Scrap the Trident Renewal Policy in 2017

The Labour Party conference is approaching!

Your Constituency Labour Party (CLP) can submit a Contemporary Motion for debate at the Labour Party conference. A motion is a way of putting forward a topic which, if chosen by delegates as one of the four for debate at the conference and passed, should become Party policy.

Trident renewal is the most important policy issue which needs to change. Otherwise the Labour Party manifesto 2017 is without equal.

Labour CND will put together suitable wording for a motion but this cannot be done until after 1 August when the National Policy Forum (NPF) report is released. The deadline for submission of Contempory Motions is 14 September. It is therefore essential that your CLP meets to discuss this issue before that date.

We need as many submissions as possible to ensure that we cannot be ignored by the Conference Arrangements Commitee (CAC).

Corbyn: bringing end to conflict and war almost always involves talking to people you profoundly disagree with

In a speech on Friday 26 May 2017, Jeremy Corbyn reiterated his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, paid tribute to the emergency services and Manchester’s mood of unwavering defiance.  ‘The man who unleashed carnage on Manchester,’ he emphasised, ‘was not representative of Muslims.’

The war on terror was not working, Corbyn said. Whoever led the next government must do better.  Labour’s approach means change at home and abroad:

  • Labour would reverse cuts to emergency services and police. The UK cannot be protected on the cheap.
  • Labour would be tough on terror and on the causes of terror. The causes of attacks like Manchester can’t be reduced to foreign policy decisions alone.
  • An informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is indispensable for effective response. Many professionals acknowledge connections between wars the UK has fought and terrorism in Britain. This connection in no way reduces guilt of those who carry out attacks like Manchester.
  • Bringing end to conflict will almost always involve talking to people we profoundly disagree with. But the responsibility of government is never surrender the freedoms we have won. Carrying on as normal is an act of defiance of those who do reject our commitment to democratic freedoms.

Continue reading “Corbyn: bringing end to conflict and war almost always involves talking to people you profoundly disagree with”

For a Labour victory

Labour CND activists are working flat out for the election of a Labour government on 8 June.  We are certain that securing a government led by Jeremy Corbyn is the most urgent task for all those of us campaigning for peace and nuclear disarmament and against unjust wars. Under Corbyn, Labour will no longer be the party of the Iraq War.

Labour’s manifesto commitments include:

  • putting conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy
  • backing effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis
  • working through the UN
  • supporting reform to make UN institutions more effective and responsive
  • ending support for unilateral aggressive wars of intervention
  • a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and
  • the creation of a Minister for Peace and Disarmament.

The manifesto recognises the UK’s ‘responsibility to fulfil our obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’. And it pledges Labour to ‘lead multilateral efforts with international partners and the UN to create a nuclear-free world’.

Labour’s vision stands in sharp contrast to the outgoing Tory government’s boycott of UN negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons in March. Talks reconvene on 15 June, a week after the election.

The manifesto affirms that a Labour government will undertake ‘a complete strategic defence and security review when it comes into office, to assess the emerging threats facing Britain, including hybrid and cyber warfare’. The recent cyber attack on the NHS has demonstrated that Labour is right to focus on the real security threats facing Britain.

It comes as no surprise that the manifesto supports the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system, wrongly referring to it as a ‘deterrent’.

Corbyn has acknowledged an in-coming Labour government’s commitment to Trident. He has also emphasised his commitment to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and support for a global nuclear ban, consistent with his personal opposition to all nuclear weapons and reflected in his vote against replacing Trident on a free vote in the last parliament.

Labour CND remains opposed to all nuclear weapons, including Britain’s. We strongly support Labour’s commitment to a nuclear free world. Equally, we will continue to take every opportunity and use every avenue to campaign against Trident replacement which we believe is an important component part in achieving such a world.

General Election

IT’S NOT TOO LATE, REGISTER NOW TO VOTE

The General Election takes place Thursday 8 June 2017. We hope that all Labour CND subscribers are already registered to vote on Thursday 8 June – and out on the doorstep with their local party.

But if someone you know hasn’t registered to vote yet, it’s not too late. Applications must be in by MONDAY 22 MAY. Registration takes just a couple of minutes, less time than making a cup of tea!

