July 2016

The long-awaited parliamentary debate and vote on Trident replacement due for October will now take place at 10 pm Monday 18th July.

Join the massive protest rally outside.

Brought forward by the bellicosity of Theresa May to win her place as PM, It isn’t yet known whether MPs will be asked to support replacement in principle, or consent to the building of four new submarines, at a cost of £41bn. CND analysis has shown that the lifetime cost of Trident replacement will be at least £205 billion.

Millions have already been spent on upgrading the missiles with a £734 million scheme known as “Project Mensa” to build a new warhead assembly facility already underway at Burghfield, the 225 acre Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) where Trident nuclear warheads are assembled, maintained and serviced.

Trident is not only useless and dangerous, it is outmoded and technically viable to cyber attack and to discovery and targeting by underwater drones. It would be sheer profligacy to waste British taxpayer’s money on a system with built in redundancy. May’s urgent desire to unite the Tories around Trident replacement is really to declare that the UK will remain in NATO, and continue to play a leading role globally. She is willing to use nuclear weapons to guarantee not our security, but her PM leadership and UK’s place on the Security Council.

Public Opposition to Trident is growing as witnessed in the massive national demonstration in London on 27 February. MPs from every major party are expected to oppose the Government proposals. A multitude of organisations and individuals will be present at the rally in Parliament Square. Please attend. This is our last chance to protest against the insanity of nuclear weapons which waste Billions in a time of rising poverty, endanger our lives and our planet and solve none of the real problems facing the world’s people – global warming, the refugee crisis, poverty, lack of housing, education, health care, inequality, poverty and genocide. Nor does Trident solve the government’s own twice concluded main threats to national Security – terrorism, climate change, pandemics and cyber warfare. Write to your MP, newspapers, local radio, join the protest.

In memoriam

Jill Dimmock
13/6/1943 – 28/1/2014

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Nelson Mandela.

Jill Dimmock, 70 was a founding member, long time Convenor and guiding light of Brentwood CND, since the early 1980’s. Her indefatigable energy, dedication to building world peace, mobilising and organising has been irreplaceable and greatly missed. Her lifetime’s devotion to creating a better world, to CND and against injustice and ignorance inspires us. We are currently rebuilding and energizing Brentwood CND in her name.

Jill was an ardent peace activist and eager participant in non violent direct action, wielding her bolt cutters at Greenham Common or the nuclear bunker in Brentwood, marching against Apartheid or military intervention in the Gulf, and singing lustily while lying in the road campaigning for a nuclear free peaceful world.

Passionately engaged in life, Jill inspired and organised people nurturing talent wherever she found it, challenging her family, students and friends to take responsibility to change what is wrong.

A lifetime teacher and lecturer, PhD in German film, Jill believed education a powerful weapon against evil. A passionate admirer of Nelson Mandela, she and her husband Gordon, both teachers, raised funds for schools in South Africa, following their visit at the end of apartheid to encourage the education of girls.

Jill loved film, founding and chairing two film clubs in Brentwood and Chelmsford for 26 years. She organised student and cultural exchanges with Germany for many decades culminating in town twinning of Brentwood/Roth for which she received a Civic Award.

She organized against Apartheid, the Yugoslav war in 1999 and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In April 2013 she organised a highly successful day’s programme for Bruce Kent when he came to Brentwood as part of his ‘Ban the Bomb’ tour of Britain.   Subsequently she initiated the setting up Brentwood against Trident, which aims to bring together circles wider than CND in a common cause.

She was involved in Wool against Weapons setting up Brentwood Knitters for Peace who made a quarter mile contribution to the 8-mile scarf which was stretched between the atomic weapons facilities at Aldermaston and Burghfield in August 2014.. A special knitted tribute to Jill formed part of the scarf and was proudly carried by Brentwood CND members.

Jill was larger than life, dynamic, determined, courageous and principled with seemingly boundless energy. Her loss is immense. She touch­ed the lives of so many people opening them up to ideas of internationalism, peace, justice, love of hu­man­ity, film, music and life itself.

Jill’s funeral on February 14 2014 was presided over by Bruce Kent and followed by a reception and joyous celebration of her life. Over 250 people attended each packed event and over £1700 was donated to CND and the school projects in South Africa.

Help us rebuild CND in her memory as her work and life continue to inspire us.

Obama at the Hiroshima Memorial: Preaching Abstinence from a Bar Stool

On 6 August 1945 the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima killing 140,000 people. A second bomb on Nagasaki 3 days later killed 70,000. Japan surrendered 9 days later and WW2 was over.

At the time, President Truman described the bombing of Hiroshima as an act of revenge which massively increased US power. But in response to widespread criticism of the bombings, the “official “story changed. Based on a 1947 former Secretary of War article the US now claimed that the bombing had caused Japan’s surrender, shortened the war and saved Japanese and American lives. The 210,000 Japanese dead weren’t mentioned.

Six of the 7 top US wartime commanders publicly opposed the bombings. The most senior said “the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. In being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.” But their voices were buried as the Cold War and nuclear arms race ramped up. As one of the article drafters said “you have to get the past straight before you do much to prepare people for the future.”

On May 27 Barack Obama became the first serving US president to visit Hiroshima. Standing beside Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he avoided justifying the bombings or apologizing for them. Instead he said he came to “ponder the terrible force and mourn the dead”. He spoke of the “tragedy” of the bombings which he said must never be repeated.

Referring to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 48 under which USA had agreed to get rid of its nuclear weapons, he said he looked forward to a nuclear weapons-free world in “perhaps” 40 year’s time.

However he failed to mention plans to spend $1 trillion modernising the entire US nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years. Us senator Ed Markey said Obama was “preaching nuclear temperance from a barstool”.

Obama is “pivoting to Asia” as part of his plan to confront nuclear powers in Russia and China. Japan’s “Hiroshima constitution was dictated by the USA in 1946. Article 9 says it ‘renounces war’ and will keep no armed forces. This was dropped with American backing during Cold War. Today Japan has the 8th highest level of military spending in the world. Its armed forces are called “self-defence forces” just as the aircraft carriers it’s busily building aren’t called aircraft carriers.

Shinzo Abe would like Japan to be a military power capable of intervening with might. But his plans clash with article 9 of the constitution, which his government has already reinterpreted. Japanese public opinion is opposed to dropping it altogether. The Obama administration strongly favours enhanced Japanese military capability.

Obama’s visit boosted Abe’s approval ratings. As Japanese anti-war activist Tatsuya Yoshioka said. “If Obama goes to Hiroshima and Abe end ups looking good because of it, and that dooms Article 9, what a horrible result that would be.”

(Reprinted and abridged from Peaceline July-Aug 2016 article by Jim Brann)

Cost of Trident Soars to Over £205 billion

At a time of great austerity, with cuts in social spending and underfunding of the health service, housing, education and all the vital needs of the people, the cost of Trident soars and is now estimated to be over £205 billion.

The system may be obsolete and obscene but the cost of daily running and maintenance and replacement are astronomical and unacceptable. Many of these are taking place already without parliamentary consent. Project Mensa is a £734 million scheme to build new warhead assembly and disassembly facilities at Burghfield, the 225 Acre Atomic Weapons Establishment site at Burghfield/Aldermaston in Reading. This is part of the Nuclear weapons Capability sustainment Programmed a secretive package of measures aimed at ensuring that the AWE can develop and manufacture nuclear weapons into the middle of this century. At least £7 billion will be spent on construction work alone at Burghfield over the next 25 years and much is already happening.

£205 million which could be spent on the NHS, housing, job creation, education and meeting the real human needs of our society.

Fast for the 70th commemoration of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings 6th-9th August outside Ministry of Defence

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and there is a strong will to mark the occasion and to say: never forget, never again, nuclear disarmament now.

This worldwide fast has been held for decades. For the last two years it has also been held in Burghfield with support from Action AWE and Trident Ploughshares.

In France, for many years the fast was held outside the French strategic command based in Taverny, near Paris. Since 2005, it has been held in Paris itself -there are now over 100 fasters. It has spread to other symbolic sites: the Valduc Weapons Research establishment in Burgundy and also the nuclear science directorate CEA-CESTA in Le Barp, near Bordeaux where research is conducted into simulating nuclear tests,.

In Germany, the fast will again be held outside the Buchel NATO base, the only base in Germany at which nuclear weapons are still stationed.

We intend to raise the media profile, and to bring the issue to the very seat of power. We will be camping and holding vigils in Whitehall Gardens, and protesting peacefully outside Parliament, Downing Street, and the Ministry of Defence.

We will commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings by special vigils at the time of their occurrence, in sympathy and harmony with our friends and fellow-fasters across Europe. We will inform passers-by of the reasons for our fast. We will also join up with other commemorative protests: the CND commemoration in Tavistock Square on the same day, and the Pax Christi prayers and vigil outside Westminster Cathedral on Nagasaki day.

We will be conveying a simple message concerning the urgency of nuclear disarmament worldwide, and a specific message aimed at the British government and people calling for non-replacement of Trident.

We welcome any support however small.

