberal tommorrow.

    The trident angle is all well and good, we dont really need the subs/missiles/warheads for today's enemies.

    But will we need them for our enemies in 30 years time?

    After all, who would have guessed we'd need a large airforce since Russia and Germany hated each other so much in the 1930's... oops non-agression pact.. err lads can we build 2000 spitfires in 3 months?.

    But as for the "no more nuclear power stations" policy, that is the reason I cannot vote liberal tommorrow

    Because I want to see a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions, plus the UK having a lot less dependence on unreliable gas supplies.

    "Build wind power" seems to be the idea cried out by many, but consider a day like today down here in the south coast of england.... all the fossil fuel stations would be running because there's bugger all wind at the moment.

    Plus the fact you have coal power stations going off line from 2016 as well and without some tricky flue technology and some imported coal we are not going to build any more.

    Still since it takes something like 7-8 years to build a new nuclear power station( thats 4 years for the planning inquiry/appeals/legal cases, 1 year to get the direct action people off the land and 2 years to actually build the damn thing) and we're going to need them starting in 2016, I guess that leaves us looking at more gas power stations that pump out even more CO2 and export more of our money to buy foriegn gas

    Oh and looking at those pleasing windmills that we paid so much money for generating power 75% of the time. and you can bet that time will be between 4.30pm and 8pm(peak load)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: well thats woken

      "After all, who would have guessed we'd need a large airforce since Russia and Germany hated each other so much in the 1930's... oops non-agression pact.. err lads can we build 2000 spitfires in 3 months?."

      Let us not perpetuate the myth that no-one knew what the regime in Germany was doing until 1939. Britain had a long time to prepare itself, and perhaps the only thing really preventing such preparation was the desire not to fight another war, despite all the signs that war was pretty much going to be inevitable.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    This really is turning into another Tory rag

    I usually like Lewis' articles. I just don't think the reg is the place for blatant partisan articles though. Very disappointed.

  127. Anonymous Coward


    Whilst his methods of reporting have an intresting twist to them his actually got some good points. Getting rid of our nuclear arms is the single most stupid idea ever, in an ideal world we wouldnt have any but we do so we have to live with it.

    Take for example the early 1900s, we had serious budget problems with defence, so much so that when the great war broke out we were on land and in the air hopelessly out classed, why was we so far behind? because we didnt think we would need it, so WW1 kicked off we lost millions of lives and eventually through a struggle of unimaginable proportions we "won" i use that term very losely because frankly humanity lost as a whole on that one.

    Anyhow, so that war to end all wars finished and once again, we cut back massively because, hay we dont need it any more and the League of nations will save us all no more wars everyone will live long happy lives, and once again we were wrong, seriously behind in defence we got our arses kicked, Millions appon millions died because we didnt have the ability to stop this war when we had the chance, death on such an unimaginable scale stains the ground around the world simple because we were unable to nip Germany and Japan in the butt when we had the chance to do it, and we did have that chance before you question me. This time humanity didnt just lose, it died, we all did some trully shocking things including developing Nukes and using them, but as much as they are hideous weapons that should never have been developed they did slowly stabilise the world to what we have today.

    You can say now, yeah we dont need them any more, an maybe you are right, maybe they will never be used in anger ever again, and frankly i cant think of a better outcome, but i s*it you not,

    if we pull these weapons as a nation and something does go wrong in the future (which you cant possibly know) we wont be talking tens of millions dead, will be talking hundreds of millions, now all you anti nuke protestors tell me, what would you rather do, because this is a simple choice, spend a lot of money to maintain stability as best as possible to give us a fighting chance of maintaining some form of peace, even if it is just amungst the super powers) or lose that power and risk, no, take a gamble on Death and destruction on a biblical scale

    For those that have a clue on World history and not just what they see on TV, i appologise for bastardising the events before and around the wars, i ment no disrespect in simplifying it that much, but essentially in its basic form that is what happened, im not talking about how it started, simply why it didnt finish as quick as it could have.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      I don't think anyone here is stupid or naive enough to say we don't need weapons for the future defence of the nation, but perhaps we could spend a little more thought on what we need rather than propping up a weapon that doesn't seem to fit any real-world scenario.

