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).

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.

Labour’s Defence Policy Review – ACT NOW

The Labour Party is reviewing its defence policy, including Trident. Everyone is eligible to participate in this review by making their views known to Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry, before the 30th April deadline.

Individuals and organisations can participate. You don’t have to be a Labour Party member or affiliate to do so. Submissions opposing Trident replacement can help influence the eventual outcome of Labour’s deliberations, and I urge you to consider making your views, and those of organisations you belong to, known. The advice below will, I hope, help you to do so.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

Any individual or organisation, whether or not they’re a Labour Party member or affiliate. Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Emily Thornberry, the author of the policy review document says: ‘We want to seek the widest possible range of views, spanning academia, the defence industry, NGOs, parliamentarians, the public and, of course, members of the armed forces themselves.’

IS THERE A PARTICULAR FORMAT?

You can express your opinion in whatever way you find easiest. The Defence Policy Review document (attached) sets out Ms Thornberry’s terms of reference expressed as a series of questions which you might consider addressing.

The one about Trident is: ‘Will renewal of Britain?s nuclear capability aid us in protecting Britain?s security and pursuing the values that guide our foreign and defence policy?’

Ms Thornberry begins by explaining that the nature of the threats facing Britain has changed in the past 50 years, and outlining the overall context of Labour’s review with questions such as: ‘What role should Britain play in building a world that is more peaceful, more just and safer?’ and ‘What should be the values and principles that drive Britain’s strategic defence policy?’

HOW MUCH SHOULD I WRITE?

You don’t have to produce a magnum opus or a details scientific tract -?a paragraph or two will do. Say what you think of Trident and give a couple of reasons why. There’s an example below, use it as encouragement. But please don’t copy it -?large numbers of identical submissions won’t be effective.

I oppose the replacement of Trident because nuclear weapons cause indiscriminate harm to the planet and its people. Their possession by countries such as Britain encourages proliferation by others who don?t have nuclear weapons. Replacing Trident doesn?t protect us from the main risks facing this country such as terrorism, cyber-attack, or the effects of climate change like floods and storms. Trident is extremely expensive, costing an estimated ?100 billion over its lifetime. The money could be better used for socially productive and wealth-generating projects, which would help create more money for the government to spend on health, education and social services.

ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO PARTICIPATE

If you’re a member of a CND group, trade union branch or local Trades Council, or community campaign, please encourage them to take a view on Trident and send it to Labour’s Defence Review with a brief explanation of what the organisation is and how Trident replacement affects its members. For example: My housing association is opposed to Trident replacement because… and would prefer the money to be spent on improving existing social housing and on providing more affordable new homes.

SUBMISSIONS FROM BRANCH AND CONSTITUENCY LABOUR PARTIES

It?s important that as many individual party members as possible send their views to Ms Thornberry. This helps to give a true reflection of party opinion. If your Labour Party branch and/or constituency has adopted a policy against Trident replacement, send a copy of the resolution to the Defence Review, with a few comments about the views members expressed.

Many branch and constituency parties aren?t meeting in April because of elections. If your party has adopted a policy against Trident replacement in the past few years, send that to the Defence Policy Review with an explanation that the elections have prevented a contemporary discussion in time for the Defence Review deadline.

WHERE TO SEND YOUR VIEWS
Your submission should be emailed to defencereview@labour.org.uk If you don’t have email access, mail it to The Labour Party, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT

RESOURCES
– A copy of Labour?s Defence Policy Review can be downloaded through the through the Labour CND website
– Labour CND has produced a Trident Fact File which can provide some information you need to draft a submission.
CND UK website has a number of briefings you can use to dig out pertinent information.

Good luck, and thank you for your efforts,
Carol Turner
Vice Chair, Labour CND

Last chance to sign up to vote in leadership election

Labour CND C20150806_124106hair Jeremy Corbyn MP continues to make waves in the continuing leadershipelection. All of Jeremy’s rallies are standing room only and his policy positions, including opposition to Trident, are resonating with Labour Party members and supporters.

Jeremy is the only leadership candidate who opposes replacement of Trident. With a vote on replacement expected in Parliament in 2016 it is vital that the millions of anti-Trident voices are heard

If you have not yet signed up to vote in the election, you now have less than 24 hours to do so. You can either become a member of the Labour Party, pay £3 to become a registered support or if you are a member of an affiliated organisation it’s free. Once you have signed up you will receive your ballot papers in the next few days.

