No Need For Nuclear

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. 

Welcome Session
Dr Ian Fairlie, Dr Carl Clowes, Caroline Lucas, Kate Hudson.

Can Labour change its policy on nuclear new build?
Kelvin Hopkins MP

Scottish Labour – delegate view

Stephen Low, Glasgow Southside CLP, who moved the anti-Trident motion at Scottish Labour Party conference writes:

The debate on Trident  renewal  at Scottish Conference was passionate and delivered an unequivocal  verdict. With a near identical 70% vote from both CLPs and Trade Unions the UK’s possession of nuclear weapons was condemned and the concept of defence diversification was promoted. Hav ing been passed by more than a 2/3 majority it is now part of the Scottish Labour’s programme and will form the submission of the Scottish Labour Party to the Britain in the World Policy forum.

The debate stemmed from the results of a priorities ballot where Trident renewal was by some measure the most popular topic.   Although this decision by CLP delegates was itself  described  in the session as “”a nonsense and utter indulgence””  by Gary Smith,  Secretary of GMB Scotland.

The first indication that the vote might well go against Trident renewal was when a reference to Jeremy Corbyn’s statement that he would never launch a nuclear strike received loud applause from the hall.   

Those arguing for the motion cited a large number of factors; the morality of weapons which would kill so indiscriminately, the lack of utility in Trident a new Trident system in tackling the requirements under the Non Proliferation Treaty, the staggering cost and the loss of potential to diversify our industrial base if we are keeping so much of our industrial workforce locked into what is in many respects  an economic dead end.

 What was noticeable in the arguments of those who were advocating building what is one of the most destructive weapons system s in human history was how little they talked about the  defence of the realm. Even the few, like  ex MP Thomas Docherty and MSP Jackie Baillie who gave more thn passing reference to the role a new trident system would supposedly play in securing the UK  concentrated in what they claimed would be the impact on jobs.

Without Trident renewal it seems that British manufacturing will just collapse. This argument was pursued to such an extent that in my right of reply.  I felt obliged to apologise to conference for failing to notice the change in construction techniques which mean that the only possible use for British steel is in the construction of nuclear weapons.

The “Gie’s mair bombs – cos bombs means jobs” approach – and  this is a paraphrase, not a cariacature  – of the argument laid out,  is both curious and dispiriting. The purpose of a defence policy is in fact defence, not job creation. Incidentally Trident renewal  scores very poorly in terms of job creation. The likelihood is that it will force cutbacks in other defence spending). Moreover it represents an appalling failure of social and economic ambition.  It’s implication is that the only employment that can be envisaged  for  our most skilled craftspeople, our most highly trained technicians,  is in making nuclear weapons. That defence diversification is something that only other countries can make work.

 By a thumping majority, Scottish Labour decided otherwise.   

Labour CND Contemporary Resolution to Conference 2015

The following Contemporary LPC1_20140926121204Resolution has been submitted by the Executive of Labour CND for consideration at Labour Party Conference in Brighton. It calls on Labour to support the scrapping of Trident, following comments from the Japanese Prime Minister at the Hiroshima commemorations.

“Labour should scrap Trident and any plans for Trident Replacement”

On August 6th at the commemoration ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, said that he would submit new resolutions to the United Nations General Assembly in Autumn this year and to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held at Hiroshima next year, for real determination for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Conference notes that the estimated lifetime cost of the Trident nuclear weapons system is £100 billion; believes that this is wholly unjustified at a time of devastating cuts in public spending; believes that nuclear weapons do nothing for the security of Britain or the world; further believes that Trident replacement would breach Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Conference resolves to support the scrapping of Trident and any plans for its replacement. Conference urges all Labour MPs to vote against Trident replacement and calls on the Labour Party to prioritise practical plans to transition the highly-skilled work-force away from nuclear weapons production into more socially productive industries to protect jobs and skills and to help grow the British economy. 

Conference calls on all Labour Party members, Labour Party units and affiliates to campaign against Trident and against plans for its replacement. Conference calls for support at the UN and G7 for the new resolutions from the Prime Minister of Japan for international agreement for the total elimination of nuclear weapons world-wide.

Annual Conference 2014 Resolutions

Labour CND has drafted two resolutions, one on Disarming Trident and a second on Ending US and UK military interventions in the Middle East.

It is vital that Labour CND supporters ensure these debates are heard at Labour Party Conference.

  • Make sure your CLP discusses and submits one of these resolutions.
  • Make sure your delegate is present at any relevant Conference Arrangements Committee meeting before conference.
  • Make sure you promote the resolution to ensure it is prioritised for debate.