      I don't think the liberals are talking about total disarmametn are they? I just thought it was Trident they were going to scrap.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      You might want to explain...

      ....why the UK meddled in the European War in the first place.

      Well, basically, because Lloyd George didn't want to end his career. And because some Lord of the Admiralty called Churchill was basically fapping at the thought of being able to show off his strategic genius (that went so well that he got kicked off the job, IIRC)

      >>Millions appon millions died because we didnt have the ability to stop this war when we had the chance, death on such an unimaginable scale stains the ground around the world simple because we were unable to nip Germany and Japan in the butt

      I call bullshit. Look up "Stresa Front (termination of the same)" and the "Naval Treaty with Japan (termination of the same)" for further information.

    3. /\/\j17

      Sir, Please Understand History Before Quoting It

      So we lost millions of lives in WW1 because our armed forces were hopelessly out classed did we...

      How come the vastly superior Axis forces didn't sweep endlessly westward to the Atlantic coast then? Oh, hold on it was because on both Axis and Allied sides weapons technology was cutting edge and had out paced the development of the tactics to use them, leading to a stalemate where either side could repel the offensive actions of the other.

      You also seem to be a little confused by international politics in the inter war years. Far from Britain and every other country in the world not having the military force and tools to prevent the growth of aggression in Spain, Abyssinia and China it was the will to use them that was lacking. This wasn't due to any weakness in force of belief but the fact that the losses of WW1 were too fresh for many - 11% of the French and 8% of the British population had been killed or injured and just didn't have the stomach to do it all again.

      Nuclear weapons are a pointless cock-extension for national leaders with no practical use. Yes, during the Cold War mutually assured destruction did play a part in prevent the big two kicking-off, though it was only really Kruschev's realisation that Kennedy was a big enough nutjob to actually use his nukes that stopped it during the Cuban missile crisis, when the Russian's dared place missiles 90 miles from the US response to the US missiles in Turkey only a few miles from the USSR border.

      And who exactly could you actually use a nuke on anyway? Say North Korea develop a delivery system that can reach the UK and decide we are a softer target then the US. They attack, we respond. If the wind is blowing west how are China going to react to the passing fallout cloud, if it's blowing east how to Japan react? Neither are likely to attack us but...that could be the last cheap T-shirts/consumer electronics we ever see.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Im Sorry, but you are wrong, our tech advances were hopelessly outmatched in key areas, namely the airforce and army, the reason the germans stopped at the atlantic coast is well known, our navy was quite a match for them, also the crossing is wide enough to make it very easy to attack from the air, you are also getting confused with your history, France was not the first to fall, there is quite a period of time from start (spanish civil war) to france falling, we were unable to counter the air assets the germans had and the ability for those assets to work with Ground troops let them walk over us, we were numerically stronger, we technically had a larger army present, but they had developed it more, progressed further with smaller key units and that alloud them to steal victory

        The size of the army after the First war was dramatically cut back, that is fact, and it wasnt until around 1941 that we had regained the numbers, what was lacking wasnt numbers it was skill, development was reduced in the intervening years which is why we were out classed, im not talking numbers because we had more, but they developed them better, once we got a arses kicked we had the industrial ability to out class them but that didnt come until after Hitlers role of the dice.

        You mix up my point, im not talking about why it started or why people we hoping to stay out of it, im talking about after it started we missed our chance to stop it quicker because we lacked the ability mainly due to the "10 year plan"

        And finally your points on Nukes, again you miss the point, you are right, who would we use them on, well the answer is noone, we dont want to use them, but using your kennedy example of being a crackpot willing to use them, ok tell me that a super power in the future wont do the same, yes its unlikely, yes who would be daft enough, but tell me that there is 100% chance that a large ICBM capable country will never use them, you tell me that an ill say your talking BS.

