On Monday the Tory Government, backed by 140 Labour MPs – and not forgetting the 40 who did not turn up to vote – decided to commit at least £205 billion of public money to a new generation of nuclear weapons.

There’s no money for the vulnerable – let them rely on foodbanks. There’s no money for the NHS – privatising services is the Tory future. And there’s no money for our pensioners – let them work longer. But when it comes to finding money for weapons of mass destruction, then it’s time to wheel out the cheque book. The same Tory (and Labour) MPs who have consistently told us that austerity is necessary and that we have to live within our means didn’t bat an eyelid at the extortionate costs for renewing the UK’s nuclear arsenal.

In the past few years we’ve seen drastic cuts to public services, we’ve seen the most vulnerable having their benefits slashed and we’ve seen those planning retirement being told to go back to work. Yet there is never a financial barrier when it comes to the monstrosities sitting in Faslane. Angus Robertson was quite right in continually asking the Government exactly how much the total cost of renewing Trident would be – to which the answer was, “we don’t know, but it doesn’t matter”.

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The UK Government will pay whatever it takes to preserve Westminster’s self-indulgent image of importance. They seriously believe that having these weapons provides them with some sort of international kudos, as if we are still some sort of colonial empire, strutting the world stage. Well, if it hadn’t happened before, the UK’s standing plummeted not only with the Brexit vote but with the appointment of Boris as the Foreign Secretary.

It was good to see US journalists at a recent press event reminding him of his past quotes. This man will not be taken seriously, nor will any government which relies on him to be their representative to the rest of the world.

The idea that possessing nuclear weapons bestows some sort of privileged status on the UK is well past its sell by date. This is a country that supports the rich but penalises the poor; one that turns a blind eye to tax evasion but hammers those who rely on benefits to get by. The UK doesn’t fare well in comparison with other countries when it comes to a whole range of issues from pension payments, retirement age, social security etc – the list grows almost daily as austerity bites into the public purse whilst private companies line up to feed off the remnants of our public services.

The concern about keeping nuclear weapons isn’t just about the massive funding required. There’s a strategic issue as well – it simply doesn’t do anything to combat the problems that the country faces.

The National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review said that there is “no direct threat to the UK or its vital interests from states developing weapons of mass destruction”. This review listed international terrorism, cyber attacks, public health scares and natural hazards among the many greater threats than nuclear war.

The other argument, that we don’t know what will happen in 30 or 40 years’ time, doesn’t wash either because if we continue to prioritise nuclear weapons over public health then it’s more likely that we’ll have no NHS left to protect the public from any pandemic. You also have to question why the other 180-plus countries do not feel the need to have this deterrent?

As for the argument that these weapons provide valuable jobs, especially in Scotland – that has been proven false time after time. Official figures from the Ministry of Defence highlight that only around 520 jobs are directly connected to Trident. The SNP plan to keep Faslane as a conventional naval base, so most of the other jobs would still be maintained within the local area.

The defence review mentioned earlier highlighted that one of our prime threats is climate change – imagine what we could achieve if only a fraction of the money earmarked for Trident was diverted to boost our renewable energy industry?

When questioned, the new Prime Minister showed her compassion by stating clearly, without skipping a heartbeat, that she would press the button to launch a nuclear attack that would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. It looks like Thatcher has been resurrected within the Tory Party.

Make no mistake, these weapons are built to kill on a global scale. One Trident submarine has the power to kill 5.4 million people and it would do so indiscriminately. The impact would be on an even greater scale than Hiroshima. Innocent civilians will suffer most if anyone is mad enough to launch these weapons.

To have a Prime Minister who can so easily decide to press the button is terrifying. You only have to look at Chilcot to see how out of control Tony Blair was when he launched his illegal war – can we really trust people like that with the control over such weapons of mass destruction?

I would urge people to take a look at Chris Law’s speech in the Trident debate to understand exactly what a nuclear attack would be like. He was the only person who explained exactly what the human reality and experience of the physical and emotional horrors involved when a person falls victim to a nuclear attack, and the fact that our Prime Minister would not hesitate to inflict this level of pain on innocent people is truly terrifying.

The vast majority of Tory and Labour MPs who voted for Trident seem to think that the SNP are simply against nuclear weapons for some sort of romanticised reason. However, the reality is that Trident serves no useful purpose. Having the ability to wipe thousands of lives off the face of the planet because your death is imminent in a nuclear strike doesn’t appeal to most sane people.

The cost of keeping this nuclear arsenal is starving our public services; it’s time to think again, prioritise people’s welfare rather than the potential destruction of the human race.

The fact of the matter is that the debate on Monday was not only about the ego of the British establishment, but it was also completely politically motivated.

The debate was useful for the Tories as it helped to bring them back together after the Brexit fiasco while causing ever-deepening division within Labour. The way in which most Labour MPs were speaking to or about their leader was not just disgraceful, it was outright bullying.

I can’t imagine how appalled the membership must feel when they see their representatives behaving in such a manner.

When it comes to spending an absolutely eye-watering amount of money – and still not knowing exactly how eye-watering– with the prospect of causing or participating in the deaths of millions of people in nuclear annihilation, I despair for those that think political posturing and ego are more important.