My speech on the campaign for nuclear disarmament to the GFTU BGCM

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament – motion from musicians union

 

The final decision on whether to proceed with the replacement of Trident is due to be taken in 2016. 

 

This BGCM believes that, at a time when Britain faces the deepest public spending cuts in living memory, the country can ill-afford to be spending in excess of £100bn on replacing Trident with a new generation of nuclear weapons.

 

Britain’s security needs are not met by nuclear weapons which can do nothing to combat the threats posed by terrorism, climate change or cyber warfare. If countries like Britain justify their retention and replacement of nuclear weapons on the grounds of an uncertain future, it increases the likelihood that non-nuclear states will seek to use the same rationale to justify developing their own weapons systems.

 

We believe the Government should cancel the replacement of Trident. This would allow for the existing skilled manufacturing base to be re-orientated towards providing for the needs of a post-carbon future, with the potential for significant investment in green jobs. 

 

The MU calls on the GFTU and its members to support the CND’s Rethink Trident campaign, which opposes the replacement of Trident.

 

Musicians’ Union



Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

 

The final decision on whether to proceed with the replacement of Trident is due to be taken in 2016. 

 

This BGCM believes that, at a time when Britain faces the deepest public spending cuts in living memory, the country can ill-afford to be spending in excess of £100bn on replacing Trident with a new generation of nuclear weapons.

 

Britain’s security needs are not met by nuclear weapons which can do nothing to combat the threats posed by terrorism, climate change or cyber warfare. If countries like Britain justify their retention and replacement of nuclear weapons on the grounds of an uncertain future, it increases the likelihood that non-nuclear states will seek to use the same rationale to justify developing their own weapons systems.

 

We believe the Government should cancel the replacement of Trident. This would allow for the existing skilled manufacturing base to be re-orientated towards providing for the needs of a post-carbon future, with the potential for significant investment in green jobs. 

 

The MU calls on the GFTU and its members to support the CND’s Rethink Trident campaign, which opposes the replacement of Trident.

 

Musicians’ Union

  

Next year the decision wether to replace trident will be on the agenda. We believe the government should cancel the replacement of trident. Nuclear weapons, are contrVertial at the best of times, weapons of mass destruction…. And we all know how much trouble that phrase has caused!

Their use would be illegal under almost every circumstance. The international court of justice ruled in 1996 the threat or use of nuclear weapons would breach the rules of international law. The huge amounts of civilian casualties would be unavoidable and dose not bear thinking about.

So what are the threats facing the UK?

The governments security strategy identifies terrorism, cyber attacks and natural hazards as greater threats than nuclear war. So the government agree that global warming and climate change are a bigger threat to us, yet nuclear weapons receive five times as much public research funding in the UK as renewable energy. It doesn’t make any sense. Why aren’t we using these funds towards our post carbon future, investing in green jobs that offer a sustained alternative?

This morning twitter directed me to wiki leaks 

whistleblower: nuclear ‘disaster waiting to happen’

These are the words of UK Royal Navy “Trident” nuclear weapons submariner William McNeilly, aged 25.

“We are at war, with a new kind of enemy. The terrorists have infiltrated every nation on our planet. Our nuclear weapons are a target that’s wide open to attack. You don’t have to be Alexander The Great to see we must adapt our strategies. The cold war is over; are we still in situation were we must invest billions upon billions into a system that puts our citizens at risk? NO! We must adapt to the evolving world in order to survive!”

If countries like Britain retain and replace their nuclear weapons, it increases the likelihood that other currently non nuclear countries will want to develop their own programme. And in a way why shouldn’t they?

Pinning our security hopes on a nuclear deterrent encourages others to do the same.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, and these many many wrongs certainly don’t make me feel safer.

The UK could transform the nuclear club from within becoming the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to give up its nuclear weapons. Twelve countries have made the brave decition to get rid of their weapons or abandon nuclear weapon research.By us moving on from trident we could more effectively serve the needs of our country and promote change in a changing world.

The need of our country is reaching breaking point. Benefit cuts for those both in and out of work, the bedroom tax, tuition fees, and the destruction of our NHS….all these things need funding and investment.and with our new tory government in power it is only going to get worse and worse…

So is this the time to spend a hundred billion pounds on renewing trident? A hundred billion pounds on weapons of mass destruction?

That money could fund so many things our country desperately needs…

– fully fund A and E services for forty years

– cancel tuition fees for four million students

– employ 150 thousand new nurses

– build 1.5 million affordable homes

The list could go on and on

In a housing crisis, a poverty crisis it’s seems absolutely outrageous to me we are even considering spending a hundred billion pounds on weapons, nuclear or otherwise. I wonder if those queuing at the food banks would want this money spent on nuclear weapons illegal in almost every use.

I believe we need to help those in need and tackle the growing inequality happening all around us. 

The prospect of a trident free Britain is a positive one. And my opinion is a popular one. The election campaign we are all recovering from certainly suggested that decommissioning trident was a dangerous , minority view ….. Well democracy has spoken. Scotland has decided it wants to scrap trident with the huge surge of the SNP. Of course the Greens with over one million votes supports nuclear disarmerment. And poll after poll shows that it is a majority popular demand through the UK.

For all these reasons the musicians union calls on the GfTU and its members to support the campaign for nuclear disarmerment, and the rethink trident campaign that opposes the replacement of trident.

  

 

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