        The mere chance of that being a simple possibility is enough to what to keep some form of defence.

        As a side line, keeping Nukes on the ground is bad, it paints a big fat target where ever they are, air assets are next to useless, ICBMs are the only thing that is remotely useful and these need to be updated becase tech has advanced to counter them.

        Look, im not advocating Nukes, they should ALL be got rid off, but unless they are ALL got rid of by everyone it is simply not sensable to remove them, you think of this world as in a calm state an it is, but we dont know how long that will last, you dont know that either, and empirers that ran for a lot longer than our civilisation lasted a lot longer than us before they fell apart so seriously its impossible to know whats around the corner and id rather have them an not need them than not have them at all.

  128. Anthony Eeles

    That's a shame.

    I've defended a couple of Lewis's articles because I felt they were factual, accurate and didn't make too much of his personal opinions.

    Sadly, this article does none of those things. It's election week, so we expect a bit of personal opinion, but lets have a bit more evidence behind the comments and opinions please?

    "The unheard Darfur conflict is thought by many to have topped the Hiroshima and Nagasaki strikes, too - and the list goes on. You'll even hear people say that the latest war in Iraq killed more than the "Fat Man" bomb of 1945 did. Nuclear weapons aren't, in fact, as deadly as the ordinary sort."

    How many times would a Wikipedia editor have to put "Citation Needed" in that paragraph?

    Lewis, I usually like your articles, and there was some great and factual stuff in there - but given the readership make-up of El Reg, maybe we could leave the right wing editorialising to the Daily Mail?

  129. Swoop

    Call the cops!

    I want to report a cybercrime - some tabloid hack hacked into El Reg and posted this load of trash under the name of Lewis Page.

    Seriously Lewis, stick to writing about the LHC - at least those articles raise a chuckle.

  130. Chris Miller
    Thumb Up

    The Real Reason for the British Nuclear Deterrent

    Is to protect us from the French:

  131. lipong

    Stick you political views somehere else

    This article should not have been published in this website, I visit "The Register" for semi-impartial views on several aspects of technology and I have read in many occasions articles related to the defence budget and military strategy. Although this article seems to have no relation to those types of articles and it seems more to me an article where the reporter is purely expressing is own personal views. For a start there is no references to back up any of the claims, I expect to see references to the documents that back up the claims. The fault here is not only of the reporter but also of the editors that should have stop the article in the first place.

  132. LPF

    Oh were to start...

    To the poster going on about Anti Ballistic Missile defences,, they are no were near good enough, they may stop one or two , which is the kind of attack you would expect from say Iran but its not going to stop hundreds of incoming war heads plus their associated decoys, os yes ICBM are still very damn effective!

    To the person who whittered on about how they are very expensive, 40 Billion over 20 years on some estimates... the current welfare bill in the UK to kill the associated sc*m in diamond white cider and fags is £100 Billion A YEAR!! so actually trident's replacement is a pidderling amount., we could even print the money, hey it worked for the banks!

    To the poster who said that using a Nuke is politically impossible... HA HA HA HA given a good enough reason ANY WEAPON can be used, The deterence works with nukes because you can ensure that when you enter hell you will take the other guy with you.

    The fact is that you guys waffle on about unilateral disarmament because your hiding behind the US.

    The fact is if france gave up its weapons and the US withdrew its protection, there is not a single one of you that would be calling for us to disarm.

    The Libs are a joke and everyone knows it, hopefully they will eat enough support away from the shower currently in power, to allow a government that wont have the city run rings around them in power.

    13 Years in power 170 billion in debt Jesus Fecking Wept!!

    1. blackworx

      Re: Oh where to start

      I lost count of the false assumptions in your argument, so here's a clue on where to start: The Beginning.