Contact Angie on 074-565-88943 or email Marc marcwmorgan@btinternet.com


The fast in France and Germany : http://maisondevigilance.com/projets.htm and https://www.versoehnungsbund.de/iga

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wrap Up Trident !


Our banner was proudly carried with help of friends from other areas on the recent Wrap Up Trident demo on 25th January at the Houses of Parliament.


Next street stall: Saturday 28 February 11:00 to 12:30 – please contact Penny Wright.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 2013

Brentwood Against Trident (BAT) calls upon the Government to halt all further development of Trident for the following reasons:
• Nuclear weapons provide no protection against current and actual threats to this country, such as terrorism, cyber terrorism, natural disasters, environmental damage and increasing world poverty.
• Nuclear weapons divert money away from our current problems. Trident is set to cost £100 billion over the next few years, at a time when we are having to cut essential services such as health, social services, housing and education.
• Accidents at sea where the missiles are deployed, or on land where they are transported, are a major risk and have occurred in the past due to human error or false intelligence. No-one can rule out major devastation being caused due to mistakes.
• The International Court of Justice (1996) ruled that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is contrary to the rules of International Law. The UK is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty which obliges the nuclear countries to pursue disarmament negotiations in good faith. Only 9 countries (UK, USA Russia
Saturday 12th October 11am – 12.30 Chapel ruins
Saturday 26th October 11am – 12.30 Chapel ruins
Saturday 9th November (Remembrance weekend)
​​​ 11am – 12.30 Chapel ruins
China, France, India, Pakistan, Israel,
Korea) have nuclear weapons and more than 170
countries want a world-wide ban on them. The UK
should be leading this call and not recommitting to
weaponry that is controlled by the US and would
cause indiscriminate mass slaughter. We cannot
envisage any scenario where we could possibly use
these weapons against another country.

The last edition of WIRE set out a programme for action in Brentwood as part of our campaign to mobilise against Trident in the build-up to the 2015 general election. Remember that it suits those who support Trident renewal NOT to have a debate about it. We want to ensure that there is a debate in Brentwood and that we challenge all parliamentary candidates as to where they stand on this.
The initiative will need to come from us, which is why we have set up our Brentwood Against Trident group in order to campaign on this very specific issue amongst people who are not members of CND. We need the support of a majority of people in the Borough if we are going to get anywhere. For the first stage we want to achieve two main things:
• Letters to our MPs, asking them their view on Trident renewal.

• Start the regular stalls in the High Street again so that we can begin to collect signatures
If this seems like very old hat and “we’ve done this so many times before”, you are right but there is a crucial difference. We are focussing very much on a Brentwood profile this time around and are aiming to have our petition signed and endorsed by leading local citizens.
We are contacting church leaders, councillors, politicians and educationists and people from the world of sport and entertainment who live locally, asking them to endorse our aims publicly.
The letter writing will also be slightly different. When, as we expect, the MP replies with the standard party line on Trident, we then need to send follow-up letters forcing them to address issues all the issues they have not confronted ie to involve them in a debate with us.
We really hope that all of you will be able to give some active support – either by coming to the stall to sign the petition, or by writing a letter to your MP some of you have a different MP from Eric Pickles, which is fine – the more the merrier. Please keep any replies as we shall aim to collect, collate and answer them later in the Autumn.

One of the major reasons why we should object to nuclear weapons in the UK is the very real risk of a serious nuclear accident.
The secrecy surrounding nuclear weapons, justified by a need to prevent foreign espionage, has routinely been used instead to hide safety problems, cover up nuclear weapon accidents and shield defence bureaucracies from embarrassment. It has also allowed governments to take decisions about the weapons in closed meetings without the full scrutiny of parliament. A report published in 1992 by Sir Ronald Oxburgh, chief scientific adviser at the MoD, claimed that 19 accidents with nuclear weapons had occurred between 1960 and 1991 but that “none of the accidents was particularly worrisome”. And yet, recently declassified US sources have details about an accident on 17 August 1962, at an undisclosed RAF base somewhere in England when two retrorockets on a Thor missile suddenly fired while it was undergoing a routine check. The launch pad was evacuated. Fortunately, the missile’s nose cone containing the warhead had not been dislodged. The warhead was about 60 times more powerful than the bomb which destroyed Hiroshima. Worrying or not?
In January 1997 an RAF truck carrying two hydrogen bombs, swerved to avoid another vehicle on an icy Wiltshire road. It went off the road and skidded on to its side, causing a second truck behind it, also carrying two bombs, to do the same. The bombs were not damaged, but has Oxburgh started to worry now?
There is a catalogue of accidents recorded in a recent book, Command and Control, by Eric Schlosser which was reviewed in The Guardian on 14th September and, more worryingly, Schlosser points to the safety concerns surrounding the current Trident missile. A panel convened by the US Congress on Nuclear Weapons Safety concluded that the changes made to its design, in order to save space, and the type of rocket fuel and high explosive used to increase the range and decrease the weight could lead to a risk of accidental explosion and plutonium dispersal when the warheads are loaded or unloaded on the subs and when they are being transported by road between Scotland and Aldermaston. We may not even need a war to be wiped out.
For decades meaningful debate about Trident has been stifled by maintaining deliberate ambiguity as to its purpose. It is routinely referred to as a deterrent, but it is never explained who is supposed to be deterred and how the weapons would be used should that deterrence fail. What targets would it destroy and in what circumstances? Whom is it supposed to kill? And, calling Trident a deterrent, conceals the fact that Britain has a clearly stated ‘first strike’ policy. Just to take one example: in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, defence secretary Geoff Hoon told the commons: ‘states like Iraq can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would be willing to use our nuclear weapons,’ and similar statements have been made by a variety of politicians. Trident is definitely not a weapon of last resort but a means of protecting our ‘vital interests’.
A few weeks ago a vote in parliament prevented Cameron from authorising a relatively small British attack on Syria and yet a British prime minister can authorise a nuclear attack which might kill millions without public approval or parliamentary debate. The intense secrecy that surrounds nuclear war planning has hidden the devastation that would be inflicted on the targets and the random mass slaughter of the civilian population.
Due to increased costs we shall not be sending out white poppies with your WIRE this year but they will be sold (£1 each) on the 3 stalls we are holding, or you can ring Jill 01277 21671 to order them.

August 2014 sees the 100th anniversary of the start of
World War 1 and the government has allocated more than £50m to mark it. Cameron says that we should have “big outdoor commemorations that will unite the country in national pride” and “capture the British spirit”. This sounds a lot like the spirit that took us to war in 1914 in the first place. The ‘British spirit’ (pace Dannie Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony) is presumably a highly militarised one where the armed forces are regularly invited to display their prowess at school fetes and other summer festivals, where young soldiers offer to pack your bags in Sainsbury’s for a donation and where we have the 4th highest military spending, as a proportion of gross national product, amongst the world’s 194 countries. Along with Greece (!) we have the highest in Europe – 2.5% GDP.
So what is an appropriate way to commemorate the mass slaughter of the First World War? London CND has organised a meeting on Wednesday, 6 November 8pm at the Conway Hall to discuss this and will be addressed by Valerie Flessati, Vice-President of Pax Christi.
It’s important to think about our response in Brentwood to what will undoubtedly be another orgy of self-congratulation for the important part we play in the world’s wars and the victims of those wars will be forgotten.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the premiére of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop production of
Oh What a Lovely War. This is a satirical musical about WW1 and a comment against war itself. The Theatre Royal, Stratford is staging a revival between February 1 and March 15 2014 which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original show and 100th anniversary of the start of the war. Director is Terry Johnson, winner of nine British Theatre awards and the production aims ‘to remain true to the original while re-creating it to resonate with modern audiences’. Tickets are £6.50 – £28 from 020 8534 0310.
One of our supporters, Ann Kobayashi, took part in the mass protest against Trident outside Burghfield AWE at the start of September. She has sent us this report:
With 4 other members of my Trident Ploughshares affinity group, I was arrested on Monday for an act of peaceful resistance to nuclear weapons at AWE Burghfield. Groups from Finland, Belgium, Spain, and Scotland also blockaded the 2 gates. The Spanish held out for 14 hours supported by non-arrestables playing music, singing and chanting by a Buddhist monk and nun. As usual, the Reading Friends’ Meeting House and Douai Abbey offered floor space and individuals provided beds for those unable to manage the camp or the floor.
The camp was set up at 2am on 26th on MoD land beside the Burghfield fence and, despite frequent police visits re being in breach of MoD bye-laws it hopes to be there until 7th. It was peaceful sleeping in the tent especially as we negotiated with the MoD to turn off the brightest arc lights during the night! Age ranges were 17-83 years in camp so the skills sharing groups were lively. The local Burghfield Anglican vicar brought along home-made cakes, some campers attended Sunday service and spoke to residents afterwards. There was also a Quaker meeting during the blockade. At the info. stalls set up on the approach roads we offered a special leaflet to AWE workers appealing to them to use their skills for peaceful purposes. Not many takers as they are not permitted to accept such subversive material. The police, however, did accept leaflets and our non-violence guidelines. Our all-women group aged 55-82, including one wheelchair user, was treated pretty well once police had removed our attachments and I was given a decent vegetarian curry although two of the others were not fed. We were bailed out of Burghfield and Aldermaston areas which made recovering Jean’s adapted car pretty tricky. We are in Newbury Court on 19th.
Action AWE plans to continue the campaign through to the 2016 vote unless Scottish Independence Referendum next year results in a policy change.
So lobbying our MPs and putting information out via local stalls etc. are vital in the coming months.
Do you knit? If you do why not think about contributing your skills to peace campaigner Jaine Rose’s pink scarf which she wants to stretch out between Aldermaston and Burghfield as a way of opposing government’s plans to replace the Trident .nuclear weapons system. It will need to be seven miles long and already people up and down the country are clicking their needles to do their bit. This is an imaginative way of protesting, particularly if you cannot be actively involved in CND’s other campaigns. You can ring Jaine 01453 751604 or E-mail her jaine@woolagainstweapons.co.uk to find out details of the wool to use and the how many stitches to cast on. You can also visit the website
http://www.woolagainstweapons.co.uk It’s a crazy idea to knit but because of that has really fired people’s imaginations and will doubtless get press attention when the time comes to stretch it the seven miles between the two nuclear research facilities. So, if you can’t get out of the house then get knitting. ‘Not in my Name’ is the message.

