Did you know that despite heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula Britain will be participating in US-led military exercises there for 10 days beginning Monday 21 August? These war games are a simulation of war with North Korea which involves around 85,000 land, sea and air personnel.
The government is keeping shtum about UK involvement – how many British forces and from which services will be taking part. But in the House of Lords in January, however, Defence Minister Earl Howe confirmed that the UK does take part in these exercises.
Jeremy Corbyn has urged the government to refrain from military intervention in North Korea, including the forthcoming Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises.
As the war of words between Trump and North Korea entered its second week, newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in emerged onto the diplomatic stage on 16 August, declaring there’d be no second war on the Korean Peninsula. But is he right? In this video clip from China Global Television Network, Brian Becker, executive director of the US anti-war ANSWER Coalition explains some background to the conflict.
Labour CND has prepared two Contemporary Motions, which we hope Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) will submit for debate at the Labour Party conference. Please do take these motions to your CLP meetings – if the motions are chosen by delegates as one of the four for debate at the conference and passed, they should become Party policy! Please note there is a 250 word limit on motions submitted for conference.
The deadline for submission of Contemporary 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 Committee (CAC).
Labour CND recently participated in the conference No Need For Nuclear: The Renewables Are Here, which took place at Conway Hall, London, on 17th June 2017. Below are two short videos, which include presentations by Dr Carl Clowes, Public Health Wales, and Kelvin Hopkins, Labour MP for Luton North.
Dr Ian Fairlie, Dr Carl Clowes, Caroline Lucas, Kate Hudson.
Can Labour change its policy on nuclear new build? Kelvin Hopkins MP
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.
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 Contemporary 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 Committee (CAC).
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.
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.
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.