From London weekly Socialist Worker:
£76 billion: the real cost of Brown’s new nukes
Revealed – the price of replacing Trident. Think what we could achieve for all that.
The cost of replacing the British nuclear weapon system has been estimated at £76 billion – three times the figure given in earlier estimates.
Gordon Brown expressed his determination to replace Trident in a speech made in the heart of London’s financial district in June.
The speech was an attempt by the “iron chancellor” to show that he will be just as steely as Tony Blair in his backing for the British war machine.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament believes that a decision may already have been taken – just as it was when Margaret Thatcher introduced the system in 1980.
In the past, the cost of replacement had been estimated at £25 billion or less.
The new figure includes the cost of acquiring the new missiles and replacing nuclear submarines, and running and maintaining the new system over its 30-year lifespan.
For £76 billion we could buy all of the following:
* Employ 50,000 more firefighters for five years
* Save seven million acres of rainforest
* Employ 120,000 nurses and build 30 new hospitals
* Hire 60,000 more teachers for the next five years
* Save the lives of 1.5 million children in the Third World
* Scrap student top-up fees for five years
From October 2006, there will be a year long blockade at Faslane in Scotland, Britain’s nuclear weapons base.
Join the Stop the War protest on 6 & 7 November.
For more information go to www.stopwar.org.uk.
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Charles Clarke and Trident: here.
Labour politicians on nuclear weapons, then and now: here.
Nuclear weapons, North Korea, the USA; by Helen Caldicott: here.
AAPSO on North Korean Nuclear Explosion
Korean nuclear crisis is a long standing episode stretching to over several years. Despite number of multilateral and bilateral talks between all the concerned countries in the region along with the U.S. and Russia, talks ended in a failure ultimately leading the North Korean desperation to testing the first nuclear explosion under ground on 9th October 2006.
AAPSO from its inception is opposed to any weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons: along with other friendly international regional and National Organizations. AAPSO consistently campaigned for disarmament and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and putting an end to nuclear proliferation.
AAPSO is consistent in upholding multipolarity and enhancing the position of the United Nations Organization in building world peace and stability. Nuclear non-proliferation Treaty was an effort of the civil society. Unfortunately owing to the obstacles of big powers specially the US., NPT had its own loopholes. The big powers wanted to retain the Nuclear weapons as the ³Sacred cow² in using it as a threat to other countries for submission. This is exactly what happened in the case of North Korean which was threatened many a time by the US. for pre-emptive strike and regime change.
While stationing over 30,000 us troops in South Korea and an equal number in Japan, with military bases, and unending sanction against North Korea, the North Korean regime considered the only way out is to posses nuclear weapon as a guarantee for the existence. This argument in any way does not justify the nuclear test of North Korea. Therefore AAPSO consider it to be the wrong option used by North Korea and disapprove the nuclear test.
North Korea is a member of the United Nations, a sovereign state recognised by many countries. Yet the U.S. has not recognised the North Korean regime and not even signed a peace treaty after ending the Korean war in 1953. Normalisation of relation among countries is an important factor. The sunshine policy of South Korea has brought better relations between the two Koreas. The former South Korean President Kim Jae Jung visited North Korea and signed a historic document in 2000. With South Korean assistance, an industrial zone was established in the border city of Kaesong in North Korea. These are positive developments. Hence the U.S. need to recognise the North Korean regime and normalise the situation which will eventually lead to complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula .
North Korea has agreed to return to the six-party talk. This is a positive sign. AAPSO appeals to North Korea and other concerned countries to sit together and work for a peaceful solution including elimination of nuclear weapons and foreign bases from the Korean peninsula.
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