Co-Founder of Declassified UK Mark Curtis takes a look at how the Mininstry of Defence is planning to spend hundreds of billions on expensive military projects while our under-funded health service struggles to address the coronavirus.
Successive National Security Risk Assessments commissioned by the UK government have identified pandemics one of the top threats to Britain’s safety. Then why wasn’t the government prepared for Covid 19? And why are we spending £205 billion on replacing Trident when the NHS is struggling to survive? Read CND’s blogg and let your MP know just what you think government priorities should be.
Labour’s 2019 manifesto promised that ‘international peace and security will be a primary objective of a Labour government’s foreign policy’. Under Jeremy Corbyn a new post of Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament was established, with a brief to pursue these issues across policy areas.
Labour CND urges our supporters to help ensure this post is retained by the new leader. Please contact all candidates for leader and deputy leader and ask them to pledge support for this post, and write to your local Labour MP if you have one to let them know that this is important to you.
Here’s how to contact them: LabCND contact leadership candidates.docx
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.
The Labour CND fringe meeting at the 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.
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 email@example.com
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.
On Monday 11 July Labour CND will host a fringe meeting at the Unite Policy Conference on “Trident and Jobs: Truth and Myths”.
The fringe comes ahead of an anticipated debate on Trident at the Policy Conference and a vote in Parliament, which is expected before the end of the year.
Thanks to everyone who responded to Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry’s invitation to participate in Labour’s Defence Policy Review. Her report will be presented to the International Policy Commission which reports to the National Policy Review. The NPF will meet on 2nd July, after which it will prepare a report for Labour Party conference in September.
Labour’s review of defence policy is not over. It has now entered another stage, and the next deadline is Wednesday 8 June. Please participate, by responding to the International Policy Commission’s consultation. We explain how to do so below. You don’t have to be a member – anyone can express their views.
CONTACT THE IPC via the yourbritain website at http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/agenda-2020/commissions/international or search on ‘IPC consultation’. The page which comes up invites you to share your views, and allows you to download the consultation document, Britain’s defence and security priorities. Anyone can read anything on the site.
TELL THE IPC YOUR VIEWS Anyone can participate, Labour Party member or not. You can put forward your own views by making a submission. You can also read, comment and vote on the views of others.
To do so, you must first log in. If you’re a member of the Labour Party and registered for Membersnet, just click log in in the top right corner and give your Membersnet username and password. (Depending on the browser you use, you may need to log in after each comment or vote you make.)
If you’re not a Labour Party member, or not registered for Membersnet, you will have register by clicking register. You’ll then be asked to give your name, postcode, and email address, and to choose a username and password. The information you give is not shared with others.
You can now express your views by clicking make a submission. You?ll be asked to give a title and a summary of not more than 600 words. You can also choose whether to give your full name or a shortened version – eg Josephine Smith or Jo S. You can attach a longer document if you wish, putting your views at length -?but if so, it helps to make a summary as not everyone browsing the site will take the time to download and read the long version.
What you say will be posted for others to see, and to comment and vote on. You can also respond to other people?s comments on your submission. Here’s an example taken from the website:
Renewal of Trident does not increase our security
Posted on 19-05-16 by Annie Tunnicliffe
Number of votes: 1 | Number of comments: 2
Top threats to our national security are Terrorism, cyberwarfare, global epidemics, natural disasters, instability in Middle East and chemical/biological WMDs. Trident has no relevance to any of these. Also advances in cyber technology underwater mean that by the time Trident is renewed, tracking the “secret” submarines will be on stream??
Comment posted on 21-05-16 by Simeon Elliott
Thank you for your submission Annie. I agree with all the points that you have made, and like George I shall be supporting your views in the International Policy Commission. Sim Elliott, an NPF representative (South East CLPs) on the International Policy Commission.
COMMENT & VOTE ON OTHER SUBMISSIONS
Commenting and voting on the submissions of others is important. The number of comments and votes will be recorded and may be taken as evidence of support for a point of view.
That helps tell the Labour Party know how much opposition there is to Trident replacement. We encourage you to visit the yourbritain website from time to time, to look at and respond to other submissions.
Thanks for your patience in reading through this, and please share it with others. Together we’ll let the Labour Party know that the majority wants to Stop Trident!
- Read the Labour CND submission to the Defence Review
- Read the CND response to the Defence Review
- Read the Greater Manchester Labour CND submission
The Labour Party Defence Policy Review undertaken by Emily Thornberry has now closed. However the consultation by the International Policy Commission remains open until 8 June.
If you’ve send a response to the Defence Policy Review, we ask you to send it to the IPC too; if not, we urge you to make a short submission.
You do not need to be a member of the Labour Party to take part. You are, however, required to register and log in to do so. You can read the IPC consultation details by clicking here.
Please share these details to ensure the maximum level of participation in this important review.