Labour CND was out in force at Labour conference, visible throughout at CND, Momentum and other fringe meetings, distributing our newsletter and contact card, and helping staff the CND stall where we signed up dozens of new subscribers to our e-news updates. Our daily meet-up sessions proved popular too, chatting to delegates and visitors over coffee.
Labour CND contact card
Labour CND newsletter
When President Trump signed the order to pull the US out, the Iran nuclear deal was dead in the water. CAROL TURNER, Vice Chair, Labour CND, asks why Trump withdrew from a landmark arms control agreement that everyone, including official US sources, said was working.
All parties agree that Iran was meeting its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have repeatedly confirmed this. Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.
Continue reading “Trump’s nuclear hypocrisy”
President Trump recently announced the formation of a US space force, saying: ‘it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance.’ Oxford CND and others have called a demonstration at USAF Croughton, a US communication base in Northamptonshire. Keep Space for Peace: No Space Force takes place 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday 6 October. Check out the details and join us there.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson is urging support: ‘As if President Trump isn’t causing enough trouble already: trade wars with China, trashing the Iranian nuclear deal, on/off nuclear confrontation with North Korea, destabilising Venezuela, offending his erstwhile European allies… the list goes on and on. Now he’s instructed the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to set up a sixth branch of the armed forces: the Space Force.’
Talks between North and South Korea are progressing. We wonder if the same can be said for denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea, given the contradictory signals from the Trump administration. Another Japanese anti-nuclear delegations sets off for North Korea this month, on a fact-finding mission in search of information about survivors of the 1945 US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The visit is the first since 2008 by Gensuikyo, the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. On the basis of information provided by North Korea, Gensuikyo believes there were 1,911 victims of the bombs, 382 of whom were alive in 2008. ‘We want to have discussions that will accelerate denuclearisation,’ a spokesperson for the delegation said.
Gensuikyo’s annual conference held on the anniversary of the bombings attracts several thousand delegates from across the world. Labour CND Co-Chair Carol Turner attended in 2016. In her speech to conference she outlined Jeremy Corbyn’s election. To loud applause, said: ‘A new mood is sweeping Britain, as elsewhere. One manifestation is the rise of political figures such as Jeremy Corbyn in Britain and Bernie Sanders in the United States. After his election Corbyn announced on TV he would never press the nuclear button if he were prime minister.’
Congratulations to Labour CND members who became CLP reps in the recent NPF elections:
Congratulations to Labour CND members who became CLP reps in the recent NPF elections: Co-Chair Carol Turner, representing London, Secretary Carol Wilcox, representing SW, and George Downs, re-elected to the NW youth place. Congrats too to Tom Unterrainer, East Midlands, who sits on CND’s Trade Union Advisory Group.
Full results here.
Congratulations to Labour CND’s Walter Wolfgang who became one of the Stop the War Patrons at the STW’s 2018 annual meeting: ‘We can win. We shall overcome. Thank you for this huge honour.’
TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak’s attendance at the Nuclear Education Trust’s recent launch of a report on defence diversification is highlighted in the General Council’s report to the 2018 Congress which takes place in Manchester, 9-12 September.
The report says:
‘In line with resolution 17, which called on the TUC to lobby the Labour Party to establish a shadow defence diversification agency, the TUC has met regularly with unions with an industrial interest in the sector, and with the Labour Party.
‘We have made the case for the development of a long-term strategy for defence jobs that can respond to future changes in government policy, within the context of a broad industrial strategy aimed at delivering good-quality jobs across the UK.
‘Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the TUC, spoke at the launch of a report on defence diversification by the Nuclear Education Trust to stress the importance of engaging workers in the defence industry in discussions about the future of the sector.
‘The TUC also welcomed the commitment by the Labour Party to build the next generation of Royal Navy ships in the UK, in order to ensure that UK government defence spending supports jobs and skills within the UK.’
The defence industry is increasingly automated, and skilled employment is in long-term decline. No surprise then to learn trade union attitudes to defence diversification are finally shifting.
In his 2015 leadership campaign Jeremy Corbyn ‘set out a clear commitment to establishing a Defence Diversification Agency’ (DDA) so that ‘engineering and scientific skills are transferred into more socially productive industries’ should a decision be taken to decommission the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Two years later, at its 2017 Congress, the TUC backed a DDA. Motion 17 recalled the ground-breaking plan for socially useful work pioneered by the Lucas Aerospace workers in 1976, and agreed to ‘lobby the Labour Party to establish before the next general election a ‘shadow’ Defence Diversification Agency, to work closely with the Shadow Department for Industry in developing an overall national industrial strategy including the possibility of conversion of ‘defence’ capacity’.
In July 2018, Unite took a step forward when the 2018 policy conference backed Executive Statement 1 which welcomed the ‘renewed focus Jeremy Corbyn has placed on defence diversification, in the context of the priority he rightly places on world disarmament’. Whilst reiterating the union’s first priority remains the protection of members jobs, the statement calls for ‘a serious government approach to defence diversification’ and ‘urges the Labour Party to give the highest priority to this on taking office’.
Fabian Hamilton: I didn’t shout at Margaret Hodge for staying in the Government, even though I had voted against the Iraq war.
Labour’s Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, himself a Jew, reports that he was confronted by Margaret Hodge for not defending her for calling Jeremy Corbyn anti-semitic and a racist. He told the i newspaper: ‘shortly after she allegedly lost her temper with Jeremy Corbyn, I got the next blast in the Lobby when she shouted at me for still remaining on the Front Bench and it wasn’t very calm or dignified. In fact, even as a hardened politician with 21 years’ experience in Parliament, I came away slightly upset and a little angry at being the butt of her frustration with Jeremy Corbyn. I recalled that when she was a Minister during the Iraq war, I didn’t shout at her for staying in the Government even though I had voted against the war.’