2019 Feb 03 - Russian Threats

There have been a lot of ludicrous scare stories in the press about how Brexit will lead to war, pestilence, the deaths of millions, Jimmy Savile coming back to life, all the iPhones being rounded up and other similarly sensationalist nonsense. To be honest I doubt anything could be worse than the current situation where Tony Blair is given air time and political debate is reduced to discussing how everything from healthcare or the price of a train ticket is as a result of Brexit, or sometimes a conspiracy involving Russia.

Well it seems that Vladimir Putin has been inspired by what he's read online and decided to literally plan for a "nuclear option" - and not the sort of nuclear option that Jeremy Corbyn often talks about, involving a strongly worded letter at a poetry workshop in Hampstead. I'm talking the sort of nuclear option where atomic weapons explode in a radioactive blast and the only people who end up surviving are the poor folk who'd already had to spend nearly an hour stuck on the broken down underground train that ultimately saved them. Be prepared for endless rants on post-apocalyptic Question Time about whether rich pensioners should qualify for the nuclear winter fuel allowance.

This week Russia announced that it's suspended its involvement in the IRNF Treaty designed to prevent weapons research, following moves by America to up its game. In all honesty very little has changed because both countries have been secretly developing new weapons for years anyway. To a large extent the US and Russia have been sitting on weapons systems designed in an era when there were 2 Germanies and vodka only came in one flavour: vodka. The admission from both sides that they're keeping their weapons up to date and not reliant upon punch cards is a bit like when the US was condemned by the left for formally recognising that the Israeli capital might actually be the city whin which the government is located and not Tel Aviv

Nuclear weapons are one of these topics where in the real world it comes down to facts vs feelings and anyone who tries to simplify it down to a good vs bad argument is almost certainly incorrect or attention seeking. But then we already know that thanks to nuclear physics, the world is divided into protons, neutrons, electrons and morons.
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