      Come back once you've figured out a thing or two.

  133. Graham Jordan

    Complete bollox

    Stop me if i'm wrong Lewis as you'll know far more about this than me.

    Hosting three of our four subs in the same location mere feet from the surface of the sea would require a non-nuclear weapon to pretty much butt fuck our defence yes? Our always live sub isn't armed to the tooth and therefore would only scratch the surface of an all out war.

    Now if I, a lonely 20something lad who watches to much South Park and not enough porn can figure that out, you don't think anyone who's actually planning an attack doesn't know this themselves?

    We don't need nukes. Simple. Your desire to arm this country to Empire days frightens me.

  134. Alex 14
    Dead Vulture

    This article sounds intentionally inflammatory

    Got lots of page views though, huh? I wonder if there's a point connecting those two statements...

  135. It'sa Mea... Mario

    The MAD deterrent & Flying Cars etc..

    The 'we need Nukes as a deterrent' bullshit spread by can't-think-for-themselves ludiddites is the very reason we still do not have flying cars, personal jet packs, a star trek like space program, renewable green energy source for all, a 21st century that resembles anything it was depicted as in the 20th*, and world peace.

    See, anybody can pull a random flame bait 'opinion' out of their arse. The good thing about opinions I guess is that mine is just as relevant as yours (and probably more accurate ;-) )

    *probably the most 21st century like gadget available so far is the iPad (Oh look, I did it again)

    1. LPF

      @It'sa Mea... Mario

      "The 'we need Nukes as a deterrent' bullshit"

      Yeah , lets see an arab country attack isreal anytime soon! lmao

      1. Magnus_Pym


        ... like firing rockets into Israeli cities from across the border. Like setting off suicide bombs in the market places. Wow, you're right, that nuclear deterrent works perfectly.

  136. Neil Paterson

    In the absence of... intelligent, reasoned response (which this article doesn't merit anyway) due to sheer anger at this drivel appearing on an *IT/Tech* website, can I just say to Lewis: if you want to promote fear, GO AND COWER IN A CORNER, YOU SWIPE.

    Vote for positive reasons!

  137. Anonymous Coward

    While the nuclear experts are reading...

    Iranian reprocessing bad, allegedly can be used for weapons purposes.

    BNFL (and successor) reprocessing good, allegedly cannot be used for weapons purposes.

    Discuss. Preferably, explain. Graduate level physics permissible if required (but the obvious answer, that it's just yet another set of lies from the Western nuclear lobby, will also need to be substantiated).

  138. O
    Thumb Down

    Lewis ought to be writing for another Red Top ....

    Judging by the tenor of many of his articles, this one included, he'd be welcomed with open arms into the The Sun's family.

    Most of what the article contains is utter rubbish.

    Nuclear, whether as a 'deterrent' or for electricity, is a vastly expensive dead end, and the sooner we leave it behind the better. Lewis' scare-mongering sounds like it's being read from the crib-sheet of one of the far(ish) right, old guard Tory think tanks (whose influence is now greatly diminished).

    I won't be voting Lib Dem, and most probably will be voting Tory (they're the only ones likely to aggressively target deficit reduction), but I sincerely hope that a Trident replacement is shelved and that Zac Goldsmith wins Richmond and is a major voice in the Tory Government's environmental and energy policy formation - the man knows his stuff.

  139. Peter 18
    Dead Vulture

    What a steaming pile

    Normally I enjoy Lewis' articles, but this has reached Orlowski-eqsue levels of alarmist trash. Perhaps Lewis is looking for a new job with the Murdoch press, or the Daily Mail.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Didn't you spot the hilarious part yet?

      The Reg is rapidly becoming the I.T. supplement of the Daily Fail, anyway. I'm not sure where the literate and humane writers (or readers, even) should head to, but it's about time we started looking for intelligent life out there.

      <cue Monty Python's "Galaxy Song" or something>

  140. Mark Dowling

    You can have a Navy or Trident. Pick one.

