We simply cannot go back to business as usual in the post-Covid era – and that includes the proliferation of weapons and wars that claim thousands of lives, says Fabian Hamilton in a message recorded for Labour CND.
The Tory government’s risk assessment warned that health pandemics were a major threat to Britain’s security, nuclear attack wasn’t. So why are we spending £205 billion on Trident when the NHS is chronically underfunded askes Labour CND Secretary, Ruth Brown in a recent letter to the Financial Times.
Covid19 has seen some companies in the arms industry turn their hand to socially useful production, which is what defence diversification is all about. In the UK, Airbus, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, Rolls Royce and Siemens UK are among the companies participating in Ventilator Challenge UK, the government consortium making ventilators.
In this short video made for Labour CND, Sam Mason of the PCS union explains that the response to this health crisis shows we can end the continuing waste of billions of pounds on the UK’s unnecessary nuclear weapons system. We need to lobby for a firm commitment from the new Labour leadership to set up a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency.
This half hour exchange with Prof Paul Rogers and Kate Hudson is one of the best and most challenging things out there on the UK government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It takes a look behind the headlines about hard working NHS and other essential workers… and ask why they’re still unprotected, untested and undervalued three months in to the crisis.
Co-Founder of Declassified UK Mark Curtis takes a look at how the Mininstry of Defence is planning to spend hundreds of billions on expensive military projects while our under-funded health service struggles to address the coronavirus.
In these cinemas 1st March
Birmingham, Midlands Art Centre / Cambridge, Arts Picturehouse Liverpool, Picturehouse at FACT / London, Bertha Dochouse, Bloomsbury Curzon Norwich, Cinema City / Sheffield, Showroom
Part film essay, part documentary THE PLAN tells the untold story of how a group of British weapons engineers switched to designing hybrid engines and wind turbines and were nominated for the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. At a time when climate injustice is fanning the flames of inequality THE PLAN looks at how this group of eco-pioneering aerospace engineers took control for the sake of the planet. Their heroism has been forgotten but as constant wars and climate crisis proliferate there’s vital lessons to be learnt from their story.
Premiered at the London Film Festival and nominated for the Grierson Award THE PLAN is being screened at launch events in 6 cities on 1st March followed by a UK wide tour.
Watch the trailer:
“This film captures a unique moment in our history – highly skilled workers showing how to turn swords into ploughshares. If we want to transform society, this is a good place to start.”
“The Lucas Plan holds out hope that production can be transformed to create a fairer, greener world. This will be a must-see film for every trade unionist.”
Frances O’Grady, Gen Sec TUC
Labour CND member Hannah Kemp-Welch visited Hiroshima in August 2019 for the World Conference Against A&H Bombs and sent back this video report on the conference, and the city, 74 years after the bombs were dropped.
‘The world order has been turned into a global free-for-all,’ Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary said in her speech to conference. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, however:
‘we will never as a party go back to supporting illegal, aggressive wars of intervention with no plans for the aftermath, and no thought for the consequences, whether in terms of the innocent lives lost or the ungoverned spaces created within which terrorist groups can thrive’
‘we must and will lead the world in promoting human rights, in reforming the arms trade, in pursuing an end to conflict, in supporting not demonising refugees, and in turning the promise of a nuclear-free world from an impossible dream to a concrete goal’
‘turning the promise of a nuclear-free world from an impossible dream to a concrete goal’.
Listen to Corbyn’s conference speech, or read the transcript here.
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