After reading John Green's excellent feature on the arms race (M Star January 17) I watched the House of Commons debate on the nuclear deterrent, where it was mentioned that Britain has the fourth largest defence budget in the world.
For this vital debate, the first in years and virtually ignored by the media, I counted only about two-dozen MPs.
Called by Tory Julian Lewis and veteran peace campaigner and Newport MP Paul Flynn, Paul's phrase about being "locked in to the permafrost of the cold war" certainly applied to both front benches.
Well argued contribution were made by Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Mike Gapes, Pete Wishart of the SNP and Green MP Caroline Lucas, who described Trident as "political vanity" and "totally useless."
What a contrast with the threadbare performance of Labour defence spokesman Kevan Jones, who was hardly distinguishable from Tory frontbencher Philip Dunne.
He boasted that Labour's "evidence-based approach" showed how "important it is that the UK retains an independent nuclear deterrent."
Gerald Kaufman added to the disgrace by describing his former leader Michael Foot as "charming but useless," adding fatalistically: "We are all prisoners of history," as though nothing could be done.
It was noticeable that neither front benches queried the figures of North Devon MP Nick Harvey that Trident would cost an eye-watering £100 billion - which Corbyn contrasted with unemployment and cuts in welfare - all for a hideous, immoral weapon which could destroy 345 Hiroshimas.
Despite poor attendance this debate succeeded in distinguishing those MPs standing for peace, justice and a nuclear-free future from the imperialist cold warriors who still control Britains defence and foreign policy.
I hope it is the first of many and well done Paul Flynn for bringing it about. Henry Richard would be proud of you!