    Which would contribute more to UK Defence Objectives in the next 30 years. More Astutes and Type 45s (among other conventional forces) or 3 Vanguard+ and a stack of Trident IIs. Pretty soon the RN will be 40 flag officers and 3 submarines - based in Scotland which will create England's own Guantanamo Naval Base, and just as unwelcome.

  141. Old Painless
    Thumb Down

    sarcasm double bluff?

    I like this guys musings too - but I just wonder if this article is really a troll and he is laughing his head off (I've lived in Cornwall too long now, my sarcasm detection system has failed) or if he really was sat foaming at the mouth,banging away at his keyboard like any other unhinged neo-con nuke loving mentalist? Just wondered.

  142. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Only logical answer:

    On second thoughts. Vote Scottish National Party. A nuclear free Scotland means that there is somewhere uncontaminated for English refugees to go after the nuclear strike on London.

    Unfortunately you will still be radioactive so we will make you live in a tower block in Glasgow, where they put up with that sort of thing (have to). And it might be crowded in there, depends how many of you make it. If any of your family dies, put them outside, but remember they count as radioactive waste so use the RED wheely bin NOT the black regular-collection one.

  143. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    The correct way to not get bombed, nuked, or otherwise attacked...

    ... is to stop giving people a reason for doing it in the first place.

    I disagree with the LibDem stance on nuclear power stations—the solution to cleaning up the old ones is simple: use subduction zones and let the Earth itself recycle the fuel.

    But I wholeheartedly agree with their stance on not renewing Trident. There is no credible nuclear threat to the UK at present, and if the planet really *wants* a "world police", it would be rather more logical to set up a formal organisation under the auspices of the UN or a similar body.

    Terrorism, on the other hand, has been a part of the UK's background noise for decades—IRA bombings, anyone?—and we *know* terrorists do not speak for their home nations. (The 7/7 attacks on London were perpetrated by *British* citizens; should we nuke ourselves?) Therefore, nukes are not the solution to these threats either: better intelligence is a more suitable response. And it's also a bloody sight cheaper.

    Lewis Page's pro-nuke weapons logic is fundamentally flawed in any case: if someone *does* get the drop on the UK and takes out the south-east—remember, modern nukes are *entire orders of magnitude* more powerful than the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs—mere vengeance will be the *least* of our problems. This is not a country that has a good track record of planning for contingencies.

  144. heyrick Silver badge

    Wait, hang on...

    Unless we're attacked by China or the US or such, who the hell do you think is going to attack the UK? All those submarines and all those missiles are going to be dick-all good if the first nuclear attack on British soil was an ex-Soviet lump commanded by a man in Chelmsford of fanatical religious persuation. Come on, people, hasn't Al Qaeda woken anybody up to the fact that the next wave of conflict is likely to be fighting an IDEOLOGY as opposed to a COUNTRY? Where your enemy could well be your next door neighbour instead of <insert country specific slur here>. What's the purpose of nuclear missiles if you don't really have anyplace to point them?

    Oh, and wow. How many messages in how many hours? Who's the poor sod moderating this lot?

  145. Carrierbag Head
    Dead Vulture

    buried under the carpet?

    Just out of curiousity, did El Reg ever report that Nick Clegg was the only leader that said the Digital Economy Bill was a steaming pile of turd, and would try and get it repealed if he got a say in government (ok, politician's promise, admittedly)?

    Or did El Reg decide to conveniently not report that in their Daily Mailesque love of all things Tory?

    I don't ever recall seeing a story...

  146. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nuking asteroids won't work.

    For a relatively small asteroid say a few kilometres in diameter.

    A nuclear strike would most likely just shatter it; this would mean that we weren’t hit by one large object but hundreds of smaller ones,

    The earth would still receive the same amount of energy just over a wider area.

    This would most likely increase the threat to humanity, not reduce it.

