Labour will spend £25bn on a political talisman, a totem pole they all know has little intrinsic worth. But it needs no practical use because it is an icon of self-belief, a symbol of high cultural value in the politics of these islands. Think of Easter Island and the history of its destruction, recounted by Jared Diamond in his book Collapse. The Easter Islanders became so obsessed with their own status symbols, the moai - the mighty stone statues for which their island is famous - that in erecting them they destroyed every tree that made life on the island sustainable, competing clan against clan in statue-building. They starved when there was no wood left to build canoes for fishing.
This is about the defence of Labour, not the country | Guardian daily comment | Guardian Unlimited: Filed in: CND, nuclear_deterrent, Labour, UK, Trident