If you live in London you will also have the chance to vote for Labour’s mayoral candidate ahead of the election next year. Labour CND is supporting Diane Abbott, who has been a long standing supporter of a world without nuclear weapons.

You can sign up to vote in the election here: http://www.labour.org.uk/w/labour-party-supporters

Ensure your voice is heard in the leadership election

jeremyThe Labour Party is currently in the process of deciding its next leader, with five candidates in the running at this stage. Only one, Jeremy Corbyn, is against the renewal of the UKs Trident nuclear weapons system which would not only keep the country on a Cold War footing but would also cost £100bn at a time of continuing austerity.

This is the first time that individuals can register as a supporter and vote on the next leader without being a member of the Labour Party. It will cost you £3 to become a Registered Supporter (or it is free if you are a member of a Trade Union or other organisation already affiliated to the Labour Party).

Jeremy has been an active supporter of CND for many years and Labour CND is working to ensure that he makes it to the final ballot. There is widespread support for disarmament across the Labour movement and it is vital that these views are represented in the leadership debate.

If you live in London you will also be able to vote for Labour’s mayoral candidate ahead of the 2016 election. Labour CND is recommending that you support Diane Abbott, who has a long standing position against nuclear weapons.

You must sign up by 12th August to be eligible to vote in these contests. Details at http://www.labour.org.uk/w/labour-party-supporters

Petition – Time to Scrap Trident

tridentsubThe Labour leadership election is currently underway, and one of the first decisions that the new leader will have to take is on the replacement of Trident, with the vote on the Main Gate expected in Parliament early in 2016.

There is a strong voice for peace and disarmament within the Labour movement and it is vital that this voice is heard in the coming weeks and months. Please add your name to others urging the next Labour leader to adopt an anti-Trident position by signing the petition below.

 

Dear Leadership candidate,

Listen to members and voters on Trident, and help us win in 2020

  1. Trident is the only popular cut. Most voters reject Trident. Even before austerity set in, 63% supported scrapping Trident to reduce the deficit [1]
  2. Trident was rejected in Scotland: Labour must listen
  3. Trident is overwhelmingly opposed by Labour members, shown by submissions to the NPF[2]
  4. Trident was opposed by most Labour parliamentary candidates [3]
  5. Trident is opposed by the labour movement eg. UNISON, CWU, PCS, RMT, TSSA, ASLEF, NUJ, TUC
  6. Trident is leading to job cuts in conventional defence that could be reversed by scrapping Trident

There’s better ways to spend £100 billion. Please commit to Scrap Trident.

[emailpetition id=”2″]
[signaturelist id=”2″]

 

[1] BPIX survey for The Mail on Sunday, June 2010

[2] Approximately 50 CLPs submitted anti-Trident submissions to the NPF policy-making process, to a tight deadline.

[3] Comres survey for BBC Sunday Politics, September 2014

Time to talk Trident at your CLP

TridentDear activist,

The time has come for Labour CND activists to talk about Trident and nuclear disarmament at their next constituency meeting.

The Labour Party has published its final year policy consultation documents for the election manifesto and the Britain’s Global Role document restates a commitment to Trident replacement unless the party is ‘convinced otherwise’. This is our task.

The window of opportunity for constituency parties and affiliates to submit amendments by 13th June.

Amendments will be considered by National Policy Forum (NPF) members and discussed in July at the final meeting of the NPF before Annual Conference.

________________________________________________________________________

Labour CND amendment to the Britain’s Global Role document

P5
DELETE LINES 41-48 AND REPLACE WITH:

Labour is committed to achieving global nuclear disarmament and welcomes growing discussion of the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons by fellow states.

We recognise the success of past international bans in delegitimising weapons of mass destruction such as landmines, cluster munitions, and chemical and biological weapons and support a similar process to ban nuclear weapons, as a complementary and necessary mechanism to our disarmament commitment under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Labour will decommission rather than replace Trident. Labour will re-direct Trident spending to where it best serves our Society. Labour will develop an industrial plan to make use of the skills of those workers in the sector.

________________________________________________________________________

CLPs may submit up to ten amendments by 13th June.

Individuals can post a personal submission to the YourBritain site.

 

Renew Labour’s disarmament ambition

Miliband2Ed Miliband has been regularly questioned by party members and the public since being elected leader about why on earth Labour would replace Trident.He has responded every time this issue is raised by saying he is not a ‘unilateralist’. For many of us, that is a soundbite and not a real answer, but he is of course consistent with the 2010 Labour manifesto which clearly stated:“We will fight for multilateral disarmament, working for a world free of nuclear weapons, in the Non Proliferation Treaty Review conference and beyond”.

