Checked out the Labour Party website lately? If so, you’ll have noticed that one of the changes takes you to a Policy Forum page where you can have your say about any of Labour’s policy commissions. You can make a submission on a topic of your choice, click on the ‘get involved’ tab at the top of the page or comment and vote on other people’s submissions.
Most people know that Trident, Britain’s submarine fleet is based at Faslane in Scotland. But do you know where other nuclear weapons and nuclear power facilities or US bases are? CND has produced an interactive map of nuclear Britain.
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).
As May and Fallon repeatedly state their ‘complete confidence’ in Trident whilst ignoring questions posed, CND’s latest video presents the overwhelming evidence against their safety.
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.
In the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show (23/04/2017) interview at the start of the general election campaign, Corbyn said that an incoming Labour government would carry out a defence review, including the Trident nuclear weapons system. A couple of days later, the Guardian carried an article claiming this statement meant he was in breach of Labour’s manifesto commitments.
Labour CND has produced a briefing tackling some of the myths surrounding the debate on Trident and jobs. It was originally produced for the Unite Policy Conference.
The Labour CND fringe meeting at the Unite Policy Conference was a big success, with a packed room hearing from a number of speakers setting out why Unite should adopt a position opposing Trident replacement and engage in efforts on defence diversification.
The meeting heard from economist Michael Burke, CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Labour Party activist Simeon Elliott and Hilary Wainwright, who has written a book about the Lucas Plan. The clear message from the panel and delegates in attendance was that Unite must take the issue of diversification seriously in order to protect long-term high-skilled manufacturing jobs for the future.
Michael Burke called for the money currently allocated to Trident to be used to springboard a comprehensive industrial policy for the UK. He also spoke about the proposals in the CND? Jobs not Trident report.
Kate Hudson welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to establish a Defence Diversification Agency and called on all trade unions, including Unite, to play a full role.
Hilary Wainwright drew on the lessons from the Lucas Plan which could be applied to the current debate around Trident while Simeon Elliott talked about the policy debate underway in the Labour Party and the need for Unite to support a move away from supporting Trident.
Although CLPs have not been holding meetings in recent months, meetings to consider matters relating to Conference will be taking place in the coming weeks. The text of the motion is below, if you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposed United Nations conference on Nuclear Disarmament affects domestic policy
Conference notes on the 19 August 2016 the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament recommended that the General Assembly convene, in 2017, a conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Conference condemns the United Kingdom boycott of the Open-Ended Working Group and calls on the Government to enter into negotiations in good faith to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world.
Conferences reaffirms its commitment to a world without nuclear weapons.
Conference recognises the strength of arguments against Trident from a financial point of view, and from the perspective of an assessment of the actual contemporary threats to British security, such as terrorism. Conference also accepts the compelling moral argument against the use of nuclear weapons.
Conference believes that defence diversification must be an urgent priority for the next Labour government. The next Labour Government must offer cast-iron guarantees on the security of related skilled employment, which is lacking from the existing ?Successor? programme. The priority must be to secure the employment for individuals and the future of the communities involved.
Conference therefore resolves:
1. That a Labour Government will cancel plans to replace Trident and engage in ongoing UN work towards a global nuclear weapons ban.
2. To instruct the NEC to immediately establish a ‘Shadow Defence Diversification Agency’ with trade union participation and which shall report annually to the Labour Party Conference until a Labour Government has set up a statutory Agency.
After a very successful conference at the end of January, Labour CND is pleased to publish a Trident Fact File, which you will find useful when preparing to discuss Trident at local party meetings.
Alternatively if you would like a Labour CND speaker to come to your meeting please do get in touch with us.