Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Peace on a knife-edge - time to scrap Trident

Green Party policy is to bin Trident.

As well as saving the country £100 billion over its lifetime, this also saves a potential 200 cities from destruction.

Saying it hasn't happened yet is no argument that it won't.

Trident is the UK's own 'nuclear deterrent' - our own WMD, Weapons of Mass Destruction, the nuclear missiles on board 4 Trident submarines - all supplied by the USA and all thought to be under their control, ultimately, whatever Westminster's blandishments.

It will be interesting to see in the coming SNP challenge to Labour in Scotland, if their commitment to ridding Scotland of these terrible weapons lasts beyond the election. That’s one thing Greens would be particularly keen to hold them to, myself especially having been arrested twice at Faslane on the Clyde where Trident is based.
  
Nuclear disarmament was abandoned by Labour back in the 80s, caving to pressure from the Thatcher government and their media. Interestingly, the arms industry has always done better under Labour than the Tories.

Having external enemies is a great way to bolster unity at home, especially backing your own government when it's at war. One example is the Lib Dems being against war on Iraq but then falling into line when the war started. The more deadly the enemy - as in Russia or China's nukes, number 2 and 3 respectively, - the better.

But with nuclear weapons, we make the world, deliberately, an exceedingly dangerous place. Unlike climate change which has crept up on us, and which may possibly claim more lives in the end, stockpiles of nuclear weapons, ready for use, are the single greatest threat to life.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has been saying this for a long time. Here's their latest -
Guardian - Doomsday Clock near midnight

For decades already, we've learned 'to live with the bomb'. But the Green Party stands for the movement in politics and humanity that says, let's do something sensible about this before there's either a terrible mistake or a deliberate catastrophe.

The weapons exist and have proliferated, a massive arms race with America leading the way while pretending that the Soviet Union was far in advance.

There have been initiatives and successes, the Start treaties, the Fispan treaties. Instead of having tens of thousands of nukes per major state, we're now about 10k, 8k, 6k, for USA, CIS, China. That's serious disarmament. Most states are also signatories to the NPT 1970, the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, committing our countries to disarmament. However, creating deadly enemies (even literally, as with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Russia) is great for keeping politicians in power at home.

It's been understood for a long time, that the next world war could be the last. Hence smaller wars, skirmishes between proxies, standing in for the leading powers.

When there's little or no moves towards disarmament, the current 'pragmatism' not only allows us to accept the single most dangerous threat to most life, but has encouraged the proliferation of nuclear weapons to other states, North Korea, India, Pakistan. At what stage do we call proliferation the most foolhardy thing we've done?

It's all very well for the writers and readers of The Sun or the Daily Mail, but as a world we must move beyond the politics of confrontation. Peace cannot be allowed to depend on the ability to destroy most life on the planet.

Mostly what's behind it, putting aside the nuclear-military industry, is the fear agenda. 'Let's keep people focused on official enemies, grow support for war and distract them from the growth of the wealth of the 1%.

Humans aren't designed to live in fear. But that's what these weapons represent. Our calling is for real peace, not peace on a knife-edge.

Martin Deane
Green Party
Candidate for Hull North
Candidate for Avenue ward

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