Is caution about weapons that kill a bad quality in a potential leader? Do you have to be heedless about blood and death if you want to run a country?
The questions have to be asked now that British prime minister Theresa May has charged Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn with being unfit to lead a nuclear-armed nation. In her most personal and ugly attack yet, she shrilled, “He’s not prepared to use the nuclear deterrent.”
To which anyone who’s sane must say: Amen.
Why would one want a leader who says they have no compunction about using nuclear weapons? Who boldly claims not a single moment of doubt, no pause for thought, no nightmares about the millions who would die or suffer terribly.
Mr Corbyn is passionate about peace. We know that from his decades in politics and he spelt it out again in his big-ticket foreign policy speech at Chatham House. “I want to see a peaceful world…I’ve worked for it all my life,” he said. If confronted with the need to use nuclear weapons, or even drones, Mr Corbyn has said, he would want to consider the circumstances very carefully.
I think caution about killing is a good quality in a leader, don’t you? It’s a strength, not a weakness.