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.’
In one of his diary entries in Keeping On Keeping On, Alan Bennett’s third prose collection, he writes:
2005, 29 September.
Among several things that the ejection and charging of Mr Walter Wolfgang from the Labour Party Conference demonstrates is the danger of endowing the police with any more powers than they have already. For shouting out ‘Liar’ he is charged under the Terrorism Act. The silencing of hecklers was hardly the act’s original purpose but it is just the handiest blunt instrument available. This should be remembered in the next session of Parliament, when the police are asking for yet more powers – three months’ detention for instance – which at the same time solemnly assuring the public that they will only use such powers when the occasion demands it. This is a promise soon forgotten. If they have the powers they will use them – young Muslim or Jewish old-age pension it makes no difference. ‘You’re nicked.’
Keeping On Keeping On, Profile Books, 2016, £9.99 paperback
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.’
Contemporary motions are one of the few opportunities members have to influence conference agenda and the party’s policy making. We encourage you to submit a motion on behalf on Labour CND to help push nuclear disarmament higher on the agenda!
We have two suggestions this year: support for a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency – an urgent next step on the road to winning trade union support for scrapping Trident; and Reducing the risks of nuclear confrontation which calls for a Labour government to sign up to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Reducing nuclear risks contemporary motion
Defence Diversification contemporary motion
Every CLP has the right to submit one contemporary motion of no more than 250 words, provided it hasn’t already submitted a rule change resolution in 2018. Motions must be sent to Labour HQ in time for the DEADLINE of noon on 13 September.
They must refer to an event that takes place after the publication of the National Policy Forum report in early August – any motion without a contemporary reference will be ruled out of order.
If you submit a Labour CND motion, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
‘Employment in the UK arms industry has been in decline for several decades and is likely to continue,’ said Barnaby Pace, at the parliamentary launch of a Nuclear Education Trust report he authored, Defence Diversification: International learning for Trident jobs.
This decline is ‘due to the increasingly capital intensive nature of the work carried out in the UK, as well as automation, globalised supply chains, limited increases in defence spending and a highly competitive arms export market.’
Despite the 2016 vote to replace Trident, ‘uncertainties remain over the future of the programme’, Pace asserted – its affordability, technical feasibility, and the possibility that it will be scaled back or wound down in the event of a change of government.
The meeting, hosted by Labour’s Shadow Defence and Disarmament Minister Fabian Hamilton, included presentations by Paul Nowak, TUC Deputy General Secretary and Chris Williamson MP, and was followed by a round-table discussion.
Labour CND was a prominent participant in Stop the War’s annual meeting on Saturday 1 September. Vice President Walter Wolfgang and Co-Chair Carol Turner (second and third right) joined a pack auditorium for the opening session which included Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad, pictured here at the rostrum, and CND General Secretary Kate Hudson.
A motion from Labour CND identified the increased risks nuclear confrontation since President Trump took office, highlighting the nuclear expansion heralded by the recently published US National Security Assessment and Nuclear Posture Review. It called for closer work between STW, CND and Labour CND to bring these issues to public attention. In Kate Hudson took up this theme in her opening speech to conference and urged the audience to call time on the special US-UK relationship.
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.’