A Very British Coup – Nuclear Disarmament

Some good news this week:

More than 120 countries approved the first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons Friday at a U.N. meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations. To loud applause, Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the U.N. conference that has been negotiating the legally binding treaty, announced the results of the “historic” vote — 122 nations in favor, the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining.”We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons,” Whyte Gomez said. “We (are) … saying to our children that, yes, it is possible to inherit a world free from nuclear weapons.”

If Jeremy Corbyn becomes the UK prime minister (and there’s every chance of that happening) then the dynamics of this UN treaty will completely change, because of course Corbyn has been a life-long advocate against nuclear weapons (although, rather bizarrely, Corbyn seems to remain a supporter of nuclear power stations). I am reminded of an excellent BBC tv drama called A Very British Coup, first broadcast in 1988. Here’s the relevant clip from it (7 minutes long)…

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(Editing in: YouTube have informed me about the above clip: “Due to a copyright claim, your YouTube video has been blocked in some countries. This means that your video is still up on YouTube, but people in some countries (UK and Ireland) may not be able to watch it”.

(My reply to you, dear reader, is if you’re unable to see the above clip it should be viewable here).

The first part of the above clip highlights something that I often bang on about; ie, the primary purpose of nuclear power stations is to provide fuel for nuclear weapons (because nuclear warheads need fresh fuel every five to ten years). When it comes to providing verifiable links for this, people like me are handicapped, because it’s all heavily covered by the Official Secrets Act and various other laws: by documenting such information people like me could well end up serving time. That’s the completely mad society we now live in.

The book of the same name that the tv drama A Very British Coup is based upon was written in 1981, at a time when Tony Benn looked likely to become deputy leader of a Labour Party which was led by Michael Foot (he of donkey jacket fame), which at the time was strongly challenging the government of Margaret Thatcher in the opinion polls. This tv drama echoes the attempts by the Establishment and security services to undermine and destroy the socialist Labour Party. You would never see anything like A Very British Coup on tv today, which is a strong indication of just how right wing and closed-down Britain has become (likewise with satirical programmes like Spitting Image).

Incidentally, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser in the A Very British Coup clip is played by a great old character actor called Oscar Quitak. He also played the same role in a Yes, Prime Minister episode two years earlier.

A Very British Coup is now obviously very dated, yet it’s worth watching because if Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister we’ll get an almost exact re-run of the plot line. Surprisingly, the programme can still be found on YouTube, and if interested you can find it here (although probably not if you live in the UK and Ireland, because we ain’t like China, are we)…

A Very British Coup episode 1

A Very British Coup episode 2

A Very British Coup episode 3

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