While we, quite rightly, concentrate on the failure of the UK to do away with its nuclear weapons the international picture is hardly any different. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) publishes an annual assessment of the current situation among the nuclear weapons states and in its yearbook for 2013 reported that all of the five ‘legally recognised’ nuclear states were either deploying new nuclear weapons or planning to do so and ‘appeared determined to retain nuclear arsenals indefinitely.’ Altogether the nine nuclear states (including India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) possess about 17,265 nuclear weapons between them, of which 4,400 are operational and 2,000 of them on high alert. When you think that each of these weapons is vastly more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, then you get some sense of the dangers surrounding us.
During the time since the signing of the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty (which obliged the nuclear states to disarm whilst the rest of the world undertook not to acquire them) the nuclear states have been constantly reminded by the World Court and by various initiatives often led by countries such as South Africa, that they are not fulfilling their obligations. In 2000 they were made to give “an unequivocal undertaking to encompass the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals” This call was supported by 146 governments (out of 194 in the world) and included 4 nuclear weapons states – China, North Korea, India and Pakistan. It is quite clear, therefore, which nations are dragging their feet on this. When you write your letter to Eric Pickles (or other MP) you might like to ask what disarmament initiatives the UK has made or intends to make. At the latest NPT review meeting held in April this year in Geneva there were no new disarmament proposals from the nuclear weapons states. This time they were challenged by South Africa, Brazil and Egypt. The latter walked out as a sign of its anger at the failure to convene the conference last year on a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East. No prizes for guessing who didn’t want that conference to take place.
Earlier this year it was reported that the Faslane Peace Camp outside the Trident base was possibly going to have to close – after 31 years of campaigning – due to lack of support. Fortunately enough people heeded the call in June to allow the camp to continue but more campers are still needed. If you are interested in joining the camp, short term or long term, contact them on 075-117 93227 or at faslane30@gmail.com
Held in support of the anti-nuclear demos in Japan, these vigils have been going since August 2012. 11am – 12.20pm outside the Japanese Embassy, 101-104 Piccadilly then on to the offices of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in nearby Berkeley Square for further vigil, 12.30 – 1pm.
CND has recently produced an excellent leaflet detailing how the £100bn due to be spent on Trident could be put to better use. (We shall have some of these on the stalls on Saturdays.)
For example, for the same money we could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals for over 40 years, or build 150 state-of-the art hospitals, or we could employ 150,000 new nurses every year for the next 30 years. In education, with the same money, we could build 2,000 primary schools every year or scrap tuition fees for the next 30 years. In the area of housing 30,000 new homes could be built every year, creating 60,000 new jobs in construction. The list also covers transport and the environment.
As part of our Brentwood Against Trident Campaign we wished to involve schools and young people as much as possible and were delighted when several schools wanted to host a visit from Bruce Kent in April. He eventually went to Shenfield School where he addressed the 6th form and offered to return to any of the other schools. To date no school has taken up this offer but two local schools – Anglo-European and Billericay School-have booked a speaker from CND’s Peace Education unit. I attended the hour long assembly meeting at the Anglo-European and was very impressed with the participation from the 14/15 year olds. Jill Dimmock
Sat. 12th October 11am -12.30 High Street by side of Becket Chapel
Sat, October 12th 10am
Afghan peace Conference, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road.
Sat, October 19th 10 – 5.30
Friends Meeting House, Euston Rd
Militarisation in everyday life in the UK
Sat, 26th October 11am – 12.30 Becket Chapel
Wed, 6th November 8pm Conway Hall
How to mark the Centenary of WW1
Sat 9th November 11am-12.30
Becket Chapel

WIRE is published and printed by Brentwood CND
jilldimmock@hotmail.com 01277 216712

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 2013 Special campaigning edition


After the inspiring Bruce Kent meeting on April 26th a few of us got together to try to work out how we could translate his words into action.

We brainstormed a lot of ideas and by the end had put together the first draft of a plan to take us up to the general election in 2015.  In order to establish ourselves as a viable campaigning group we agreed a few basic principles about our identity:

We listed the tasks which would be required.  This list will doubtless be amended, added to and generally tinkered with, but at the moment it looks like this:

  • A majority of UK residents, according to all latest polls, is against Trident, but they are not members of CND.   We needed, therefore, to set up a campaigning group which focussed  specifically on getting rid of Trident which would have a better chance of broad base of support across the political and social spectrum.
  • Although some of the audience at the meeting was from outside Brentwood, in order to be effective and reach out to as many organisations and individuals as possible, we would have to concentrate on the Brentwood Borough.  Supporters from elsewhere could join us and then begin to set up similar groups in other Essex areas.
  • We thus came up with the name Brentwood Against Trident  (BAT) with the aim of demonstrating to politicians

and those in positions of power and influence that being anti-Trident is actually a vote winner (as demonstrated in Scotland) not a vote loser.


  • Create publications.  CND has quite a few but we shall need local ones as well.
  • Organise meetings
  • Distribute leaflets
  • Compose and distribute template letters for a letter writing action
  • Get school students and other young people involved
  • Get local social groups involved
  • Contact known friendly elected members and use them to influence other councillors
  • Monitor responses to leaflets and letters
  • Create a list of sympathetic people and groups and identify how they can be used
  • Speak to prospective MPs, MP and local and prospective councillors
  • Run stalls to publicise the campaign
  • Get people to affiliate to BAT
  • Develop our presence in social media and website



Campaigning against Trident can be done in a whole variety of different ways and on many levels.   Bruce, in his address, gave us lots of different ideas.   Everyone can choose what they can contribute.


CND can provide us with leaflets but we need to identify our campaign on them – and produce some of our own.   A couple of people are working on this but extra help would be most welcome.   When we have the leaflets they will need to be distributed – in your road, at your social activities, at the stall, posted out to friends.


Local papers are read by a lot of local people.  We need to get a debate going in the letters pages.  We need to write to Eric Pickles – and then we need to write back to him when he doesn’t answer our questions properly.  And then we write again.   A couple of people will be working on template letters which you could use if you want to – or write your own.  (From a discussion with various people who have approached Eric Pickles on certain issues, we do believe that we could persuade him to shift his ground).  For best effect we need to set a period of time in which the letter writing can take place.


Do you belong to any of these?  Would they be open to having a speaker from BAT?


Do you belong to a union which has either not taken a position on Trident or, if it has, has not done anything about it?   Medical unions in particular are important as they will understand the medical and emergency service implications of detonating such weapons.


We already have some people aiming to get Trident on to their local branch agendas.   This could easily happen within the Labour and LibDem parties as councillors from each are members of CND – but we need to activate this connection and discover which conservative councillors might be sympathetic.  Do you know any counsellors personally?  Whom should we approach?  What is the best approach?


Simple, but effective.   Anti-Trident stickers have already been sent out, but these are rather large for cars so I have asked CND produce smaller ones.   Your cars go everywhere and are one of the best ways of getting the message out.  If you can manage to fit the sticker into your car – great.  If not put it in a window and wait for the smaller ones which hopefully CND will produce.


Not a new idea and we have been doing stalls on and off for years, but they are a great way of engaging with the, generally, very friendly public.   On a fine day

it’s even great fun.   We can get people to sign the usual anti-Trident petition but now, in addition, to sign up to BAT.   Some of our regular stallers have moved away so please consider whether you could help one Sat morning.   A rota for late summer/ autumn will be agreed shortly.



These 4 churches/ religious groups in July 2011 produced a submission to the BASIC Trident Commission.   It is a thoughtfully argued and well referenced document but one sentence from this document suffices to summarise it:

We are united in our belief that it is undesirable for the UK to remain a nuclear weapons state.”

If you are a member of any of these churches do start to talk to clergy and other leaders about your group issuing a strong statement locally.  Additionally, the Bishops of Brentwood (RC) and Chelmsford (Anglican) are anti-Trident.   Buddhists. Moslems and Humanists also could make local declarations.  Much work to be done there.


