A vigil was held at Faslane Naval Base on 15 February in solidarity with the Aldermaston blockaders’ action that day. The vigil was called by Faslane Peace Camp and neighbouring Helensburgh CND. Renfrewshire CND also joined the protest, which marched with banners and flags from the peace camp down to the north gate of the naval base, which is home to all of the UK’s nuclear weapons. A presence was maintained during the shift change at the base.
Being at Faslane during shift change was a chance to witness the wide range of sub-contractors engaged in work at the base. I found this an informative lesson in how government policy encourages public money to be siphoned off as profits to private companies – an illustration of neo-liberalism in action on the west coast of Scotland!
Babcock is named on the official signage, but vans emerged from the base representing a varied assortment of other companies. These included Vipond fire alarms, FB Taylor cable contractors, Richard Henderson building contractors and Price Roofing.
It was interesting to see James Strang Civil Engineering represented, who also have contracts for fencing with the Scottish Prison Service. Readers who are members of the Co-operative Society may be surprised to know that Morris and Spottiswood, the shop fitters, emerged from the base, especially as the Co-operative is one of their other clients.
The vigillers were in contact with Scottish blockaders and already knew about the arrest of Jane Tallents from Helensburgh early that morning, as well as Janet Fenton from the Peace and Justice Centre in Edinburgh.