 

The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 11th September 2014 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words.

Please email info@labourcnd.org.uk and let us know if your CLP is submitting one of these or a similar motion.

 

Disarm Trident

Conference notes the Message to Congress by President Obama of 24 July on the extension of the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement.

Conference further notes that the Prime Minister failed to consult or inform Parliament before signing the extension ofthis Treaty and regrets this disregard for democracy by the Government.

Conference recognises the extension of the Treaty is to permit ‘the transfer of classified information concerning atomic weapons’ in order ‘to assist the United Kingdom in maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent’.

Conference further regrets that the extension to the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement runs counter to our Non-Proliferation Treaty commitment to disarm our nuclear weapons.

Conference notes that Labour’s National Policy Forum of 18-20 July discussed almost 50 submissions on Trident.

Conference welcomes the NPF decision to recognise the success of past international bans on weapons of mass destruction such as landmines, clusster munitions, and chemical and biological weapons and supports a definitive commitment to disarmament.

Conference resolves that Labour will support an international process to ban nuclear weapons, as a complementary and necessary mechanism to our commitment to disarm UK nuclear weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Conference resolves that Labour will disarm Trident and not replace it, and re-allocate spending to where it best serves our society, including developing an industrial plan to make use of the skills of those workers in the sector.

 

End US and UK Military Interventions in the Middle East

Conference notes the announcement by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond of 15th August that the UK will provide military equipment to Iraqi and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.

Conference notes with concern the spread of the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq and their ethnic cleansing of ethnic and religious minorities in both states.

Conference notes with regret the US and UK military intervention in Iraq in 2003 which resulted in an estimated 500,000 civilian deaths, the creation of 4 million refugees, and enforced the destabilising disintegration of Iraqi state and security infrastructure.

Conferences expresses concern that further unilateral military action by US and UK forces could further entrench sectarian divisions and make the establishment of a peaceful and unified country more difficult to achieve.

Conference resolves that Labour will reject unilateral military action or arming of forces by the UK and calls for a UN-authorised humanitarian response and calls on the UN to facilitate urgent negotiations for the peaceful resolution of this conflict.

 

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.

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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.

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

Individuals can post a personal submission to the YourBritain site.

 

Conference resolution and fringe 2013

Contemporary Resolutions

Scrapping Trident is the subject of our model contemporary motion to Labour Party Annual Conference this year.

 

It is time the Labour Party seriously debated Trident, a throwback to the Cold War which consumes enormous resources that would be better spent elsewhere and with no relevance to the UK’s security needs.

It is vital that Labour CND supporters ensure these debates are heard at Labour Party Conference.

  • Make sure your CLP discusses and submits one of these resolutions.
  • Make sure your delegate is present at any relevant Conference Arrangements Committee meeting before conference.
  • Make sure you promote the resolution to ensure it is prioritised for debate.

 

The deadline to submit motions is noon on 12th September 2012.

Please email info@labourcnd.org.uk and let us know if your CLP is submitting one of these or a similar motion.

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Labour CND’s fringe meeting at Labour Party Conference

 

Join the debate on Trident the Labour Party needs to have.

Labour, Trident and the 2015 election

6.30pm, Monday 23rd September
Royal Albion Hotel, Old Steine Brighton (map)

Nick Brown MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Sheila Gilmore MP
Clive Lewis PPC
Nancy Platts PPC
Ann Black, NEC
Kate Hudson, CND

Refreshments provided

Email info@labourcnd.org.uk for more information.

Facebook event

Labour must hold Trident debate now

Many people would prioritise spending on health or education, on infrastructure, job creation or supporting the vulnerable rather than on replacing Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons. Others would argue that spending over £100bn on a cold war weapons system – rather than maintaining our troops or combating cyber warfare – is detrimental to the national interest. Many of us see that there is no strategic, economic or moral case for nuclear weapons, but others who think otherwise. It remains a controversial debate.

A decision on the replacement of Trident is due to be taken in 2016. If the Labour party is to form the next government, now is the time to debate it, in an open fashion, to arrive at an informed policy – leaving aside past prejudices – in Britain’s best interests. For Labour to regain trust in its ability to govern openly and transparently, it must show it is confident enough in its own processes to have it. This year’s Labour party conference is the time to debate this crucial issue.

