Economic crisis, but not for Trident nuclear weapons


This video from Scotland says about itself:

Anne Scott (WILPF) says Scrap Trident

Feb 24, 2013

Anne Scott of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) says Scrap Trident not services for abused women!

Scrap Trident Coalition: www.scraptrident.org

About the Coalition

Scotland and the UK have had nuclear weapons for 50 years. And now, while spending on health, education, pensions and disability benefits is being slashed, the government is planning to replace Trident at a cost of £100 Billion.

But the people of Scotland are overwhelmingly opposed to nuclear weapons. We want Scotland and the world to be free of these horrendous weapons of mass destruction.

But we must act now to put an end to it. A broad-based coalition of groups have come together to call for scrapping Trident and funding human needs.

Whether you are for independence or not, this is the time to demonstrate your opposition to wasteful and immoral nuclear weapons. We will take to the streets of Glasgow and take action at Faslane to demand Trident be scrapped and the resources go to fund healthcare, education, pensions, disability benefits and more.

By Kate Hudson in Britain:

The colossal waste that is Trident

Friday 22 March 2013

Austerity is having disastrous consequences, here in Britain and across Europe. Cyprus is only the latest example.

But Chancellor George Osborne is still following the same disastrous policies. This week’s Budget came as no surprise – yet another £2.5 billion in cuts.

He’s digging us even further into an economic hole and ordinary people are paying the price.

The virulence of the government’s economic attacks knows no bounds – Atos, workfare, the bedroom tax, punitive policies against the most vulnerable in society.

Yet at the same time the government spends £3bn a year on nuclear weapons and plans to spend over £100bn on building and maintaining a replacement for Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

Why is it that the government says there is no money for social services and supporting the welfare of the most vulnerable in society when it can find endless money for nuclear weapons, wars and military interventions?

I recall that millions of pounds were suddenly found for missiles to attack Libya two years ago, at the same time as we were told there was no money for people’s actual needs.

Of course the reality is that austerity policies are designed to dismantle the welfare state, bring down wages and fully marketise the economy, destroying all the social and economic gains of ordinary people since the second world war. So from the government point of view the policies are working.

There is an increasing understanding of the government’s real agenda and as a result, opposition is mounting and alternatives are being posed.

Scrapping Trident and opposing its replacement are part of the alternative. With the £100bn saved we could invest in building 30,000 new homes every year, creating 60,000 jobs.

We could quadruple our annual investment in renewable energy.

Or we could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals across Britain and Northern Ireland for the next 40 years.

Among many protests last weekend, the demonstration to save the Whittington Hospital in Islington, a neighbour to the CND office, was one event where the anti-Trident message received an enthusiastic response.

So much could be achieved with these billions. Why would we want to spend it on weapons of mass destruction?

The reality is that we don’t. It may have been a long time coming, but those of us opposed to nukes are no longer the minority.

We speak for the majority – against the immorality of indiscriminate killing, against the criminal waste of national resources and against a monstrous vanity project based on an unworthy sense of Britain’s “status” in the world.

Polls show that ordinary people have turned against Trident and want to see it scrapped. Spending over £100bn on weapons of mass destruction does not strike most people as a good use of taxpayers’ money when you think about the obscenity of the bedroom tax or the Atos onslaught on disabled people.

More trade unions have affiliated to CND, but support now also comes from unexpected quarters.

Senior military figures describe it as useless. Previously pro-nuclear politicians are speaking out.

Former Tory defence secretary Michael Portillo describes it as “completely past its sell-by date.” And recently Des Browne, the Labour ex-defence secretary who pushed Trident replacement through Parliament in 2007, says that Trident is “neither strategically sound nor economically viable.” In all parties, attitudes are changing.

This week we heard that Labour may finally be shifting on nuclear weapons.

Reports indicate that Ed Miliband will call for Trident to be scaled back – maybe fewer submarines and an end to round-the-clock patrols.

To those who follow the issue closely this will not be a huge surprise. During the Labour leadership contest in 2010, when his brother took a gung-ho pro-nuclear stance, Ed Miliband said Trident should be part of a strategic defence review. This, at least, indicated a willingness to rethink a policy made for the cold war.

