British Labour party will vote on nuclear weapons

This video from Britain says about itself:

Tony Benn – No to Trident

1 perfect minute of Tony Benn explaining why we don’t need to spend 25-75 billion on replacing Britain’s nuclear deterrent Trident. Recorded at CND meeting September 6 2006.

In 2006 there was talk about 25-75 billion pounds. Today, the estimates are over £100 billion.

By Luke James in Britain:

Labour‘s chance to scrap Trident

Wednesday 23rd September 2015

Members given opportunity to debate party’s stand on destructive weapons

LABOUR members were yesterday given their first chance in over a decade to debate the party’s position on nuclear weapons.

Labour conference, which begins in Brighton on Sunday, looks set to discuss a motion tabled by members opposing the Tory plans to blow £100 on Trident renewal.

The debate was initially blocked by party bosses, but a “contemporary” motion on the issue was accepted yesterday by the party’s conference arrangement committee.

It states “nuclear weapons do nothing for the security of Britain” and calls the cost “wholly unjustified at a time of devastating cuts in public spending.”

If passed it would give Jeremy Corbyn a mandate to lead Labour MPs in opposition to Trident renewal when it comes before Parliament next year.

Labour dropped its objection to nuclear weapons under Neil Kinnock, who argued it contributed to the party’s crushing 1983 general election defeat.

Leaders since then have maintained support for Trident and the party looked set to back the government plan to commission a new fleet of nuclear submarines.

But Mr Corbyn was elected leader earlier this month after campaigning to scrap Trident and use the billions saved to revive British manufacturing. He has also proposed a Defence Diversification Agency to redeploy skilled Trident workers to other industries.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson said next week’s vote was an “enormous and urgent opportunity” for Labour members after previous attempts to call conference votes over Trident were ruled out of order.

She told the Star: “We urge the fullest possible support for the motion in the priorities ballot and on the floor of conference.

“Parliament will decide on whether or not to replace Trident next year. It is vital that Labour stands against these weapons of mass destruction.”

The motion is likely to be supported by a majority of ordinary members at the conference, but will face opposition from within the shadow cabinet.

Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn stated his opposition to unilateral disarmament at the weekend.

Unions are split on the issue.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis backed Mr Corbyn over disarmament at TUC Congress last week, saying spending billions on weapons could not be justified at a time of spending cuts.

Unite also represents Trident workers, although it has supported a defence diversification programme since 2010.

Whether the motion is debated depends on whether it is selected by members in a priority ballot of contemporary motions to be held on Sunday.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

The deadliest vanity project

Wednesday 23rd September 2015

FOLLOWING this week’s failure by the Liberal Democrats to adopt an unambiguous anti-Trident policy, Labour will get the chance next week to start changing the political weather — by abandoning its unthinking addiction to the so-called nuclear deterrent.

The party’s association with these terrible weapons goes back more than half a century. It was of course the Clement Attlee government that began secretly developing them.

Even then the decision was all about the supposed prestige associated with such an indiscriminately destructive arsenal, rather than any assessment of how useful it was.

“We’ve got to have this thing over here, whatever it costs … we’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack on top of it,” Ernest Bevin said back in 1946, stung after apparently being patronised by his US counterpart.

Similarly, Tony Blair in his autobiography admitted that the military utility of this hugely expensive commitment — renewing Trident is estimated to carry a £100 billion price tag — was “non-existent,” but he opted to keep it because he worried about “the downgrading of our status as a nation.”

But would Britain be less respected abroad if we opted to decommission our nukes?

South Africa’s decision to become a nuclear weapons-free zone following the overthrow of apartheid resulted in a wave of international goodwill and an appreciation of the maturity and commitment to peace of the revolutionary government.

Britain’s “independent nuclear deterrent” does not deter anyone.

The death cults of Wahhabi Islamist terrorism positively celebrate suicidal attacks and have never been put off their murderous designs because the people they were fighting, whether the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the 1980s or the United States and Britain in Iraq in the 2000s, had nuclear stockpiles.

Indeed, the possession of nuclear weapons if anything makes a country more likely to come under nuclear attack — at key points in the cold war the world teetered on the brink of nuclear destruction.

It was always because people panicking at the prospect of being attacked themselves came close to a pre-emptive response. At one point during the Cuban missile crisis, only the heroic actions of Soviet naval officer Vasili Arkhipov prevented a misinterpretation of US depth-charges leading to a global war.

And anyone following international diplomacy will be well aware that non-nuclear powers such as Germany and Japan are not less powerful for it. Economic clout counts for rather more than any display of lethal weapons.

No government could ever contemplate using such weapons — or so we should hope.

Each Trident submarine carries up to 96 warheads. Each warhead is eight times more powerful than the bomb that killed almost 150,000 people in Hiroshima in 1945.

And our arsenal is not actually even independent, relying on US delivery systems and maintenance. Our missiles are drawn from a joint pool at the US strategic weapons facility in King’s Bay, Georgia.

We live in a country where, courtesy of the Tories, a million people rely on food handouts to survive. Where a quarter of our children are projected to be living in poverty by 2020.

A Labour government will have work to do if it is to reverse the vicious attack on living standards launched by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats from 2010 and if we are to invest in a real economic recovery for everyone.

In that context, why spend tens of billions on a useless weapon even Britain’s military doesn’t really want?

Labour will have an opportunity next week to talk it over. It should do so calmly and rationally, without tub-thumping hyperbole full of bogus “national security” concerns, and in the confident knowledge that many millions of voters would be more than happy to see Trident scrapped.

A DEEP DIVE INTO NEVADA’S NUCLEAR PAST “From 1951, over four decades, the U.S. government carried out almost a thousand nuclear tests at this test site, earning it the nickname of the ‘most bombed place on Earth.’ Here, they took the crude nuclear weapons that had been dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and honed their destructive power.” [The Guardian]

4 thoughts on “British Labour party will vote on nuclear weapons

  1. Pingback: British Labour party will vote on nuclear weapons | Dear Kitty. Some blog | sdbast

  2. Pingback: $108 billion United States taxpayers’ money for more nuclear weapons | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: British anti-nuclear weapons movement’s 60th birthday | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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