Register online now at gov.uk/register-to-vote/ If you know of anyone who wants to register but is not internet connected, download a form for them at yourvotematters.co.uk and get them to contact the local council.

Students with a different home and term-time addresses can register at both – but only vote in one. If this is you, chose which carefully – it can make a difference.

Postal votes – the deadline for a postal vote’s earlier, Friday 19 May.

CND’s message to parliamentary candidates

The General Election takes place Thursday 8 June 2017. CND UK has called on us all to send a clear message to government by electing more anti-nuclear MPs. CND is asking candidates for their views on three key issues during General Election 2017: Trident replacement, the UN nuclear ban treaty, and the construction of new nuclear power stations. You can see these responses and contact candidates standing in your area via the CND website.

Labour’s peace and disarmament policy misrepresented

And they actually think that nuclear weapons keep the peace?The attacks on Jeremy Corbyn support for nuclear disarmament began on day one of the election campaign.

In the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show (23/04/2017) interview at the start of the general election campaign, Corbyn said that an incoming Labour government would carry out a defence review, including the Trident nuclear weapons system. A couple of days later, the Guardian carried an article claiming this statement meant he was in breach of Labour’s manifesto commitments.

Continue reading “Labour’s peace and disarmament policy misrepresented”

Labour CND fringe at Unite conference

The Labour CND fringe meeting at thelabour-1 Unite Policy Conference was a big success, with a packed room hearing from a number of speakers setting out why Unite should adopt a position opposing Trident replacement and engage in efforts on defence diversification.

The meeting heard from economist Michael Burke, CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Labour Party activist Simeon Elliott and Hilary Wainwright, who has written a book about the Lucas Plan. The clear message from the panel and delegates in attendance was that Unite must take the issue of diversification seriously in order to protect long-term high-skilled manufacturing jobs for the future.

Michael Burke called for the money currently allocated to Trident to be used to springboard a comprehensive industrial policy for the UK. He also spoke about the proposals in the CND? Jobs not Trident report.

Kate Hudson welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to establish a Defence Diversification Agency and called on all trade unions, including Unite, to play a full role.

Hilary Wainwright drew on the lessons from the Lucas Plan which could be applied to the current debate around Trident while Simeon Elliott talked about the policy debate underway in the Labour Party and the need for Unite to support a move away from supporting Trident.

Contemporary Motion for Labour Conference

Labour CND has prepared an anti-Trident motion for Labour Party conference delegates to vote on in September. Labour’s annual conference has avoided a vote on Trident for almost 20 years – previous motions have been ruled out. But with huge opposition to Trident amongst Labour Party members and the present leadership clearly opposed to Trident, Conference 2016 represents a strong opportunity.
A change in Labour Party policy on Trident would be a huge step towards stopping government plans to replace Britain’s nuclear weapons system. It would mean a future Labour government could stop the programme before hundreds of billions are wasted on a militarily useless weapon. It would also be a strong platform to construct a new foreign policy designed for the 21st century.

Although CLPs have not been holding meetings in recent months, meetings to consider matters relating to Conference will be taking place in the coming weeks. The text of the motion is below, if you have any questions please email info@labourcnd.org.uk

Proposed United Nations conference on Nuclear Disarmament affects domestic policy

Conference notes on the 19 August 2016 the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament recommended that the General Assembly convene, in 2017, a conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Conference condemns the United Kingdom boycott of the Open-Ended Working Group and calls on the Government to enter into negotiations in good faith to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world.

Conferences reaffirms its commitment to a world without nuclear weapons.

Conference recognises the strength of arguments against Trident from a financial point of view, and from the perspective of an assessment of the actual contemporary threats to British security, such as terrorism. Conference also accepts the compelling moral argument against the use of nuclear weapons.

Conference believes that defence diversification must be an urgent priority for the next Labour government. The next Labour Government must offer cast-iron guarantees on the security of related skilled employment, which is lacking from the existing ?Successor? programme. The priority must be to secure the employment for individuals and the future of the communities involved.

Conference therefore resolves:
1. That a Labour Government will cancel plans to replace Trident and engage in ongoing UN work towards a global nuclear weapons ban.
2. To instruct the NEC to immediately establish a ‘Shadow Defence Diversification Agency’ with trade union participation and which shall report annually to the Labour Party Conference until a Labour Government has set up a statutory Agency.