Policy consultation extended

In response to pressure from members and local parties, the Labour National Executive Committee has decided to extend the consultationto Monday 20 July. Still time to make a submission on international policy, and voting to support Labour CND’s five responses. Check out the details in the post below.

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Respond to Labour’s International Policy Review

Labour CND has responded to the Labour Party policy consultation with 5 submissions in answer to each of the questions posed in International Policy Commission document, Championing internationalism in the post-coronavirus world. The IPC consultation covers foreign, development and defence policies, as well as broader issues such as Labour values and concepts of internationalism. LabCND urges you to access our submissions, sign in or register, and support them with a brief comment and a vote, and please consider making a submission of your own too.

You can read a summary of our submissions, posted by our secretary Ruth Brown, on the Labour Policy Forum website below. Then click on the question numbers to go straight to the website and add your own comments and vote to support them.

Q1: Labour’s internationalist values should include a war powers act
There’s great stress on Labour values without specifying what they are – a feel-good approach that fails to acknowledge differences. The most basic human right is the right to life. Labour’s 2019 manifesto promised a war powers act ‘so that no prime minister can bypass parliament’. Keir Starmer reaffirmed this promise. Putting flesh on the bones of Labour’s post-Covid internationalism, starts with reaffirming our commitment to the primacy of peace and justice, and the introduction of a war powers act.

Q2: UK defence policy: realism vs illusion
Real security is human security. The UK National Security Risk Assessment has highlighted their chief risks facing the UK, including health pandemics and ecological disasters as well as terrorism and cyber-attacks. Trident does not protect Britain from the actual threats we face. The participation of defence contractors in  the Ventilator Challenge Consortium shows the practicality of a just transition from nuclear weapon production to socially useful, sustainable alternatives. Let’s have a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency now in line with TUC policy.

Q3: International development values and strategy
Labour should re-assert the international development values expressed in our 2019 manifesto. Announcing his decision to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign an Commonwealth Office, Boris Johnson said DiFD’s goals ‘will be wholly integrated with UK foreign policy and described the merger as ‘an opportunity to get value for the huge investments we make in overseas spending’. Labour should make the case for the retention of DFID with a standalone aid budget of at least 0.7% of gross national income, and commit an incoming Labour government to re-establishing an independent aid-giving department.

Q4: International priorities and global leadership
Global leadership takes many forms. Remembering Britain’s colonial legacy, we must be cautious about assuming that British leadership is what’s needed. The UK’s positive contributions to emergency and international aid, and to diplomacy are recognised by the UN and others. Labour should support the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and push for progress on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It’s time to break with bipartisanship and strive for an independent, non-aligned foreign policy based on the primacy of peace.

Q5: Weaknesses in national security
Real security is that which makes our citizens safe. As criticisms of the Tories handling of the Covid19 crisis demonstrate, state security back up by military force does not always coincide with human security.Real security is not about national status that Trident supporters believe comes from Britain possessing nuclear weapons. Labour should commit to scrapping Trident replacement at the earliest opportunity and be prepared to dismantle the existing system when in government, starting with an end to at-sea patrols.

ACCESS MATERIALS HERE
To download a copy of Labour IPC document, the LabourCND submissions, or our quick guide to the IPC site, click on the links below:

Championing internationalism in the post-coronavirus world here
Labour’s internationalist values should include a war powers act here
UK defence policy: realism vs illusion here
International development values and strategy here
International priorities and global leadership here
Weaknesses in national security here
NPF: the basics here

Angela Rayner: ‘I want a world without nuclear weapons’

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s new Deputy Leader

Congratulations to Angela Rayner on her election as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. We reproduce below her response to Labour CND’s lobby for a Minister for Peace and Disarmament:

Thank you very much for getting in touch with me about the post of Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament and the other manifesto policies. My Shadow Cabinet colleague Fabian Hamilton has done a great job as Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament and I absolutely believe that there should be a front bench spokesperson with specific responsibility for disarmament.

I can also confirm that I continue to support the commitments made in the “New Internationalism” section of the 2019 Manifesto and would want to maintain those commitments. I want a world without nuclear weapons and that’s what I want a Labour government to work towards. When the last Tory government tabled their motion to renew Trident in the House of Commons, I voted against it.