A start has been made with getting speakers into schools, but there are also scout groups, church groups, youth clubs who should be involved – through social media, bands, musical events.   Is anyone able to help?  What events could we facilitate which would appeal to young people?


Please pass the word around if you use social media.

Have a look at our website and tell us what you think.


We can improve it with your help.


If you are not able to contribute to these activities – then donations would be very welcome.  (A mail out costs about £30 – but is usually more effective than an E-mail  news-letter).  Some of you have already donated so thank you very much.   If anyone else feels able to help towards a campaign fund please send to our treasurer Penny Wright, 9 Harold Gardens, Wickford, SS11 7EN


The initial ‘steering’ group has already worked out a draft schedule – this newsletter is part of it.   We shall get together again to agree a firm timetable.   In the meantime, please start to think how you might be able to help.   You may have additional ideas Please send us your E-mail address so we can contact you quickly if necessary (to jilldimmock@hotmail.com).


And, finally, do not forget the local Hiroshima Day Service at Maldon Quaker Meeting House on August 6 at 8pm.   01621 869850 for further information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 2013


Bruce Kent’s visit to Brentwood on Friday, 26 April was an inspiring talk to a packed, standing-room only audience of nearly 60 people, which left us all talking excitedly afterwards and was a catalyst for action and has led to the founding of Brentwood Against Trident (see P. 3): for him, however, it was a mere stopover in a punishing schedule of country- wide meetings which had taken him to Sheffield and Doncaster on the day before and to Norwich the day after. In all, in April, he was visiting twenty one different towns. In Brentwood itself he gave a talk at Shenfield School, did a Radio Phoenix interview, did some leafleting/ petitioning in the high street as well as addressing the public meeting in the evening.

Bruce Kent visit to Brentwood April 2013

Beginning with self-deprecating jokes about his visits elsewhere – “I thought you were dead” was apparently the comment from some, or “Go back to Korea” from less friendly members of his audience – he soon launched into his passionate disavowal of nuclear weapons. The parliamentary decision may be 3 years away, he said, in 2016 but already billions are being spent in seed money for Trident – at Barrow, Aldermaston, Burghfield, Rolls Royce. By 2016 they’ll say “we’ve gone too far and can’t stop”. NOW is not the time to sit back and wait for 2016, but the time to campaign. Everyone should be actively involved in changing public opinion. There are no passengers in life. We are all crew members with a responsibility to do something.

Bruce being interviewed for Phoenix Radio

Bruce being interviewed for Phoenix Radio

There are many arguments against Trident renewal:
*Economic: Trident will cost £100 billion – £25 billion to produce and £75 running costs. This money could be spent on education, affordable housing, benefits, social services, the elderly and the NHS and yet the government is squandering money on obscene and pointless weapons of mass destruction.
*It’s not independent: the missiles belong to the US and can only be fired by them. The design is American and American satellites are needed to aim and fire them.
It’s immoral: it will pollute the planet for years to come and cause indiscriminate mass slaughter.

It’s illegal under various conventions and treaties.
It’s a potential vote loser for the labour party as a majority of people oppose it. In Scotland it’s as much as 75%.
They do not address a single one of the major security issues threatening us today – terrorism, global warming, food security, fuel shortages etc. More importantly, we were reminded that most nations do not possess nuclear weapons, the vast majority of the member countries of the United Nations, do not have them, do not want them and, indeed, are arguing for an international treaty (see P.2) to outlaw them and compel the nuclear countries to begin a real process of disarmament. Even if, as some hope, nuclear weapons would never be used, whilst they exist and are ready to be launched at the touch of a button, there is always the very real danger of an accident, either for technical
reasons or because or false security information.

Bruce being presented with a window box made by two younger students

Bruce being presented with a window box made by two younger students at Shenfield School.

Earlier in the day Bruce spoke to a large and very alert sixth form audience at Shenfield School.
Conscious of the fact that his audience was not one which had grown up during the Cold War when the threat of nuclear weapons seemed very real indeed and many schoolchildren had seen films like The War Game and Threads, he began by giving a short history of the development of the bomb, the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the reasons (mainly those of national pride and fear of losing influence in the world) why Britain felt it needed to have nuclear weapons. He then went on to discuss the current attempts by most countries at the UN to get the UK and the other nuclear nations to sign up to the multi-lateral disarmament treaty (see information on I-can on next page) and briefly explained the step by step approach which this treaty envisaged. Questions from the students were robust, courteous, showed real concern and the meeting was a very lively one. The sudden appearance of two younger students with the presentation of a window box of pansies was very touching and provided a fitting end to a successful visit. All credit due to Shenfield School – headteacher, staff and students.


One of the questions raised at the Bruce Kent meeting was that of the increasing number of drone strikes being used by Britain and the US and the increasing number of civilian casualties they are causing. Here, Terry Ward reviews one of the latest books on the subject:

DRONE WARFARE Killing by Remote Control
Medea Benjamin £9.99 Verso or £7.99 Guardian Books.
Drones can come in all shapes and sizes, from the humming bird, a reconnaissance drone, to those that are guided missiles. Thanks to Israel and Amazon, where, according to the author drones can be purchased for very little money, drones are now ubiquitous. Since Obama became President 3,000 people in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been killed by US drones, most of the people were civilians.
Drones have lowered the threshold of warfare. The monitors are in Nevada, and the operators become bored with long hours of screen watching. Pressing the button to score a kill is like a video game.
Benjamin provides a comprehensive account of the rise of robot warfare. It is only a matter of time before terrorists fire a drone at an urban transport system. Terry Ward 21 May 2013
NB The author, Medea Benjamin, was present at Obama’s recent press conference regarding the use of drones. She heckled and was ejected.


Jill Evans, Plaid Cymru MEP, is calling on Wales’ first minister to make peace the theme of next year’s centenary commemorations of the start of the First World War. She said:
“I am calling on the Welsh government to make a real commitment to peace in 2014. In Flanders, (where many Welsh men were killed) a human chain has been suggested along the entire Western Front, from Nieuwport to the French-Swiss border. What an incredible statement that would make.”
There is a Peace Institute in Flanders and the plan for the Welsh one would be for it to concentrate on research into peaceful resolution of conflict. The purpose of all commemoration of the 1914-1918 war should be for it never to happen again.
The idea for a Peace Institute in Wales has been around since 2008. Perhaps 2014 will see the project really take off.


The main purpose of Bruce Kent’s talk was to inspire us to action and campaigning. Having reminded us of all the arguments he then outlined what needed to be done in terms of raising consciousness. ‘It’s not a question of deciding who should get involved,’ he said, ‘We all have a duty to oppose war and nuclear weapons.’ He listed many ideas: local library notice boards, write letters to local papers, (read by over 5,000 readers), to national papers, hand out leaflets, respond to erroneous propaganda, involve schools, set up a Youth CND branch, write to local councillors, write to MPs and push them to make a stand: demand that non-nuclear treaties are part of their programme. Call local politicians and church leaders to account and make sure they support the non-nuclear con- vention (see next column). Lobby the churches and use the report from the United Reformed Church, Baptists, Methodists and Quakers (see next column) to raise the issues. Encourage inter-denominational discussions: use church notice boards. Get the development agencies involved. Put a sticker in your house or car, wear a No Trident badge: be a spokesperson against Trident wherever you are – workplace, unions, job centres, schools, hospitals.

Enthused by the vigour of this 83 year old man a few of us had a fairly impromptu meeting on Saturday morning 25th May at Merrymeade Buddhist Café. Out of a lively discussion which covered almost all the aspects mentioned above and more we came up with the idea of a Brentwood Against Trident (Alliance or Coalition) which would mobilise all branches of civil society into a coherent voice against Trident. It would start in Brentwood, but could go beyond as many in our audience were from Southend, Chelmsford, and Billericay. Schools, local council members, LibDems, Eric Pickles, churches and faith groups, humanists, WIs etc., unions, hospitals and social services could all be approached alongside activities like letter writing, leafleting, and petitioning.
Use of social networking must also play a crucial role.
So much can be done.
So much can be done but what are some of us doing so far?
• Supporting the Japanese anti-nuclear pro-
test on Fridays together with union members.
• Using Facebook to highlight Trident
• Setting up a meeting on Trident for local humanists
• Anti-Trident stickers on windows and in cars
• Local schools have been offered a visit from Bruce Kent, following on success at Shenfield school
• Labour party members will put Trident on meeting agenda.

Most people by now have heard of I-Can. Check them out on www. Icanw.org It’s a very informative website, full of information your government doesn’t want you to know. They have a draft multi-lateral nuclear disarmament treaty on the desk of the General Secretary. It’s a sensible step by step approach, full of monitoring safeguards. So far 146 countries have signed up to this (including China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Austria), 22 are sitting on the fence (including Canada and Germany who might well be persuaded), and 26 are against (including Russia, the UK, France and the US). We need to talk to the Coalition about this!
The Baptist Union of Gt Britain, the United Reformed Church, the Methodist Church and the Religious Society of Friends produced a well-argued and well supported submission to the Trident Commission in July 2011. It clearly states “Trident renewal is incompatible with the UK’s desire to encourage global nuclear non-proliferation”. The concerns expressed are moral, ethical and economic. The position of these churches is unequivocal. We need to reach out to them in Brentwood and involve them in our work.
And what about the Anglicans Humanists, Buddhists, the Moslems? Much needs to be done. Find the report on the Methodists website. It’s brilliant!