Nick Brown MP, Newcastle EastMartin Caton MP, Gower / Katy Clark MP, North Ayrshire and ArranMichael Connarty MP, Linlithgow and Falkirk East / Jeremy Corbyn MP, Islington NorthPaul Flynn MP, Newport West / Sheila Gilmore MP, Edinburgh EastFabian Hamilton MP, Leeds North East / Kelvin Hopkins MP, Luton NorthJohn McDonnell MP, Hayes and Harlington / Michael Meacher MP, Oldham West and RoytonJoan Walley MP, Stoke-on-Trent North / Claudia Beamish MSP, South ScotlandNeil Findlay MSP, Lothian / Christine Chapman AM, Cynon ValleyJenny Rathbone AM, Cardiff  / Central / Julie Morgan AM, Cardiff NorthJulie James AM, Swansea West / Baroness Ruth ListerLord Alf Dubs / Clive  Lewis PPC, Norwich SouthNancy Platts PPC, Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven / Lisa Forbes PPC, PeterboroughAnn Black NEC / Lucy Anderson, London NPF repNick Davies, Wales NPF rep / Ruth Davies, Yorkshire and Humber  NPF repAnnabelle Harle, Wales NPF rep / Carol Hayton, South East NPF repJenny Holland, East of England NPF rep / Chris Hughes, North West NPF repSally Hussain, London NPF rep / George McManus, Yorkshire and Humber NPF repDoug Naysmith, South West NPF rep / Alice Perry, London NPF repNicholas Russell, Labour Disabled Members Group NPF rep / Lorna Trollope, East of England NPF repDarren Williams, Wales NPF rep 


 


 


 


Signatories names will be published. Data will be processed by Organic Campaigns and held under their privacy policy. Acknowledgements.





Cutting Trident ‘essential to credibility’

Labour CND’s ‘Cutting Trident’ meeting in Parliament on 4th December saw the overwhelming case made for Labour to pledge its opposition to replacing the Trident nuclear weapon system at the next General Election and urged the party to open up to the debate in the coming months.

Addressing the meeting first was Nick Brown, former Chief Whip to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, said, ‘Labour can’t sit back and watch Coalition disagree on Trident – we need our own debate and clear position’. He argued that rather than waiting for reviews by other parties, Labour needs to debate Trident as soon as possible, including at the conference in 2013, then get out and explain it on the doors. He made clear his long-standing concerns about Trident had become outright opposition in the changed circumstances from when it was first commissioned.

His key argument against replacement were the changed security circumstances, when Trident was conceived as a weapon to ‘flatten Moscow’ whereas the latest National Security Strategy made clear that the likelihood of state-on-state conflict was low and decreasing. But the economic circumstances compound the security case against Trident, and in particular the cuts to education that threaten the futures of young people today, should be reversed by transferring the funds allocated to Trident to lowering university fees.

Clive Lewis, Labour’s candidate seeking to retake Charles Clarke’s old seat of Norwich South from the Lib Dems, spoke next and drew on his experience serving with the Territorial Army in Afghanistan in emphasising the security case against Trident replacement. In particular he said there was a strong military case with ‘conventional forces being hollowed out’ and listed the growing number of former senior officers who have condemned the allocation of funds to the submarine programme while conventional equipment ages. In his words, he said ‘I’d rather have more Chinooks than Trident’.

Katy Clark MP arrived fresh from voting against the Public Sector Pensions Bill and attacked the Tories for their public sector spending and welfare cuts while maintaining projects like Trident. She said the Labour Party needed to decide how it deals with Trident replacement in light of the attacks on living standards for ordinary voters and that, in that context, scrapping nuclear weapons would not be an electoral problem for the party. Addressing also the issue of Scottish independence, she said many in the Scottish Labour Party wanted to see Trident scrapped altogether, not just moved south, which was the risk of a yes vote in the Scottish separation referendum.

‘If Ed Miliband can be brave taking on Murdoch, he can be with Trident as well’, was National Policy Forum member Lucy Anderson’s view. On the party’s policy-making process, she said Labour should be talking to both the unions and employers about regional industrial strategies and the prospects for defence diversification. She said it was vital for Labour members to engage with the policy process, contributing directly to the Your Britain website – submitting proposals, voting on others and making comments – but also directly contacting NPF and NEC representatives.

There was wide agreement that the party should urgently debate Trident this year – a number of activists expressed doubt that the party would have such a debate at the conference before an election – so a conference debate and vote in September 2013 is vital. Nick Brown appealed to trade unions to use their influence to facilitate that debate at the conference.

And in rounding up, Walter Wolfgang from the floor said ‘the country is fed up with the Tories but not yet convinced Labour has a progressive alternative’ and that ‘cutting Trident is essential to Labour’s credibility drive ahead of the next election’.