    For a much larger asteroid, insert head between knees and pucker up.

  147. S Larti

    Is this article

    (a) a joke?

    (b) an attempt to get more hits?

    (c) trying to annoy us all to vote Lib Dem just to spite you?

    (d) the crazed ravings of Lewis off his head on scumble?

    Full disclosure: I normally love your stuff Lewis, I even bought your book, but I'll have to differ about Trident. Even if there is a case for nuclear weapons with the economy in a mess we can't afford a deterrent that won't actually deter anyone that might want to attack us.

    1. dogged

      I bet it's C

      I further bet that LibDem commentards are being sent here by their glorious charismatic leader. You know, that little bloke.

  148. The Indomitable Gall

    There's more to it than that, Page.

    " there's nothing to say that the same exaggerated terror of weapons application wouldn't stifle fusion the way it is stifling fission. "

    While the whole weapons-grade fuel thing is worrying, many reasonable people will do a quick risk-cost analysis on potential problems at the power stations, and work out that the potential damage done by purely accidental failure (and the damage already done by previous accidental failure) really is too high to accept even if the risk of failure was lower than it is.

    And before you say it, all the "lessons learned" at Douneray, Windscale/Sellafield, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl are valueless, because the lessons we have allegedly learned are all in the realms of "avoiding the same mistakes", not in the realm of "avoiding making any mistakes". All of these were at root the result of sloppy management, so even if you address the actual physics/mechanics/engineering of the fault, there's still the whole culture of corner cutting that has to be addressed.

    And I know that we don't officially "cut corners" anywhere in UK business, we officially "trim the fat", but that only leads to us hiding the corners we want to cut behind a chunk of fat...

  149. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Down

    Lewis' paranoia in full force today (yesterday)

    Firstly, I don't assume that anyone would particularly want to (i.e. gain from) a nuclear strike against Britain - not a missle-based one, anyway.

    Secondly, if any Western country gets assaulted with airborne nukes, I would expect every nuclear power in the world to obliterate whichever country fired them.

    But if we assume that Britain is top of someone's list for launching an airborne nuclear strike, and if we assume that NATO doesn't exist, and if we assume that the rest of the world will stand idly by while some crackpot dictator launches nukes, then I suppose there is some argument for having nuclear weapons of our own.

    Where's Dr Strangelove when you need him?

  150. Daniel Wilkie
    Thumb Up


    Well I guess I'm one of the only ones who agrees with Lewis here then - that's the joy of a democracy is we all make up our own minds, I doubt anyone who was going to vote Liberals (as I considered myself to be fair) would change their mind based on Lewis's opinion, especially since that's all it is - an opinion.

  151. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But on the other hand

    Labour are setting up the infrastructure for a police state to stamp on your face forever, and the Conservatives would rather just sell us all down the river, so the Liberal Democrats are actually the least worst option.

  152. Secretgeek

    It's probably been said elsewhere but...

    "Consider this: nuclear weapons to date are thought to have killed as many as 340,000 people, in Japan in 1945. That was less than one per cent of the death toll produced by the six years of high-intensity conventional war which had preceded the nukes."

    I suppose the problem really was that most of these 340,000 were killed in the space of a few hours (not incl. flights and development time of course).

    Even if we say the two weapons killed only 200,000 between them in the first 12 hours after detonation (what with blast, firestorms, radiation poisoining etc) it's not rocket science to work out that there's a potential 340,000,000 dead with a 340 nukes thrown around the planet. That's the entire death toll of WW2 in a day or two.

    This is very rough math peeps but not I think too farfetched?

  153. Magnus_Pym

    Trident? It's a bluff

    The main parties never countenance scrapping of Trident because they are both 'in' on the secret: it's all a big bluff.

    Britain and the US pretend to have a nuclear deterrent. Which is both unassailable and costly. Costly so that huge amounts of tax payers money can be redirected into pet projects and slush funds. Unassailable because if they ever had to prove it's existence it wouldn't really matter any more would it?

