Veteran leader aims nuclear fire

After Feisty Tory leader David Cameron's performance in the Queens Speech last week, Mr Punch appeared somewhat punch drunk in PrimeMinister's Question Time today. Mr Punch, who has been hammering Blair in PMQ's appeared to sober up today and offered a rest bite to Tony Blair as the Tory leaderwent on the current situation in Afghanistan and how the UN would contribute to peace keeping in the region. He offered Blair solidarity and praised the work done by British troops. But the hero of the day was veteran Liberal Democrat Sir Menzies Campbell who has been firing arrows in all the right places of late. Sir Menzies tackled the issue of the Nuclear deterrent Trident and asked the PM if the White Paper on the subject would be published before Christmas. Blair's answer: 'Yes.' So far so good, but Sir Menzies next question was whether there would be a vote on all the options on the issue being brought to the table.  Blair's controversial policy on the issue is to replace the current Trident, but the prime minister  managed to fudge the issue and said there would be a full debate but not a vote. Backbench MPs, both the large number of likely Labour rebels and toadying loyalists, have been puzzled by the soundbites coming from the Cabinet and No 10. Sir Menzies has been firing arrows left right and centre as the veteran Lib Dem leader rides through the corridors of the Commons like a young Robin Hood ready to strike down the Sheriff at every possible moment. His querying of   the costly need to replace Trident has hit a bullseye with Labour  backbenchers, including heavyweight former Cabinet minister Charles Clarke,  who instinctively oppose nuclear weapons.