The 3 melted down reactors which were most badly damaged by the 2011 tsunami are still encased in their metal covers and continue to dribble and belch their poisonous slime and vapours. Every so often, they stir restlessly and release even more radiation into the air. A fish recently caught in the harbour was found to contain 254,000 bequerels (radio-active iodine measurement )per kilo-gram. The Japanese govern- ment’s safe level is currently 300 per kg (or per litre of liquids) for adults (100 for children). This was cynically upgraded in March from 100 for adults – thus allowing the newly-elected Government to assure the population in the area of the reactor that much more of the food and water they were consuming was safe. The World Health Organisation’s recom- mended safe level is 1 bq per litre and in Germany it is .5 and in the US .11. The Government’s and TEPCO’s (Tokyo Electric Power Company) response to this discovery is to put a net around the harbour to prevent the fish from swimming out and being eaten by other fish. But already fish caught 200 kms south of the plant were also badly contami- nated. There has been a leakage reported just a few weeks ago, in April, of water from the plant which has led to TEPCO having to provide more storage capacity.
The Government is trying to push ahead with the nuclear waste re-
processing plant at Rokkasho. It is 15 years behind schedule and 3 thousand tons of waste have already been sent there, but Rokkasho has an active fault under it which could produce an earthquake of up to 8 on the Richter scale. None of the plants which produced the waste will have it back as their spent fuel pools are mostly full. And yet, still the Government is refusing to abandon nuclear power.
Until it does, protests outside the Japanese Embassy will continue. Every Friday tens of thousands of Japanese are demonstrating outside their Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo. In London demonstrations are held outside the Japanese Embassy (101-104 Piccadilly opp. Green Park). Join them if you can to show soli- darity and your opposition to nuclear power in the UK: Fridays 11am – 12.50 and then 1pm – 1.30 outside EDF offices in Berkeley Square. One of our members, has already alerted her union to this and they will be joining them on some Fridays. For up to the minute information contact Shigeo Kobayashi, a local member, at:
While the coalition here tries to sweet talk EDF into investing in nuclear power in the UK, and tries to get around the commit- ment they made not to subsidise the industry, saner countries are demonstrating that they can manage perfectly well without it. Germany announced in April that more than half its energy now came from renewables and it had set a record for solar output on April 14th. Portugal produced 70% of its energy from renew-
ables in the first quarter of this year according to its grid oper- ator REN. This was put down to favourable weather conditions and the country’s investment in wind and hydro-electric capacity: hydroelectric capacity now accounted for 37% of total con- sumption and wind 27%. You see – it can be done.
Countries not now engaging or re-engaging in nuclear program- mes, although they had pre- viously planned to do so are:
Greece, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Oman, Peru, Portugal, Thailand and Venezuela. It can be done.
Starting on 19th May from Iona a pilgrimage from Iona to West- minster has been organised to focus public attention on the Government’s intention to spend up to £100 billion on renewing Trident whilst slashing the NHS, education and social welfare budgets. People are welcome to join the pilgrimage at any point for as long as they want. It will arrive in Westminster on July 20th via St Albans so if you are interested in joining them at this point ring 07425 9315 111.

June 13 7pm Housman’s Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road N1 9DX
‘Countering the Militarisation of Youth’. Launch of War Resisters’ International’s book
June 22 2pm Battersea Park
Annual celebration of London’s Peace Pagoda.
June 22 9.30am – 5pm Central Hall, Westminster
People’s Assembly Against Austerity
July 3 8pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq
‘Fukushima: the health and community effects’. Speakers Dr Ian Fairlie and Satsuki Goto.
August 6 8pm Maldon Quaker Meeting House, Butt Lane, Maldon
Hiroshima Service Christian CND
Ring Beryl 01621 869850 for further info.
August 6 Tavistock Square noon
CND’s annual Hiroshima Day event
August 6 – 9 Burghfield
Joint Anglo-French fasts at Burghfield and Eiffel Tower in protest at nuclear weapons. 0845 4588 362
August 9th 6.30pm Westminster Cathedral
Ecumenical Service organised by Pax Christi to mark Nagasaki Day
2nd w/e every month
Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp
Info 07969 739 812

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Winter 2013

Bruce Kent to visit Brentwood

During the month of April, following on from the major CND demonstration at Aldermaston on Easter Monday (April 1 – see inside pages) Bruce Kent will be making a whistle-stop tour of the UK to bring home the message that Britain should not be spending billions to replace Trident.  On Friday, 26th April he will be in Brentwood and has put himself at our disposal for the day and evening.   There are no details at the moment but do keep the date clear in your diaries if you can.   Bruce has offered to leaflet in the High Street with us, speak at a school debate, address a public meeting etc. and we shall try to make as much use of his visit as we can.   If you have further ideas, or suggestions of suitable venues do please contact Jill – 01277 216712 – jilldimmock@hotmail.com

(If you know anyone who can knock up a mock Trident submarine that would be brilliant).
bruce kent

Bruce is a high profile figure and his arguments that the UK should not be spending billions on a new nuclear weapons system, when the deep cuts in public spending are hitting people so hard is a powerful one.  As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, the UK has a moral and legal obligation to begin the process of disarmament.

The Conservative Party has forced through expenditure on nuclear weapons development (including the upgrading of facilities at Aldermaston) as if the decision to renew Trident had already been taken. This is, however, not the case, as Danny Alexander made clear in a statement on 22 January.   Danny Alexander is the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury who is in charge of the cabinet-office led Trident Alternatives Review and in an interview to the Guardian he made clear that he is seriously considering alternatives to continuous at-sea deterrence.

“Given all the financial pressures across the whole public sector…the idea that somehow, out of thin air, we can carve a multimillion pocket to pay for this, is not financially realistic” he said.   He said that no new cash can be found to help the MoD to pay for it.

The forthcoming review is likely to set out seven or eight alternatives to replacing Trident.   No action will be taken on the review until after the next general election, when conceivably, the LibDems could be in coalition with a Labour Government.  Influencing views within the Labour Party could be crucial.

Influencing public opinion is what Bruce’s tour is about.   Please help us to fund it by making sure your subs are up to date and paying your 2013 subs promptly (see back page for new rates).

New Nuclear Power Stations

With all the twists and turns in Government policy on nuclear power over the past few years it is easy to be confused about the state of play in the UK with regard to when, where and by whom new nuclear power stations, are going to be built.

In 2008 the then Labour government gave the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations and identified 10 sites, later reduced the 8.  In the same year EDF, the French owned company, bought up all of the UK’s current nuclear power stations, which included 5 sites identified for new build – Bradwell, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point and Sizewell.   In 2009, a British company Centrica bought a 20% stake in the UK holdings of EDF, including the new build sites.   Two more of the eight identified sites, Wylfa (on Anglesey) and Oldbury (in Gloucestershire) were bought by Horizon Nuclear Power, a company formed by two German companies, EON and RWE.   The remaining site at Sellafield was bought by a conglomerate of Spanish, French and UK interests called NuGen.   So far, so good – as far as the Government was concerned.

However, since those heady days, no work has been started on any site.  EDF has only announced plans for two of its five sites, Hinkley Point and Sizewell, where they announced their intention of building European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) – to be completed by 2017, but the process has been delayed by the need to re-examine the design in the light of the Fukushima disaster.  Late in 2012 a licence was finally granted to build on the Hinkley site, but EDF and Centrica now seem unwilling to press ahead.   Centrica is almost certain to withdraw and EDF has delayed its decision until later in 2013.   During this time it has been in talks with energy companies from China.   EDF has probably got cold feet since the projected costs for Hinkley spiralled from £4.5bn to £7bn and cost inflation on its build in France and Finland has sent its debt level to £30bn.  Additionally, it has a very bad record in terms of delivering to time.  Its reactor in Flamanville in France was due for completion in 2012 and is now not likely before 2016:  its reactor in Finland, originally due for completion in 2009, will now not be completed until 2014 at the earliest.   NO EPR STATION IS YET IN OPERATION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

In fact, EDF is showing more interest in extending the lives of functioning nuclear power stations than in building new ones.  It has recently announced plans to extend the lives of Hinkley B and Hunterston to 2033.

As for the remaining three new builds, EON and RWE are no longer interested in building at either Wylfa or Oldbury and have put their company Horizon up for sale.  This decision has no doubt come in the wake of the German Government deciding to abandon nuclear

energy thus leaving their nuclear industry with a need to diversify.  Horizon has been bought by Hitachi of Japan who have plans to build an “Advanced Boiling Water Reactor”, but this will have to go through a lengthy UK design assessment process.

This leaves Sellafield, where the UK part of the conglomerate has pulled out, citing lack of nuclear expertise (!) and there are signs that the French and Spanish parts also want to sell their holdings.   The whole programme is in a mess – meanwhile, the government still cannot find storage space for the nuclear waste already accumulated!


