Helensburgh Advertiser online

News site Vice launches attack on Helensburgh as town full of 'submarine worshippers'

HELENSBURGH has been branded a town full of "submarine worshippers" in a national news article Do These Picturesque Scottish Communities Rely on Nukes to Survive?

The discusses the weight of the town's reliance on the naval base and the political battle by UK Labour to fight against the renewal of Trident.

However, one reader, who shared the story with the Advertiser called the article an "absurd, personal attack on Helensburgh's citizens".

The online article, written by Liam Turbett, states: "In the west coast town of Helensburgh, which while 25 miles from Glasgow is not exactly remote, its inhabitants worship submarines.

"That seems to be the only logical explanation for why they've recently been knocking down a church wall so that they can stick an actual submarine inside.

"And who wouldn't worship a shiny underwater prophet that brings jobs, security and economic wellbeing to all those who cross its path?"

The comments are in reference to the new Scottish Submarine Museum and its star attraction of a Midget Submarine.

Vice - a print magazine and website focused on arts, culture, and news topics - goes on to explain that the town is home to Trident, Britain's nuclear deterrent and its proximity to the "sinister site of Coulport".

It reads: "This quiet area of coastline the number one target for any superpower, rogue state or terrorist cabal intent on wiping out the UK's military capacity."

Hinged on the fact Trident is pending a £100 billion replacement in a few years, the article asks: "would the area be able to survive without them?"

The article, which praises the "confidence" of Helensburgh, references highlights such as Waitrose and Lomond School in a town of 15, 000. It added: "Given the area has done this well out of weapons of mass destruction, it follows that local politicians effectively worship at death's altar."

As the Advertiser has previously reported, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is against its renewal, however Helensburgh and Lomond's MSP Jackie Baillie defied the party's anti-Trident position in a Holyrood vote last year.

Ms Baillie told the Advertiser at the time: "I argued strongly in support of the base and the thousands of jobs it provides for local people, as I have always done, and I will not be changing my position."

Vice claims Labour faces "an uphill struggle" at the upcoming Holyrood elections, particularly against SNP rival Gail Robertson.

When asked by Vice about the impact of the potential loss of Trident, Ms Robertson was quoted as saying: "To suggest the removal of Trident would have negative consequences for the local economy would be to say that all of the employment at the base is directly related to Trident, which is far from being the case.

"In fact the cost of renewing Trident comes at the expense of spending on conventional defence and conventional manufacturing jobs. Investment in more conventional defence based at Faslane would be far more beneficial to the local economy."

Despite TUC and STUC being against the renewal, local trade union GMB, which represents workers takes a different view.

Jim Moohan, senior organiser with the GMB, told Vice: "It's been there for over 50 years and thousands upon thousands of jobs are at the site. Taking away the main source of income in the area would leave the place desolate. The contractors have no intention of diversification to other types of job."

The article concludes by citing that renewal may be likely due to the Tory majority at Westminster, before saying: "In Helensburgh and surrounding towns, a community will continue to flourish thanks to the weapons that could destroy us all."

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