    After all who in their right mind would hamstring their own armed forces by spending most of the defence budget on a weapon they can never use. Much more sensible to pretend you have one and spend the money on yourselves.

  154. LawAbidingCitizen

    What a fantastic enlightening article!

    The author's logic is undeniable... NOT!

    Has The Register really stooped to such levels?

    This is a pet hate of mine, the use of the adjective "independent" when describing Britain's nuclear deterrent. Could someone please justify exactly why it is "independent" when:

    1. British Trident missiles are leased from the US.

    2. There is a Trident factory in Berkshire that is two-thirds own by Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering (American companies).

    3. The firing and guidance systems are designed and built in the US (and cannot be used without the help and cooperation of the US).

    4. In 2003 Geoff Hoon, the then defence secretary, restructured the UK's defence forces to make them "inter-operate" with the US. It is impossible for the UK to launch a missile without US approval.

    There is nothing "independent" about the British nuclear arsenal. It is nothing more than an extension of America's colossal nuclear arsenal, only it's paid for by the British tax-payer. Also, simply having it makes us a target, and last time I checked we don't have ABMs.

    There are cheaper alternatives that a just as effective (if not more so). We don't need the "latest and greatest", and we can always re-evaluate the situation when we are in a (financial) position to do so. Right now, I personally think it's crazy committing £100 billion (which will end up being much, much more).

    Use logic for once instead of listening to the fear mongering generated by those who have a vested interest in deals worth hundred of billions of pounds (British tax-payer pounds that is).

    I agree with Nick.

  155. Alex C

    Foreign Policy

    As a practising martial artist of over 20 years, I've picked up one or two strategies for winning fights, and more importantly not getting into them in the first place.

    Most important, in my opinion, is not to be a dick.

    We've tried slavishly following American aggressive foreign policy for at least the last decade and when our interests in the Falklands islands were recently tested the Yanks said they didn't have our backs. Whoop -de-do isn't it nice to have allies.

    How about trying a different foreign (and internal) policy of not being a bullying yob and maybe we won't need to have the busiest military we've had since the second world war?

    I understand that generally everyone wants to get rid of nukes but no one can be the first to do so. Why not let it be us - then others will have less of an excuse not to. If we get bombed France gets the ecological devastation, and I can't see them accepting that, no matter what the politics between us.

  156. Anonymous Coward

    Independent (!?) Nuclear Deterrent

    Based on number of recent wars for specious reasons, the country we would most likely be using our deterrent against would be the US. They control the off switch for Trident so I really can't see the point in having it.

    How about just having 30 or so suitcase nuclear weapons located randomly in our overseas embassies (all conveniently located near to the centres of government of the relevant countries and in UK for legal purposes). That way, if we need to take action, there is no flight time to our retaliation and the people who failed to do their jobs get retired with prejudice at the same time.

  157. Chris Hunt

    I agree with Nick

    Ok, I realise Lewis is an ex navy man, and no doubt has lots of mates whose future jobs depend on Trident being renewed, but this tosh really isn't worthy of him.

    We have a limited amount of money to spend, and can choose between spending it on the defence commitments we have right here, right now and for the forseeable future; or we can spend it on a weapon system we'd never use, to deter an enemy who doesn't exist.

    Not a difficult choice, I'd say, but if the case for Trident is so unassailable, why is it being explicitly kept out of the (long overdue) defence review? Maybe truly expert opinion on the subject wouldn't agree with our beloved politicians' views - they don't want to create another Professor Nutt affair.

    There are lots of countries - most of them in fact - who don't have nuclear weapons. I don't see any of them nuked out of existence or threatened with same. They seem to be getting along just fine. Why would Britain be any different?