Recently in the news we heard that Cumbrian County Council had turned down an application to have a nuclear waste site in its area.   In many ways this is good news as it shows that, even with generous financial incentives, people are not prepared to put their lives and, more importantly, the lives of future generations at risk, and it throws into more doubt government plans to build even more nuclear reactors (see previous article).  However, it does not provide any solution for dealing with the waste which has already accumulated from the UK’s nuclear power programme.   Sellafield is closed and so all used fuel rods (and those from any future build), will have to be stored in cooling ponds on site.   In the tsunami disaster in Fukushima all the radiation which was released came from the used fuel rods stored there.  They were in cooling tanks next to the white hot reactors and as the water level dropped the rods heated up and caught fire.   The reason why the 50 men who risked their future health and their lives stayed on at Fukushima to try to limit the disaster have not been honoured is probably because, to do so, would draw attention to the reason and the blame for the disaster.

“But we don’t have tsunamis here” we are told, but already there has been a serious cooling pond leak at Sizewell which was hushed up by the industry.  The nuclear industry, be it weapons or power, thrives on secrecy.


For 6 years the Italian weapons manufacturer Finnmecanica has been a National Gallery “corporate benefactor” which involved it paying £30,000 last year in return for the Gallery hosting two receptions.   No more!   A successful public awareness campaign by the Campaign against the Arms Trade involving protest outside the Gallery and petitions have resulted in the Gallery terminating the contract a year before it was due to come up for renewal and weeks before the next planned protest.   Next on the list – Covent Garden and the Natural History Museum who also dabble in such dubious fundraising.


A national demonstration has been called by CND for Easter Monday, April 1st using the slogan: Time to Scrap Trident: Stop Fooling around with Nuclear Weapons.   There is nothing new about the message, of course and nothing new about the location.   Aldermaston has been the hub of our protests ever since Britain embarked upon its nuclear weapons programme and has, quite legitimately been the main target of our campaign since CND was formed.   This time it is specifically the millions of pounds being spent on development there which are being targeted, in advance of any formal decision to replace Trident.   The demonstration will begin at 12 noon – bring pots, pans, banners, poems to decorate the fence and to make a loud noise.   More details later of any transport arrangements.

The Nuts and Bolts of Nuclear Disarmament

We quite rightly talk a lot about disarmament within the peace movement, but how many of us really understand how it would work and how long it would take?   CND has produced a briefing of the eight steps which would need to be followed for disarmament to be carried out safely and for it to be internationally verified.   Political considerations would also have to be taken into account, as it is unlikely that any British Government would follow through all eight steps without some reciprocal steps being taken by other nuclear powers.

Present situation:  Trident consists of four Royal Navy nuclear submarines.   There is always one undergoing refit at Devonport.   The remaining three are normally armed with Trident missiles and nuclear warheads.  One of these is always deployed on patrol.

Phase One of disarmament: End the practice of continuous patrol and stop all operational deployment.

Phase Two:  Remove keys and triggers.  To launch a Trident missile the Captain turns a key and the Weapons Engineering Officer presses a trigger.   The key and trigger are kept in separate safes on the

submarine.  These need to be removed from the three submarines at Faslane.  This is verifiable through inspection.

Phase Three:   De-activate missiles.  If the guidance system and the flight control system are removed from each missile then the missile can no longer be deliberately launched at any target.  Each submarine carries 8 missiles.  It would take about a day to de-activate each submarine’s missiles and the parts could be kept under seal.  Storage areas could be constantly monitored.

Phase Four:  Remove nuclear warheads from the submarines.   This already happens regularly at Coulport before a submarine goes in for re-fit, so the highly skilled expertise required is already there.  The removal of all 40 warheads from one submarine would take 7 – 10 days.   Inspection of the process and monitoring of the storage facility is straightforward.

Phase Five:  Remove missiles from the submarines.

Small difficulty here is that Coulport currently only has

storage for 16 missiles and this phase would require storage for 8 more.  These would probably have to stay on a submarine, where the monitoring is more difficult.

Phase Six:  Disable the nuclear warheads and remove Limited Life Components (LLCs).  These items are routinely replaced at Coulport and the removal of them disables the warheads.   In addition to the 120 warheads on the submarines there are about 100 ‘spares’ at Coulport.   These would similarly need to be disabled.  The LLCs from the warheads are easier to dismantle and transport than the warheads themselves.

Phase Seven:   Remove nuclear warheads from the Clyde.  The physical removal of warheads from Scotland would be a clear and significant step.  Prior to dismantling at Burghfield they would probably have to be stored at RAF Honington, which is the home base for the MoD’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Wing.   At present nuclear weapons are routinely moved between Coulport and Aldermaston/Burghfield for ‘servicing’ and the convoy operation, which normally carries 8 warheads at a time,  would need to be stepped up to transport the additional numbers.

Phase Eight:  Dismantle all nuclear warheads

This can only be done at Burghfield.  The present facilities would enable dismantling at the rate of about 50-60 warheads a year, so the process would take about 4 years.   Work would need to be done to ensure that the resulting plutonium could not be reconstituted into a nuclear weapon.

Verification:  Britain and Norway have carried out work between 2007 and 2011 exploring how a non-nuclear weapons state can verify the dismantling of nuclear weapons.  Work is quite advanced in this area.


In the last WIRE there was a report on CND’s International Conference to raise awareness of the plans for a Helsinki Confer- ence aimed at achieving a nuclear weapons free Middle East.   This was due by the end of the year, but 2012 has come and gone and nothing has happened.  There have been no official communiqués and silence has reigned in the press.  The conclusion has to be that the USA needs to shore up its ally Israel and Israel was the only Middle Eastern State not to signify its willingness to take part.   Meanwhile attention is turned again on Iran, which is portrayed as the region’s nuclear threat. In the Obama-Romney foreign policy debate Iran was mentioned 47 times, far more than any other country. No mention is ever made of the fact that Iran has undergone thousands of hours of nuclear inspection, which Israel has not, is a signatory to the NPT treaty which Israel is not and was a major backer of the Helsinki conference.  Israel has also assassinated several of Iran’s nuclear scientists. In September 2012 Tehran hosted a Non-Aligned Movement Conference, attended by 120 world leaders including China, Venezuela, Brazil, Egypt, India and the UN Secretary Ban-Ki Moon.  This was barely reported, nor was there any mention of President Ahmadinejad’s call for a nuclear weapons free Middle East.

The Middle East is an extremely volatile region and there is growing concern that Iran and some of the Arab nations will withdraw from the NPT if nothing is done to regulate Israel.  This would be a disaster, not least of all for the West.   We can only hope that Israel can be brought to the negotiating table.


Newport made history on Remembrance Day when a white poppy wreath was laid alongside red poppy wreaths on the invit-tation of the local British Legion branch, after being approached by Wales Green Party leader,  Pippa Bartolotti.  In Aberystwyth, the town council laid a white poppy wreath for the ninth year running and the town of Narberth held a remembrance service for all victims of war, laying a white and red poppy wreath.   And in Brentwood?   Now there’s a challenge!


Replacing Britain’s Trident submarines is a windfall for certain UK companies and also for some in the US.

BAE Systems (UK) will be contracted to design the subs and build them at Barrow.

Rolls-Royce (UK) will also have a hand in the design as well as manufacturing the nuclear reactors for them.

Babcock Marine (UK) is contracted to run the Clyde Naval Base and the refit base at Devonport.

Serco (UK) is part of Aldermaston Weapons Management Ltd (AWEML).

Lockheed Martin (US) is part of AWEML, designs and manufactures ballistic missiles, designs and constructs non-nuclear components and man-ages the Coulport weapons store.

Jacobs Engineering (US) is part of AWEML

General Dynamics Electric Boat (US) will design the Common Missile Compartment.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (US) designs the fire control system on the sub for the missile.

None of these companies will want us to abandon nuclear deterrence in the near future.


2013 subs are now due and funds are getting a little low.  We are having to raise our subs, therefore, and would like to plead with you to pay last year’s as well if you forgot (a slip inside WIRE will tell you if this is the case).

The visit from Bruce Kent will involve us in additional expense so we need a healthier bank balance.

Subscription rates for 2013:


Individuals £4 (£2 concessions)

Families/couples £8 (£4 conc)


Please send your cheques to:

Penny Wright, 9 Harold Gardens,

Wickford, SS11 7EN payable to Brentwood CND.



Saturday, Feb 9  11am – 5pm

Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London.

Ten years after the Iraq invasion: Confronting War Today. Interna-  tional conference. Speakers include Tony Benn, George Galloway, Kate Hudson, Lindsay German.

Ash Wednesday 13 Feb

MOD London

Christian CND and other Christian groups will hold a witness of Repentance and Resistance to nuclear war preparations. Info: 020 8203 4884

Monday 18 Feb 6.45pm

The Gallery, 70/77 Cowcross St EC1

Chances for peace in the Second Decade.  Prof Paul Rogers Org. Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique

Saturday 9th March  12 noon

Hyde Park Corner

Demonstration to mark 2nd anniversary of Fukushima disaster.

