Could you do it? Push the button?
The button that launches Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent across the world to exterminate in a few minutes more people than died during the whole of World War Two?
What if it’s a mistake? Flock of starlings tricking a radar. Tiny flaw in a tiny bit of programming buried way down in whatever ‘app’ we use to manage such matters?
You’re about to turn millions of humans, just like you and your family in every single regard, into shadows on the wall. Are you sure? Are you absolutely sure? Yes?
Congratulations. You are fit to be the Prime Minister of Britain. Oh, and you’re also a psychopath.
Jeremy Corbyn’s admission last week that he would not – could not – ‘push the button’ has been seized upon with glee across the political spectrum – including his own party – but particularly in the right-wing press as effectively ruling him out of ever becoming PM.
Clearly the fact no such button exists – and nor for that matter does a wholly independent UK deterrent (unlike other nuclear powers our arsenal is both manufactured – Lockheed Martin – and maintained – the US Navy at Kings Bay, Georgia – by a foreign state) – is neither here nor there.
Corbyn would not push that non-existent button, end of story. An intoxicating fiction swallowed in steaming great dollops mostly by idiot patriots, who believe that even if not technically independent, the potential to create exploding suns in the skies over towns and cities remains operationally at our whim.
One word. Suez. And what fool would argue that UK foreign policy has become any less enmeshed in the myriad tentacles of our ‘special relationship’ with the world’s self-appointed policeman in the years since elapsed?
So the question is, would you be prepared to push that non-existent button when the call came through from the Pentagon telling you it was time to push the button? Would you even be offered the choice?
Corbyn probably not. Only last month we observed the bizarrely under-reported – and all the more disturbing for that – spectacle of a serving British Army General on page one of The Times suggesting that a military coup was a distinct possibility in the event of a Corbyn premiership.
So don’t worry, you headcases. Your button will get pressed, by someone. It’s just not likely to be someone you elected.