Of course, I don’t want to do to workers in shipyards and the supply chain what Thatcher did to pit towns, so any change would need to be underpinned by a plan for replacing those jobs with other skilled, well paid and unionised jobs. I would much rather we invest billions in low carbon, sustainable infrastructure, creating jobs, and building a future for our economy in exporting the means to save lives, not take them – the new, green technologies of the future. I have also made contributions during the hustings on arms sales that you might find interesting, you can watch that here.

Any candidate for Prime Minister who by contrast relishes the thought of unleashing death and destruction isn’t fit for the office. I’d rather work towards reducing the nuclear stockpile across the world because that’s the one thing that would make us all safer. We need an international commitment to disarmament and cooperation; the Tories have dismally failed to provide such leadership and the next Labour government must provide it.

Minister for Peace & Disarmament remains

Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds NE since 1997 retains his Front Bench post as Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament

Labour CND is delighted to see that the Front Bench post of Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament is to be retained under the new leadership, and will continue to be ably filled by Fabian Hamilton MP. Fabian will be working with colleagues in the Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Office team, including Catherine West, another committed nuclear disarmamer and Vice President of London Region CND. Congratulations both.

Labour’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office team, led by Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy, comprises Wayne David (Ministter for Middle East and North Africa) Stephen Doughty (Africa, jointly with DFID) Stephen Kinnock (Asia and Pacific) Catherine West (Europe & Americas) and Fabian Hamilton (Peace and Disarmament). It is not yet known if Fabian’s post has the same brief before, which also ranges across policy areas within the defence team.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Labour CND’s online lobby in support of the Minister of Peace post.

Details of Labour’s new front bench here

Expensive MoD projects vs NHS spending

Extravagant military projets mean driving a tank through NHS spending

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.

Read Mark Curtis article in full
Take a quick look at what MoD money’s going on

Covid19 exposes government security failure

Wash your hands of Trident to combat Covid19

Successive National Security Risk Assessments commissioned by the UK government have identified pandemics one of the top threats to Britain’s safety. Then why wasn’t the government prepared for Covid 19? And why are we spending £205 billion on replacing Trident when the NHS is struggling to survive? Read CND’s blogg and let your MP know just what you think government priorities should be.

LabCND conference postponed

Our2020 annual conference and AGM is postponed for now. We’ll be setting a new date once the present crisis is over. Meanwhile, we’ll be exploring online ways of meeting and campaigning, investigating the possibility of a virtual AGM, and keeping contact with our supporters via regular LabCND E-News.

No War on Iran

CND and Stop the War Coalition organised a march on Saturday 11th January 2020 calling for peace in the middle east and #NoWarOnIran!

Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott were among the high profile speakers at the event. We were please to see Dulwich and West Norwood and West Walthamstom Labour Party branches at the demo with banners.

Jeremy’s speech can be viewed here:

Jeremy Corbyn | Don't Attack Iran Demonstration

The only way forward is peace.

Posted by Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday, 12 January 2020

Koreans call for peace

Pictured left with Scottish CND Chair and Labour Party member Arthur West and right at Leeds University, Francis Daehoon Lee toured the UK in May representing People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a south Korean NGO which he helped found in 1994. In London, Scotland and Yorkshire he had the same clear message for everyone he met: the peace process on the Korean Peninsula must continue.

Francis held meetings with Shadow Peace and Disarmament Minister Fabian Hamilton and Shadow International Defence Minister Alex Norris in Westminster and a cross-party group of Scottish parliamentarians in Edinburgh, briefing them on the Trump-Kim talks. He met academics, students and activists for a round-table discussion at Leeds University (pictured right) and joined local activists for a demonstration at the gates of Menwith Hill spy base. Former Labour MEP Glyn Ford, author of Talking to North Korea: ending the nuclear standoff joined Francis on the platform of a public meeting in London.

Francis Daehoon Lee speech:

Glyn Ford speech:

Julie Ward in Strasbourg

Speaking in a debate on European security and the future of the INF Treaty, MEP and Labour CND Co-Chair Julie Ward said:

‘The INF Treaty occupies a special place in peace history – in our history. It was prompted by the huge nuclear disarmament movements that swept across Europe and the USA in the 1980s. In some respects, the peace movement owns this treaty, and we must do what we can to ensure it is not taken away.’

Read Julie’s speech in full.