Monday 1 April

CND demonstration Aldermaston

Friday 26 April

Bruce Kent visit to Brentwood.

Every Friday 11.00 – 12.50

Demonstration outside Japanese Embassy 101 Piccadilly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Autumn 2012


Just imagine a country where a cabinet minister is a member of the peace movement.   Then try to imagine a land where the defence secretary wears a CND badge.   This is not some wild notion borne of disappointment  that our own nation seems incapable of producing a government which is truly committed to peaceful solutions to international problems, but it is the state of affairs in Finland.   At CND’s national conference on Saturday 13th October we were addressed by Pekka Huhtaniemi, the Finnish Ambassador, who explained the work of Finland’s former Defence Secretary, Jaakko Laajava, as the convenor of the Conference  on a WMD-free Middle East.
The conference, in a response to an Egyptian/Iranian  request way back in 1995, has not been much talked about and, indeed, the date has yet to be set.   The ambassador was discrete but one had the distinct im-
pression that the sticking point was probably Israel as the only country in the region with nuclear weapons and the only one not to have signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.   And, if Israel is the problem, then not lagging far behind will be the US.   The outcome of the presidential elections is doubtless a crucial factor.  Nonetheless we were encouraged not to see the lack of pronouncements as necessarily negative. Quiet diplo- macy from Finland as a non-nuclear state,  is possibly the way forward and it seems that one of the issues
sharon daley israeli disarmament movement of debate is whether the issue of Palestine needs to be resolved first or whether the establishment of a WMD-free zone would, of itself, lead to a peaceful solution.  Crucial, the ambassador thought, was the response of civil society to the process and, to that end, CND had invited Sharon Dolev of the Israeli disarmament move- ment to speak.  It certainly made a refreshing change to hear a voice of peace and reconciliation coming from that quarter.  WATCH THIS SPACE FOR FURTHER NEWS.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer 2012


I’m sure many of you will re- member the name of ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) which has been campaigning since 1995 to get the UN to negotiate a treaty which would outlaw nuclear weapons throughout the world.

In 2007 Costa Rica and Malaysia finally submitted  a model treaty and in 2008 gained the backing of Ban Ki-moon.  In 2010 over 140 nations called for an abolition treaty at the UN Non-Prolifer- ation Conference and ICAN launched a new campaign targeting Europe and the Middle East.  At present the treaty is supported by 140 nations, with an additional 22 being lukewarm and 30 being sceptical.   No prizes for guessing where Britain and the US stand!   When Eric Pickles says that the Government has a commitment to press for continued progress on multi-national disarmament, then he needs to be asked why it is not supporting this treaty.


In all the discussions about Greece’s National Debt, (too high pensions, too high public service salaries etc.) little has been said about Greece’s arms spending.   In 2010 its military budget was seven billion Euros, 3% of GDP and the highest figure in NATO apart from the US.  It was Ger- many’s biggest arms customer.  There has been precious little talk about cutting this.


The Government is clearly worried about the implications of a ‘yes’ vote in the Scottish referendum for the Trident naval base.  The SNP has repeatedly claimed that it would no longer tolerate the base on its shores.  A list of possible alternatives to Faslane is being considered, with Milford Haven coming out on top.  In spite of 25% of Britain’s petrol diesel supplies sand 30% of its natural gas coming through there and the enormous safety issues which arise from this the Labour-led administration is still not saying no.  The people of Wales may have a different idea.


Hilda Murrell was an anti-nuclear activist and researcher who was a thorn in the side of the Thatcher government.  She was murdered in her home and the killer has never been found.  Her nephew, retired Commander Robert Green of the Royal Navy has just written a book about his aunt’s life and death where he strongly implicates MI5 and Special branch in her murder.

A THORN IN THEIR SIDE – The Hilda Murrell Murder.   It makes fascinating reading.



The annual World Nuclear Status Report for 2012 published in July presents a picture of accelerating decline for the industry.  In 2011 seven new reactors were started but 19 closed down and 4 countries (Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Taiwan) are phasing out nuclear power.  Another five (Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Thailand) have decided not to engage in previously planned nuclear programmes.

Electronics giant Siemens has decided to with draw entirely from nuclear power.  All nuclear companies are performing badly on the stock exchange at the moment, with EDF, the French State utility which wanted to be a player in Britain’s new nuclear power stations, having seen its share value drop by 82%.   And Britain’s response to this?  Let’s see if the Chinese can help us out!


A little girl whilst holding her mother’s hand asked of her mother

‘Mummy, why do we have bombs?’

‘To keep us safe’

Replied her mother

‘Safe from what?’

Asked her daughter

‘Other bombs’

Replied the little girl’s mother.

Knowing that her questions

were not really being answered

with great disappointment,

the little girl gave up asking     questions,

and simply said,

‘But bombs make me scared Mummy’.

The little girl’s mother triumphantly declared,

‘That’s what makes us safe’.

After a very long time,

with huge tears in her eyes

the little girl reluctantly let go of her mother’s hand

and said,

‘  I






Anthony Tinley, Rhyl


If you find an addressed envelope in with your newsletter it means we think you haven’t paid your sub for this year so could you please use it to send your amount to Penny.  £3 (£1.50) individuals £6 (£3) families. Thanks.


13th-14th October

CND National Conference

20th October

TUC national demonstration

See next WIRE for details

NB   I am still not quite firing on all 4 pistons thus there are fewer and shorter newsletters and no stalls!   Hope to be fully fit soon.   Jill

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring 2011



 On Saturday, March 26th CND will be joining up with unions, charities and other campaigning groups in a huge demonstration to show the Coalition that they have got it wrong – cutting jobs, health, education and public services is not the way out of the crisis, nor is it just to make the vulnerable pay for a crisis which was not of their making.   Will any of the cuts already announced or in the pipeline will affect a single member of the cabinet?   If, however, Trident were to be cut we would save £100 billion, get rid of a useless weapons syst- em and be able to invest in jobs in marine energy technol-  ogy and other forms of sust-  ainable energy, which will help  towards our carbon emission targets.

We cannot afford to relax our campaigning, just because the Coalition has put the Trident decision on hold.  Although a group of defence, diplomatic, scientific and political figures has been set up to examine the case for nuclear weapons, the Defence Secretary has confirmed, in answer to a question in the House of Commons, that the specialist high strength steel and other items needed for the first new submarine will be purchased ahead of any formal decision on the renewal of Trident.  The cost is over a billion pounds

As Kate Hudson has said, ordering the steel to build a submarine is what any ordinary person would see as deciding to build the submarine.  CND and Liberal Democrat supporters need to fight this back door decision   JOIN US ON MARCH 26TH

Assemble  11am Embankment


An earth tremor in Cumbria shortly before Christmas has once again raised big question marks about the area’s potential for burying highly active nuclear waste.   Serious concerns about the unsuitability of Cumbria’s underground rock formation for any nuclear dumping below the surface have been voiced strongly over the past few months.   Marianne Birkby said:

Following the earthquake in Cumbria – just one of the increasingly frequent quakes to hit this area – our Cumbrian councillors should think again about their support for new nuclear build and geological disposal of high level nuclear wastes.   Even if this region had experienced no earth quakes at all, the Nirex enquiry of 1995 found the whole region to be too geologically unpredictable for the disposal of high level nuclear wastes.

Meanwhile anti-nuclear campaigners in London are continuing to press the Mayor of London on whether nuclear waste trains will continue to run during the 2012 Olympic Games.   The Mayor is prevaricating and Transport for London claims to be consulting Direct Rail Services as to whether the trains will be stopped.  So far, no answers have been forthcoming. The breaching of just one flask would release high level radiation which, in East London, would kill thousands of people downwind and require mass evacuation.  The trains are clearly a high profile terrorist target and given the Government’s insistence on the current high level of terrorist risk, it seems nothing short of reckless to have them moving so close to the site.   However, if they are stopped so as not to subject Olympic athletes and spectators to danger, why should Londoners be subjected to such risks at other times?    Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to request an answer from the Government under the Freedom of Information Act.


The 25th anniversary of the worst ever nuclear accident will be commemorated around the world on 26th April 2011.   This tragic birthday provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of nuclear power.   The nuclear industry and the governments which support it always make light of the ongoing effects of the contamination from Chernobyl.   The Chernobyl Forum Report, produced for the 20th anniversary by UN agencies led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), sought to perpetuate the myth that the greatest health consequence of the accident was psychological stress, or ‘radiophobia’.

In stark contrast, a New York Academy of Sciences’ book published in the spring, written by scientists in Russia and Belarus and based on years of research, reveals that hundreds of thousands have died as a result of the fallout.

Back in 2001, the Belarusian Ministry of Statistics declared that there had been a 60% rise in the number of children born with disabilities over the previous seven years.   And in the same year the head of Belarus’ radiation medicine unit told a news conference:  It is clear that we are seeing genetic changes, especially among those who were less than six years of age when subjected to radiation.   These people are now starting families.’

These consequences are now being widely denied, but in the Minsk Children’s Cancer Hospital, doctors are talking of the shock over the numbers of babies being diagnosed with cancer, including leukaemia.   And the Belarusian Children’s Hospital has many young families in their care, because babies have been born with genetic disorders which make it hard for them to breathe unaided.

