CND at Labour Party conference

If you’re visiting Brighton be sure to say hello to CND. We have a stall there and are holding a fringe meeting on Sunday evening, details below. 

TOWARDS A NUCLEAR FREE WORLD

Cancel Trident replacement, support the nuclear ban treaty

Sunday 24 September 6pm to 7.30pm
St Paul’s Church, West Street, Brighton
(5 minutes from the Conference Centre)

with…

Diane Abbott MP
Shadow Home Secretary

 

 

 

Fabian Hamilton MP
Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament

 

 

Christine Blower
International Sec, National Education Union

Christine Shawcroft
Labour NEC

 

 

and

George Downs
National Policy Forum

http://www.cnduk.org/get-involved/events/item/3544-cnd-fringe-meeting-at-labour-party-conference

TUC Congress calls for Shadow Defence Diversification Agency

Labour CND welcomes the decision of the TUC Congress 2017 to lobby the Labour Party to set up a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency before the next general election, and work to develop a national industrial strategy which includes the possibility of arms conversion.

Motion 17, Defence, jobs and diversification, from the Artists Union England, recalled the ground-breaking plan for alternative, socially useful work pioneered by the Lucas Aerospace workers in 1976. It highlighted ‘a convergence of crises – militarism and nuclear weapons, climate chaos, and the destruction of jobs by automation’, and acknowledged that defence workers ‘are rightly concerned about the potential loss of jobs, for example if Trident replacement is cancelled’.

Read the text in full.

Jeremy Corbyn on 72nd anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing

Today, and on the 9th August, the world will commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which indiscriminately killed over 100,000 civilians and military personnel. Many survivors live with the horrific humanitarian consequences, including cancer caused by the exposure to nuclear radiation.

Despite the binding obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, many nuclear weapons states including the UK are failing to live up to this commitment and even attempting to undermine efforts. This is hard to justify when we reflect on the horrors of nuclear mass destruction.

Now more than ever, we must redouble our efforts to build a world that genuinely meets the security needs of its people. The historic progress made by majority of governments around the world preparing to sign the recently adopted UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a step in this direction.

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.

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 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.