Edinburgh CND News 21st July (updated 26th)

Edinburgh CND are holding their annual Hiroshima day vigil on the 6th August, Foot of the Mound, North West corner at 6 – 7 pm.  Everyone is invited.                                         There will also be a fast starting that day (further details to follow)                                            

We will not be having a formal meeting on Monday 1st August but do contact us on Edinburghcnd@yahoo.com if you would like to join an informal get together.


Parliament has decided to replace Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system, at enormous expense and without a full consideration of the security implications. MPs  voted in support of government plans to build four new submarines for the UK’s nuclear weapons system, Trident. In an ill-informed, head-in-the-sand debate, short on facts and ignoring Trident’s irrelevance to the security challenges that we face today, Parliament gave the go-ahead to a weapon of mass destruction which will cost at least £205 billion.

Politicians from every major political party voted against the plans, including 58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs.

CND’s key arguments were clearly heard in the debate. The Prime Minister was repeatedly challenged to state the lifetime cost of Trident replacement but was unable, or unwilling, to do so. Conservative MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Crispin Blunt said that ‘the cost of this programme comes at the expense of the rest of the defence programme’ and warned ‘costs are likely to rise much further’.

Ronnie Cowan MP was one of the speakers to point out that nuclear weapons do not keep us safe, saying Trident kept the country ‘locked in our cold war mentality of maintaining weapons to counter threats that do not exist’.

On the issue of jobs, SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie said there must be ‘better ways of investing in growth for their communities which do not involve nuclear weapons’. CND Vice-President and Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP called for the re-establishment of a Defence Diversification Agency to ‘support industries that have become over-reliant on defence contracts and wish to move into other contracts and other work’.
The decision demonstrated a failure of vision on the part of our government. This was a once in a generation opportunity to break with this antiquated weapons system and address our defence needs in ways appropriate to the twenty first century.

All the facts stack up against Trident – and they continue to do so, irrespective of this shameful and ill-informed vote. CND will continue to campaign against replacement, working with those broad forces across society who wish to see an end to Britain’s possession of weapons of mass destruction.
“They voted for a cold war system on the basis that it underpins our standing in the world. They have failed to notice that the overwhelming majority of states in the world – those without nuclear weapons – continue to insist that we comply with our international treaty obligation to disarm. Far from enhancing our status, our continued failure to disarm does us enormous harm in the eyes of the global majority.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“Parliament has had an ill-informed, head-in-the-sand debate, short on facts and ignoring Trident’s irrelevance to the security challenges that we face today.

“Committing £205 billion to a system that will be rendered obsolete by technological challenges inspires no confidence whatsoever in this government’s ability to spend public money to good purpose.

“Too much of this has been driven by party political point scoring, both within and between parties. Playing politics with Britain’s national security is to be deplored. And imposing these weapons on Scotland – which clearly rejects Trident replacement – renders the decision devoid of any legitimacy.                                                                                                     end note: UKCND has extended the deadline for conference motions

Scottish CND said: We are being forced to keep another generation of nuclear weapons on our land. We will continue to work flat out and this will include supporting efforts to secure a second independence referendum as a route to get rid of nuclear weapons from Scotland.Support our work, join Scottish CND today!

Follow-up: some news in the paper today: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/secret-papers-reveal-british-government-sought-undermine-peace-movement-1980s/

and 2 petitions: (1) Tony Blair and War Crimes: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/159996 (2) Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/osborne-dont-waste-billions-nuclear?source=em&subsource=20160725egem01&utm_source=gpeace&utm_medium=em&utm_campaign=20160725egem01

House of Commons briefing on the nuclear convoy, which was probably in response to SNP inquiries (especially Owen Thompson and Margaret Ferrier, who should be thanked!) http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7542/CBP-7542.pdf

Drone Campaign News July: https://dronecampaignnetwork.wordpress.com

United Colours of Leith Diversity Demonstration Saturday 2 – 4pm.
From Pilrig Park to Leith Links.
Leithers Don’t Litter are organising this show of opposition to hatred and discrimination. It’s diversity that makes Leith so colourful and special. A few days after the Brexit vote, some neo-nazi stickers appeared around Leith. The demonstration is to show Edinburgh won’t put up with this. All welcome

This Saturday sees the opening of a new exhibition at the Glasgow Women’s Library on women peace crusaders.                                                                                                                               The monthly vigil sponsored by the Scottish Peace Network will take place at Glasgow’s Dewar’s statue on Thursday, July 28, from 5 to 6pm. They have shifted from the fourth Wednesday of the month to the fourth Thursday to avoid conflicting with a weekly vigil at Faslane every Wednesday.

UN Open Ended Working Group Update: Most non-nuclear countries favour a nuclear weapons convention or ban treaty, while most allied countries favour a hybrid approach (which they call ‘building blocks’). See OEWG: Momentum grows to outlaw nuclear weapons.
What you can do
Come to Geneva for the OEWG. Register through UNFOLD ZERO or through the OEWG website;
Call on your government to support the key proposals to the OEWG;
Organise a public action/event to highlight the OEWG;
List your action/event on Chain Reaction 2016, which links anti-nuclear actions undertaken around the world between July 8 and October 2.

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