But Vernon Coaker’s speech to RUSI this week re-stated his commitment to Trident replacement with no mention of multilateral disarmament.

Further to this, the Labour Party has published its final year policy consultation documents for the election manifesto and the ‘Britain’s Global Role’ document restates a commitment to Trident replacement unless the party is ‘convinced otherwise’ with a total lack of reference to any ambition for global disarmament.

Labour’s Defence team are rejecting any open discussion on UK possessing nuclear weapons even as a Tory-led Defence Committee in a report on 21st century deterrence argues ‘it is possible to foresee an environment in which the core role of nuclear deterrence – to protect a state from attack – is achieved by the deployment of advanced conventional weapons.’

So Labour should at the very least be clear that Britain’s nuclear weapons will be considered alongside all aspects of defence and security spending, from conventional military hardware to dealing with climate change.

And what has Labour to say on multilateral disarmament?

In 2015 whoever is elected at the General Election, the next review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will take place in the same month and should be one of the first global gatherings of the next Government. The opportunity this creates for a new government in Britain to state a fresh commitment to global disarmament is obvious.

And Labour can make a clear statement before 2015. There is a growing momentum from states across the globe to discuss the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and drive towards a global ban, as has been achieved with chemical and biological weapons, and more recently on landmines and cluster munitions. In 2013, 127 states met in Norway to discuss the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Last month 146 nations met in Mexico to continue the discussion. And that conference will reconvene in Austria this Autumn but it is unlikely the UK government will attend.

Labour should send a clear message on its commitment to global zero, by sending a representative to the Austrian conference. They will be in good company. The Austrian Social Democrats have stated their support for the conference.

The failure of the Labour Party’s draft foreign policy document to make any mention of such a commitment to disarmament generally or even re-asserting our ongoing commitments, under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to pursue disarmament in good faith, is truly shocking. Labour’s Foreign Affairs and Defence teams must be challenged on this glaring omission, because they are missing easy opportunities to make clear statements to voters to whom disarmament matters.

But with the wider public it is the simple message: ‘Trident will be scrapped and billions saved’ that will resonate. Our next manifesto should make clear that Labour will scrap Trident and, unlike this government, we will participate in international discussions for a global ban.

Money saved from scrapping Trident must first be invested in those areas where there are high levels of employment related to Trident. Unemployment must not be allowed to rise in those areas most affected.

From a global movement of governments, to defence-focused Tory MPs or the ongoing debate in the Lib Dems, Labour must decide whether it is happy to sit back while the world moves on and towards disarmament.

 

Please urgently consider ask your CLP or affiliated organisation to submit an amendment to policy document by 13th June, removing the text that reasserts support for a ‘continuous at sea deterrent’ and replaces it with a commitment to engage in international discussions towards disarmament, while scrapping Trident at home.

Our ambition is have many CLPs across the country calling for this amendment.

By Daniel Blaney, CND Vice-Chair and Labour CND executive

Join Labour’s Trident debate

Get involved in Labour’s Trident debate

The debate around Trident in the Labour Party is now developing and it is important that Labour CND activists get involved.

The Financial Times recently claimed that said Ed Miliband was open to alternatives to like-for-like Trident replacement.

This followed former Defence Secretary Des Browne’s statement that‘Since 2006, important things have changed and it is time for a more honest debate about the defence choices facing the country.’

Going further, Labour’s Former Defence Minister, Frank Judd, recently said, ‘I strongly believe that the case and need for, and relevance of, a new Trident have never been established.’

 

What we need to do

A debate on nuclear weapons will be more difficult to secure in the final months before an election. Therefore the Labour Party needs to debate Trident in 2013 if it is to do so before the 2015 General Election.

Labour CND activists need to take action to ensure Trident is fully debated at the National Policy Forum (NPF) on the 22nd June this year.

 

1. Contribute to the YourBritain website

The YourBritain website is Labour’s online policy site and submissions to the site will be considered by the NPF.

We need as many submissions sent by individual activists, branches and constituencies, as possible.

 

2. Contact members of the National Policy Forum

To contact members of the NPF’s Global Role Commission:

 

To contact your NPF regional reps:

 

3. Discuss Trident at your CLP

 

Keep Labour CND updated on your local discussions and submissions by emailing us at  info@labourcnd.org.uk.