Successful AGM

Successful AGM

Labour CND held a successful AGM on 29th November 2014 to renew our campaigning against Trident ahead of the General Election.

Parliamentarians, prospective candidates, bloggers and campaigners came together for two discussions on nuclear weapons and foreign military policy, entitled Delivering Disarmament and Ending Military Missions.

Delivering Disarmament

The first session on Trident saw prospective parliamentary candidates Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green) and Jane Basham (South Suffolk) joined by blogger Maya Goodfellow from LabourList.

The PPCs referenced a poll at Labour Party conference which showed 51% of Labour candidates would disarm Trident, while the growing list of senior party members rethinking policy, including John Prescott and Des Browne were highlighted.

Discussion focused on using the momentum from the national policy forum to encourage candidates to express their support for disarmament ahead of the election, and how to prepare the way for an end to the Trident replacement programme under a Labour government.  

The conference welcomed the Labour frontbench support for the Vienna conference on humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons but urged the leadership to commit to a nuclear weapons convention or ban on nuclear weapons as part of a commitment to scrap Trident.

Ending Military Missions

The second session on foreign interventions saw parliamentarians Diane Abbott MP and newly-elected Julie Ward MEP joined by writer Owen Jones and campaigner Carol Turner.

The focus was on the failure of the UK’s military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya over the past decade and the significance of Ed Miliband’s role in preventing a further bombing campaign in Syria in 2013 as a potential turning point in Labour foreign policy.

AGM

The AGM saw a new enlarged executive committee elected, including representation from Scotland and across the country.

Labour CND AGM 2013

At our 2013 AGM, Marian Hobbs, former Disarmament Minister in the New Zealand Labour government opened the conference and welcomed a room full of young activists.

She discussed the isolation of the UK government in international negotiations on nuclear disarmament, and the isolation of the UK Labour Party in the family of left and social democratic parties around the world in failing to deliver nuclear disarmament.

She said there was no better time than now for Labour to prepare for carrying out nuclear disarmament after 2015, with the perfect storm of the end of Trident’s operational life meeting the changed security requirements of the post-Cold War world and the pain of austerity calling expenditure on major military projects in to greater question.

In the morning panel Owen Jones took up the question of cost and said a Labour government elected in 2015 spending billions on Trident while families suffered under austerity would be ‘a sickening spectacle’.

He talked about the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons, referring to the 80s film Threads set in his hometown. The humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons was the subject of an interantional conference the week before the AGM, but which the UK had boycotted.

Kate Taylor repeated the message, saying, ‘To me, the NHS is essential. The welfare state is essential. Support for the disabled, free higher education, affordable housing, having enough money to heat your home and eat – those things are essential. Weapons of mass destruction – Trident – is not.’

As a councillor for a naval port, she took a combative stance against Trident, saying an ‘MOD report found that if they were to relocate Britain’s weapons of mass destruction to Devonport, and there was a nuclear accident, their worst case scenario was that 11,000 people would be killed by radiation poisoning … if these weapons are too dangerous for Plymouth, then they’re too dangerous for Faslane and Milford Haven or for any other community the MOD would want to inflict them on.’

Clive Lewis, the PPC for Norwich South, was asked to look at the 2015 election and gave a wide-ranging speech that condemned New Labour’s ‘Faustian pact with neo-liberalism’ and unfettered dominance of the market and big business’.

On Trident, he said, ‘we know the moral, economic, military and strategic case for non-renewal is overwhelming’ and on international non-proliferation, said ‘we have no right to intimidate other countries into not possessing nuclear weapons when we have them on such a large scale ourselves. It’s this hypocrisy, that undermines the entire nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.’

Annabelle Harle, on the party’s policy making process, and the new Your Britain site in particular, said, ‘The argument can be won across the spectrum … so get on there and write – remember that the views of members, CLPs and party groups count for more, and community groups are popular too – so go back to your constituencies tonight and log on’.

 

AGM

The day finished with an AGM committing Labour CND to working in the party to build opposition to Trident replacement and secure a manifesto commitment to scrapping it as well as urging the Labour leadership to make greater commitments to initiatives to advance negotiations for multilateral disarmament.

 

See also:

 

Labour CND Discussion and AGM

A Labour Government can’t afford Trident

Labour CND discussion and AGM

11am – 4pm
Saturday 9th March
Birkbeck College, Malet St, London

Join us in discussing how we ensure Labour acts on its commitment to nuclear disarmament and secure a commitment to rejecting Trident replacement at the 2015 election.

 

Agenda

11am
Registration

11.30am – 11.45am
Marian Hobbs, former New Zealand Labour Disarmament Minister

11.45am – 1.15pm
A Labour Government can’t afford Trident

  • Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Annabelle Harle (NPF rep, Wales), Cllr Alice Perry (Islington and NPF rep, London) and Cllr Kate Taylor (Plymouth).

 

2pm – 3pm
A conversation with Walter Wolfgang

  • After the recent publication of a biographical pamphlet, Carol Turner interviews Walter Wolfgang on his campaigning life.
  • You can buy the pamphlet here.

 

3.15pm – 3.30pm
Clive Lewis, PPC for Norwich South, on the 2015 manifesto

 

3.30pm – 4pm
Labour CND AGM

  • Labour CND members are welcome to submit motions in an individual capacity (deadline of 22nd February).
  • We are keen to expand our executive committee. If you would like to join, please email expressions of interest.
  • Email address regarding motions and joining the executive committee is info@labourcnd.org.uk

 

* Discussion sessions are open to all.
* AGM open to Labour CND members. If you hold Labour Party and CND memberships you are a member of Labour CND and entitled to vote at its AGM.