Ethical one-upmanship

03 April 2014

THIS WEEK’S debate between CND veteran Bruce Kent and former Conservative Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind about the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent had both men scrambling for the moral high ground.Sir Malcolm, 67, quoted the late Sir Michael Quinlan, former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (and chairman of The Tablet Trust), on how the possession of nuclear weapons was compatible with Just War doctrine. Kent, 84, retorted that the Church is wholly opposed to the Trident nuclear weapons system and that the estimated £100 billion spent on it should be used to tackle climate change.Sir Malcolm’s trump card was to recall that while Kent had once been a “humble monsignor”, he himself had been a prince of the Church, playing Cardina

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