The new class of Trident nuclear submarines planned by the UK government for the Clyde are to be called Dreadnought. Is that a sensible name?

Is it wise to 'fear nothing'? Surely there are some things we should all be afraid of – like making hugely costly mistakes.

A nuclear war, for example, would kill millions, and is likely to be seen by survivors – assuming there are some - as unforgivable mass murder. A nuclear accident would be regarded as a terrible, and brutal, blunder.

Loading article content

Wasting a vast sum of money on four new nuclear submarines – up to £41 billion according to the Ministry of Defence - could also be an expensive error.

At a time when our hospitals, schools and other vital public services are crying out for cash, why is the UK government ready to spend so much on something so barbaric, so dangerous and so unwanted?

Even the military’s own are getting restless, with a series of high-ranking figures last week giving voice to their fears that the country’s conventional navy, army and air force are chronically under-resourced.

As we report this week, the Dreadnought programme is also in trouble. Experts commissioned by the MoD say it is short-staffed, cash-starved and heading for a “perfect storm”.

This all raises a key question: why are we bothering to replace Trident? We are no longer a great power in the world, and it deters no enemy. It’s a vanity project, and it’s time we ended it.