    If some mad mullah developed a nuclear bomb and decided to hit us with it, they wouldn't send it in a fancy ICBM with a smoke trail leading back to their homeland. They'd put it in the back of a Transit and drive it to the target. The first we'd know about it is when we woke up and found a smoking wasteland where London used to be (some would say that would be an improvement, I couldn't possibly comment). Where are you going to fire your missiles? What price deterrence then?

    It's really hard to deter suicide bombers set on mass murder with the threat of death and mass murder.

    1. copsewood
      Thumb Down

      more probable delivery systems

      "If some mad mullah developed a nuclear bomb and decided to hit us with it, they wouldn't send it in a fancy ICBM with a smoke trail leading back to their homeland. They'd put it in the back of a Transit and drive it to the target."

      More likely a shipping container shuffled through enough container ports to achieve plausible deniability as to origin. Which makes the whole idea of deterrence using expensive survivable submarine ICBM systems a bit like the Maginot Line - a very expensive system designed for the last war, not the current one.

  158. BeefStirFry

    Knife crime...

    "So, young man living in inner city London / Birmingham / Manchester, you know that carrying a knife can get you in serious trouble now?"

    "Yeah, I ain't gonna use, I just got to have as a deterrent, you know, like you guys do with the nukes... you wouldn't ever want to use them would you, but if provoked first you would do innit?"


  159. St Marlowe

    The Register??

    Stick to Technology

    At least there is a pretence that you might have some idea of that about which you pontificate!

    Or does Murdoch have a shareholding?

  160. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Lewis in Space

    "It's a fact, for instance, that without some energy technology more powerful than solar panels and chemical rockets the human race is basically chained to the planet Earth. Even robot probes need nuclear power to travel to the outer solar system: and useful manned flight to next-door Mars probably calls for nuclear power too."

    How many "robot probes" actually use conventional nuclear reactors? Maybe the Soviets put up a reactor or two, but radioisotope generators are not the same thing. Have the Liberal Democrats said that they're against all nuclear stuff? I doubt it: it's a pretty big area. Instead, they've probably just said that they don't get off on conventional fission reactors and nuclear bombs.

    "You might hold out for fusion power as opposed to fission, but that's a big gamble - and there's nothing to say that the same exaggerated terror of weapons application wouldn't stifle fusion the way it is stifling fission."

    As for going into space, you really want some kind of fusion technology for that, and there have been notable steps towards developing it. Have the Liberal Democrats said that they want no part of ITER or HiPER? I doubt it. This is the work of boffins rather than the cream-skimmers and proliferators in the nuclear and defence industries, and I doubt that the Lib Dems have any intention of curtailing boffinry, especially as they're probably the most enthusiastic of the big three about education and science.

    Really, Lewis Page articles used to be so much better than this. Get well soon, Lewis!

  161. Gill Bates
    Thumb Down

    Don't copy & paste straight out of the mail

    this article is low. a nadir I didn't expect the Reg to reach. IT professionals are supposed to look at situations and analyse them methodically, yet all that's written here is a verbatim copy of some hormonal rant from the Daily Mail.

    it's only the reactionaries who bleat on about the Lib Dems wanting to get rid of Trident altogether. what Nick Clegg actually said is that he wants a thorough review before blindly committing the UK to a £100bn bill payable over 30 years for a weapons system we *might not actually need* or *might lose precedence to something more suitable*. he never said he was going to get rid of it outright. as Trident expires in 2027, wouldn't it be a shame if we spent £100bn on new murder toys right now, for the Taliban to come out with a nuke-proof flying saucer alien death ray a month later?

    again on the energy issue, you haven't listened to a word from the Lib Dems. their *priority*, instead of simply committing to build more nuclear power plants, is to ensure homes in the UK are correctly insulated. all the nuclear plants in the world won't keep us warm if all the heat we glean from them disappears through the roof and out the window. once we've done insulating, we might not have to build as many new power plants because we've cut down on waste, thus saving money too, but you'd thought of that, right?

    The main problem all the seething mob have with the Lib Dems is that they appear as if they want to think before starting a course of action.

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