 

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Labour cannot remain silent on Trident

By Tom King

Labour’s policy review, much needed after 13 years in Government and a drubbing in May 2010, was said to have started from a blank page and would review all our commitments across the board. All, it seems, except Trident.

There has been some positive movement, the Britain in the World policy document stated there will be a discussion about Trident –

but only once the Lib Dem alternatives review has been completed. The fact that Ed Miliband welcomed the review is in itself an important step in itself. But why should Labour let the Liberal Democrats lead this debate?

At a grassroots level, this discussion is already being had. While the National Policy Forum proposal for a debate at some point in the future was presented to conference, MPs, MSPs, AMs, councillors and activists packed out the CND fringe in Manchester.

Neil Findlay MSP said spending £100 billion on renewing Trident would be “economically incompetent” and Katy Clark MP a

nd Julie Morgan AM both agreed that nuclear disarmament would be an electorally popular policy for Labour.

With the Government now pledging to spend £350 million on the next stage of Trident renewal, whilst cutting benefits from the disabled and slashing vital public services, its clear just how little economic sense nuclear weapons make. It also demonstrates that the Tories are determined to plough ahead with renewing our nuclear arsenal, regardless of Lib Dem opposition.

Labour’s lack of response to the latest announcement is remarkable and, in Scotland, the SNP are already atta

cking Johann Lamont for failing to respond when Trident’s submarines are based in Faslane.

Lamont has previously stated her opposition to Trident; saying in 1999 that she would support a motion calling for the weapons system to be decommissioned. If the party is truly to renew under Ed’s leadership then, Lamont should, as leader of Scottish Labour, be able to restate her belief in nuclear disarmament and show she’s in touch with public opinion.

The party cannot remain silent on Trident.

When even Tony Blair now admits that Trident is of no use as a strategic deterrent and itssignificance is purely political, surely Ed can admit its time to ditch this cold war relic.

If the Labour leadership are serious when they talk of making tough econom
The ‘Promise of Britain’ is not to deliver a future for the next generation where security is based on mutually assured destruction, it is about providing a society in which everyone has a fair chance to get on. Ed Miliband must be frank and say, in the words of the former chief whip Nick Brown, “we don’t need Trident and we can’t afford it”.ic choices in the next Parliament, there’s no way they could then go on to spend £100 billion on weapons of mass destruction that could kill millions.Scrapping Trident will send a bold signal to the world that the nuclear age needs to be put behind us and, as Nick Brown advocates, would allow the next Labour government to deliver a tuition fee cut that would re-open the doors to higher education for ordinary working class young people.

Nick Brown: No to Trident renewal

At the next General Election every Parliamentary candidate will be asked which way they are going to vote on Trident renewal. This is essentially the same question that was asked of Parliamentary candidates in 1983.

The issue is not should Britain continue with an existing strategic deterrent. The issue is should Britain commit the resources for a new generation of platforms and weapon systems. The answer should be no.

The changing nature of military threats to the UK needs to be responded to. That response should place defence in the context of Britain’s broader diplomatic stance and military alliances. It should also place Trident renewal firmly in the context of present public spending priorities.

The Coalition Government is pulling apart public services and is raising taxes on those who can least afford to pay them. If Labour is to put forward a coherent economic alternative we have to take a good look at all areas of public spending. In these circumstances it’s hard to see a case for renewing our nuclear deterrent. In what crisis could Britain conceivably use an independent strategic deterrent? And against who? The real nuclear dangers to Britain come from rogue states and terrorism. The possession of an independent nuclear deterrent of our own doesn’t make us safer. A better investment would be antiterrorism capabilities.

The Government projects a total cost for Trident renewal of up to £25bn, though CND believe that the lifetime cost could come in as much as four times that figure.

The Liberal Democrats’ move to postpone a final decision until after the next election has already added an extra £1.5bn to the bill.

There are far more urgent demands on the public purse. To name just one, the Coalition have trebled the cap on tuition fees at Britain’s universities. This threatens to price out of higher education an entire generation of youngsters of less than ordinary means. If we are to reverse this decision, as Labour is committed to doing if possible, we will have to find the money to pay for it.

It is my view that excluding youngsters from higher education, starving public services more generally of necessary resources, poses a far bigger threat to the United Kingdom than the idea that a foreign power with nuclear weaponry would uniquely threaten to use them against us without the rest of NATO and be able to somehow disapply NATO’s founding terms.

 

Nick Brown is the MP for Newcastle East