Scottish CND stalwart Jim Taggart died on 14 June, aged 83, after a short period of ill health. A committed socialist and internationalist, he was a fervent campaigner against nuclear weapons, NATO and war. Jim was an active member of Labour CND over three decades and served as our rep on the Scottish CND Executive Committee for much of that time.
The Taggart family home in Dumbartonshire overlooked Gare Loch, at the heart of Faslane Naval Base where Trident submarines are housed. Unsurprisingly then, Jim was a supporter of the Faslane Peace Camp from its inception in 1982 and of Trident Ploughshares which began blockading in the late 1990s.
Brian Quail, Jim’s colleague described him as ‘a hands-on and hard-working officer of Scottish CND, a well-regarded member of CND’s National Council, an integral part of Helensburgh CND and immensely practical supporter of the Peace Camp’.
A gentle and peaceable man, Jim trained as a botanist in Glasgow University and lectured for a time on plant classification at Trinity College Dublin. After returning to Dunbartonshire, in the 1970s he developed a botanic garden which became internationally known.He will be missed by his many friends in Labour CND and across the peace, anti-war and labour movements.
Jim Taggart’s funeral service takes place Saturday 6 July, 10:30 at Craigrownie Parish Church Cove Burgh Hall, Shore Road, Cove G84 0LY followed by burial at Barbour Cemetery and refreshments in Gibson Hall, Garelochhead G84 0AT
who died peacefully in Kingston Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 29 May, was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, the only child of Erna Karoline (née Simon) and Hermann Wolfgang. Walter came to Britain as a teenager in 1937. He became a British citizen in 1948 and made his home here, joining the Labour Party the same year and remaining an active member till his death – standing as a parliamentary candidate in the 1959 election and serving on Labour’s National Executive Committee, 2006-8. An organiser of the first Aldermaston march, Walter was a CND and Labour CND stalwart throughout his life, and a Vice President of both and of Stop the War Coalition at the time of his death.
His burial takes place:
THURSDAY 6 JUNE, 2pm The Liberal Jewish Cemetery Pound Lane, Willesden, NW10 2HG
RESTING PEACEFULLY IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HE ALWAYS SPOKE TRUTH TO POWER
TRAVEL TO THE CEMETERY The cemetery is situated off the south-west end of Pound Lane, Willesden, London, NW10 2HG. At the south-east end of Pound Lane is a fire station, next to the fire station is a block of flats and by the side of the flats is a small road that leads to the cemetery.
Bus: Routes 6 and 226 stop outside the fire station. Bus numbers 52 and 98 stop in Willesden High Road, at the corner of Hawthorn Road; walk down Hawthorn Road to the cemetery (about five minutes). Underground: The nearest stations are Dollis Hill or Willesden Green, both of which are 10- 15 minutes walk from the cemetery. There is a taxi service available from Willesden Green Station.
TRIBUTES There is no tradition of flowers at a Jewish funeral and there will be one wreath only at Walter’s, from Carol Turner and Marjorie Thompson, his de facto family for the last decades of his life. You can pay tribute to his life if you wish by donating to one of two causes close to his heart.
Labour CND Please reference your donation Walter By electronic transfer to Labour CND Sort Code 08-90-29, Account No 50459106 By cheque to Labour CND Treasurer, 162 Holloway Road, London N7 8DQ
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) Please reference your donation W Wolfgang By electronic transfer to ICAHD UK Sort Code 08-92-99, Account No 65132227 By cheque to ICAHD UK, BM ICAHD UK, London WC1N 3XX
Pictured left with Scottish CND Chair and Labour Party member Arthur West and right at Leeds University, Francis Daehoon Lee toured the UK in May representing People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a south Korean NGO which he helped found in 1994. In London, Scotland and Yorkshire he had the same clear message for everyone he met: the peace process on the Korean Peninsula must continue.
Francis held meetings with Shadow Peace and Disarmament
Minister Fabian Hamilton and Shadow International Defence Minister Alex Norris in
Westminster and a cross-party group of Scottish parliamentarians in Edinburgh, briefing
them on the Trump-Kim talks. He met academics, students and activists for a
round-table discussion at Leeds University (pictured right) and joined local
activists for a demonstration at the gates of Menwith Hill spy base. Former
Labour MEP Glyn Ford, author of Talking
to North Korea: ending the nuclear standoff joined Francis on the platform
of a public meeting in London.
With Korea back in the news again, London CND offers a unique opportunity to hear a first hand account from a Korean perspective. Francis Daehoon Lee is touring the UK as part of CND’s Nuclear Dangers initiative. Check out the Scottish and Yorkshire CND websites for details of other public meetings.
When we heard Westminster Abbey was planning a ‘Service of Thanksgiving’ to mark 50 years of Trident, it was hard to believe. But yes, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson thought we should give thanks for Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
It was such a bizarre idea that there was considerable mediacoverage. Over 200 Anglian clerics wrote a letter of protest, asking for the service to be cancelled.
On 1 May, just two days before his big chance to schmooze with Prince William, Williamson was sacked for a security breach. The ‘Thanksgiving’ went ahead with his replacement Penny Mordaunt in the lead.
Led by Christian CND, hundreds gathered across the road from Westminster Abbey. While the service was held inside the Abbey, there was a die-in on the pavement outside, in memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
When the service finished, the congregation streamed out and across the road for a reception, while the Abbey bells pealed joyously. For a full half hour, royals, military top brass, parliamentarians and a smattering of the establishment filed by the protest.
BBC news that evening reported Prince William was booed and heckled. In fact, some protesters shouted ‘Stop Trident’. He needed to hear that not everyone was celebrating.
Great to have a stand-alone Labour Women’s Conference this year, after a long absence – and with Labour CND women making their presence felt. Our committee member Karen Robinson (left) is picture here with two Sheffield Halam delegates who submitted a defence diversification motion (download below), sadly not chosen for debate. Karen drew huge applause at at a fringe meeting when she spoke about her experiences as a Greenham Common peace camper and why she’d rejoined the party again when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader. Jeremy was given a standing ovation when he took to the rostrum to address conference.
Jeremy Hardy’s tragic death last week has upset many of us who knew him and worked with him.
Not only was Jeremy a significant voice in stand-up comedy who inspired many other performers to address political issues, but he played a major role in the #JC4PM tour (see clips below) as well as performing for Stand up for Labour.
We know that Jeremy would have wanted us to carry on putting on fundraisers for the Labour Party and our shows will all be a tribute to him.
So far 69 states have signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and 19 ratified it. The Church of England General Synod has welcomed the Treaty and asked the UK government to publish a plan for the elimination of its nuclear arsenal.
Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith, on the other hand, recently said Trident replacement ‘is not a decision we are going back on’. Here’s a resolution for local Labour Parties, suggested by a supporter in London who successfully steered it through her branch.