Of course a reduced nuclear arsenal is not acceptable either, but this is the start of a shift in policy. In the labour and progressive movements we have to press the Labour Party to abandon nuclear weapons altogether.

We know that there are very many in Labour, both in the parliamentary party and the constituencies, who are fierce opponents of these weapons of mass destruction.

Labour is going through its National Policy Forum process, working towards its new manifesto.

Those active in the Labour Party or its affiliated trade unions need to make our voices heard. With the decision on whether or not to replace Trident due in 2016 – postponed from 2012 because of differences between the coalition partners – Trident will again be a general election issue in 2015. Let’s make it clear to all candidates that they won’t get our votes if they back Trident and its replacement.

We are closer to nuclear disarmament than we have ever been. Please help us make it sooner rather than later.

Join us at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston on Easter Monday, April 1, as we say: Time to Scrap Trident – Stop Fooling with Nuclear Weapons.

Kate Hudson is general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. For more information see: www.cnduk.org/nukefools

Support us on Twitter over the weekend #NukeFools

Delegates at the SNP conference have given their backing for the constitution of an independent Scotland to include a ban on nuclear weapons: here.

Former Labour chancellor Denis Healey admitted today his government downplayed Scotland’s oil wealth to ward off rising support for independence: here.

43 thoughts on “Economic crisis, but not for Trident nuclear weapons

  1. Tories rob the sick

    I’ve just lost £200 a month of disability benefits.

    I suffer hypoglycaemia due to diabetes.

    In the past I’ve collapsed due to this condition. Although I still have hypos, now they say I should take preventative measures to stop the collapses.

    I was on the middle rate for personal care on the disability living allowance.

    The government’s austerity plans for sick and vulnerable people are wrong.

    The banks and MPs who contributed to the financial crisis got their tax cut from 50 percent to 45 percent. But sick people who were not responsible are getting their benefits withdrawn.

    James Abram

    Appleybridge, Lancashire

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=30959

    Like

  2. The countdown is on for the “main gate” decision on Trident replacement in 2016.

    But so far as the Ministry of Defence is concerned the decision has already been made. It’s commiting huge expenditure to long-lead orders for replacement submarines. At Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston it’s preparing to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons.

    This is immoral, an enormous waste of money and can only endanger human life in every part of the world.

    Every country that is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty is committed not to obtain nuclear weapons or to take steps towards disarming.

    Another generation of weapons of mass destruction, each warhead many times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is an immoral prospect which must be opposed.

    On Easter Monday – a traditional day of protest for peace – CND is organising an encirclement of AWE Aldermaston, with rallies at every gate.

    It will be putting on coaches from all over the country.

    I’ll be there with thousands of others to show that we want to live in a world free of nuclear weapons, where we invest in housing, health and people and worldwide sanitation and health projects.

    If you possibly can – be there, and show you care.

    Find details of the Easter Monday protest and where coaches will leave from at http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/no-to-trident/item/1566-time-to-scrap-trident-stop-fooling-with-nuclear-weapons

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/131100

    Like

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  5. It’s astonishing that Labour MPs back nukes

    Sunday 07 April 2013

    Two Labour MPs, John Woodstock and Angela Smith, have recently stated publicly their weak arguments for retaining the Trident nuclear armed submarines, ably standing by David Cameron and the Tory Party.

    Can there really be MPs in the Labour Party who support the building of weapons which threaten death and suffering to millions of innocent people?

    Which swallows billions of pounds of public money, desperately needed to help the most vulnerable people, and which gives no defence to people against “terrorist attacks?”

    Nuclear weapons do not protect anybody from “terrorist” attacks and it cannot be said too often that they are not ‘”deterrents” to war and attacks on Britain.

    Raising the spectre of North Korea and Iran, which does not have a nuclear weapon, is scaremongering.

    Few people would have any sympathy for the two regimes but it must be asked who is talking up war in the two regions?

    Which countries in the two regions regularly conduct military exercises, build huge bases for nuclear capable aircraft?

    The Trident system is not British. It is US through and through.

    Could it be that Cameron is kowtowing to the US government and the military industrial complex – Lockheed Martin and all the rest?

    Trident is not a solution to defence and security for British people. Trident is a provocation to proliferation and puts us all in more danger.

    Rae Street

    Littleborough

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/131472

    Like

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