IN the last two National Security Risk Assessments, successive UK Governments have designated health pandemics as Tier One threats to our national security, requiring the highest level of concern and planning.

We might therefore be forgiven for expecting that these same governments would have pursued policies which ensured that the country had sufficient equipment, staff and infrastructure to adequately respond to events such as the current coronavirus pandemic but this seems to be very far from the reality.

One reason for this seems all too obvious.

The same governments have chosen to pour ever more billions into the Trident nuclear weapons system in a very questionable response to what they designated, at the same time, as a lower, Tier Two, threat, the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.

Successive UK governments have failed to follow the logic of their own assessment of these relative threats. Indeed, while squandering ever more billions on nuclear weapons of mass destruction, they have left the health system chronically underfunded and, currently, struggling to meet the challenge of a pandemic.

We have the right to live in peace and genuine human security. We need to quickly transfer the enormous resources the government plans to spend on the Trident system to expenditure on services which will help to combat the real security threats we face. It is time to scrap Trident and to properly fund our health and social care services.

Philip Gilligan on behalf of Cumbria and Lancashire CND