The Chernobyl Children’s Project (UK) works closely with all the care agencies, supplying medicines when these cannot be obtained in Belarus and bringing children over for holidays.

To find out more about their work and events visit



168 countries voted on December 8th for a UN General Assembly resolution that states should provide the “data on DU (Depleted Uranium) munitions use” to affected countries.   Only four voted against – the UK, the US, France and Israel.   This should come as no surprise.

Parliamentary Early Day Motion 825 notes that 1.9 tonnes of DU rounds were fired by UK forces during Operation Telic in Iraq and that US armed forces expended at least 404 tonnes of DU ammunition in the 1991 and 2003 Iraq conflicts.   News stories are now emerging of higher rates of childhood leukaemia and birth defects in Iraqi cities since the conflict began.   In other words, the children of Iraq are suffering in similar ways to the children of Chernobyl.   Without proper transparency it will remain impossible properly to monitor and decontaminate and this will lead to avoidable civilian exposures.

It is surely totally unacceptable that the lives of innocent children and civilians in Iraq are put at risk because the information to mitigate that risk is being withheld.   Does the UK government care about the suffering it has caused in Iraq?


Concerned Scottish CND members recently took part in a delegation to the Scottish Parliament to meet Bruce Crawford, minister for Parliamentary Business.   The concern was that, despite all the early positive sounds from the nationalist-led

coalition which opposed Trident and objected

to the Faslane base and the transport of warheads through Scotland, very little had happened in real terms.   They wanted to see concrete action.   Bruce Crawford acknowledged that part of the problem was that some measures had been taken but not communicated to campaigners.   For example, letters had been written to the MOD about the transport of equipment and weaponry and there had been requests for figures on the number of Trident-related workers at Faslane and Coulport.

Answers had been disappointing (well no surprise there – what did he expect?!)   The delegation particularly asked the government to address the issue of the legality of Trident.   They argued that Trident is illegal and is required to be reviewed by the Lord Advocate under Scottish law.   There was discussion as to what action might be taken if this is confirmed, as the government has an obligation to comply with the Scotland Act.   The lobbyists, who included Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, the World Court Project, Trident Ploughshares

and Greenpeace pointed out that expectations ran high following the Scottish Government’s election promises and the working group which they set up.   Bruce Crawford acknowledged that more concrete action is required.

Clearly, even when faced with a Government which is on your side, a little chivvying does not go amiss.


On Saturday, 16th April Essex Christian CND will be holding its AGM at Friends Meeting House in Hutton Road, Shenfield.   It will start at 10am.

At 11am there will be a talk by Rev Keith Plaister (now retired) entitled “Rabble-rousing for Peace”.

This will be followed by a bring and share lunch.

There is limited parking at the Meeting House but there is some road parking and the House is only a few minutes walk from Shenfield Station..

All CND members are welcome to the talk.  Enquiries about membership should go to Enid Russell, 51 Harwood Avenue, HornchurchRM11 2NY


This article is a summary of the one by Dr David Lowry, former Director of the European Proliferation Centre.

In 2008 the US broke a 34-year ban on nuclear trade with India when it signed a special deal allowing the export of US civilian nuclear technology and fuel in exchange for inspections of India’s civilian (but not military) nuclear facilities.   France has since followed suit with its own civilian nuclear deal.   Britain under both Labour and the coalition has been involved in nuclear cooperation, supposedly, according to Pat McFadden, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, ‘in line with our strong non-proliferation commitments’.   This is a dangerous fantasy.

The problem is not simply that these moves are likely to raise fears of leakage of fissile material from India’s civilian to its military nuclear programme, but that it rewards a state that has steadfastly refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.   It will also also lead to demands from Pakistan for a similar deal.   It is estimated that Pakistan has between 70 – 90 nuclear warheads and India 60 – 80.   Both countries are believed to be increasing their nuclear forces and neither has signed the NPT.   In spite of this, both countries have voted for a UN resolution calling for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

The two countries are frequently put on a war footing with one another, partly due to the dispute over Kashmir:  a regional exchange of, for example, just 50 warheads between the two would result in the deaths of 200 million people and the largest climate change recorded in human history – see latest research findings at www.nucleardarkness.org

The present government’s policy, begun by Labour, of promoting nuclear technology and nuclear power on a worldwide basis, in return for nations waiving any interest in nuclear weapons, is dangerous enough.   But to offer India the carrot without the stick is both dangerous and deluded.



In Brentwood we shall be doing our own bit to bring home to people the nonsense of swingeing cuts in public services whilst we continue to waste billions of pounds on the Trident nuclear weapon.

On Saturday, 19th March  and Saturday, 16th April 11am – 12.30pm  we shall be gathering signatures for the CND national petition to persuade the Coalition to abandon any possibility of renewing Trident after the next election.

Do visit us (and pay your subs) or join us if you can.


Last year protestors at Aldermaston were subjected to more overt surveillance than ever before.   Very intrusive police photography has already caused camp members to lodge a formal complaint when it was reported that Ian Caswell from the ‘Domestic Extremism’ unit of the Association of Police Officers has specifically been targeting Trident Ploughshares and the Aldermaston Peace Camp as part of this discredited organisation’s investigation into the ‘activity of groups who carry out criminal acts of direct action to further their protest campaign’.  In other words, if you go to Aldermaston you become a domestic extremist.   In response to this labelling the women decided

that they should clean up the base – all those nuclear weapons, radioactive waste, asbestos really are dirty and untidy.   On February 12th at 12 noon they turned up with pinnies, mops and buckets to try to do just that.  The police were unimpressed by their attempts to rebrand themselves as domestic goddesses rather than domestic extremists, but they will doubtless try again.


We presently have 58 members in Brentwood CND.   This number has reduced over the past few years, mainly due to the death of some members and others moving away.   Although we have recruited a few new faces we have not done so in sufficient numbers to replace those who have gone.

Nonetheless we are still a viable group and are still able to get enough supporters to help run stalls and petitions – but we do need the regular income of your subscriptions.

So far 19 members have renewed their subs this year, or have paid by standing order.   This means that 39 still have not and, of these, some owe for 2010 as well.  Subscriptions for 2011are:

£3.00 (£1.50 conc) individuals

£6.00 (£3.00 conc) families

Please send them to Penny Wright, 9 Harold Gardens. Wickford, SS11 7EN

Contact Penny (077966 76046) or Jill (216712) if you are not sure whether you owe for 2010 as well.


Saturday, March 12th  7.30 pm

Chelmsford Cathedral Hutton and Shenfield Choral Society will be performing Karl Jenkin’s Mass for Peace.   Tickets £14  Contact Jill (216712).

Saturday, March 19th  11am – 12.30pm

Brentwood CND stall and petitioning near Beckett Abbey ruins.

Saturday, March 26th  Assemble 11am

Big TUC demonstration against the cuts.   Join the CND anti-Trident section.

Tuesday, April 5th 5 – 7pm

(and first Tuesday each month) Vigil in Parliament Square against Trident replacement.

Saturday, April 16th 11am

Talk by Keith Plaister at Friends’ Meeting House, Shenfield – Rabble-rousing for Peace.

Saturday, April 16th  10.30 – 5.00 pm

Wesley’s Chapel, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU   Public Meeting – United Nations for a 21st Century?

2nd weekend each month

Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 2011


As each new year comes around there are reasons to be dejected about our campaign but also glimmers of hope that lead us to believe that we can achieve our ultimate aim of a world free from nuclear weapons. More than ever before our specific objective within CND – that Britain should unilaterally disarm itself of all nuclear weapons – has to be seen in the broader international context, where North Korea is threatening its southern neighbour with a nuclear attack, where an increasingly unstable Pakistan could end up being, at least partly, controlled by Taliban forces who might end up with access to its nuclear arsenal and where there are fears, unfounded or not, that Iran is developing a nuclear ‘deterrent’. Up to now the problem with dealing with such threats is that the so-called ‘good’ guys, namely the official nuclear states – USA, UK, France, Russia and China – have shown extreme reluctance to get rid of theirs, thus fuelling the idea that nuclear weapons are a deterrent. If we claim to need them for defence then every country can do the same..
However, just before the Christmas recess, President Obama finally achieved the first real success in his declared plan to rid the world of nuclear weapons when the US Senate ratified the agreement signed by him and President Medvedev in April 2010 by a two thirds majority. This new START treaty now commits the two countries to reduce their warheads by 30%.
Kate Hudson said: This is a significant advance for disarmament, enacting real reductions in the size of the nuclear forces deployed by the US and Russia. They both retain the ability to destroy all life on earth, but reducing the size of their deployed forces lessens the possibility of accidents or unauthorised launches on either side.

There had been months of uncertainty as to whether President Obama, having been wounded by the mid-term elections, was going to be able to get the Senate behind him in this vote.
Kate Hudson added: With this hurdle cleared, the US administration should seek to maximise the practical steps it can take immediately without any need for legislation, for example reducing the ‘alert state’ of their weapons systems as well as permanently disabling the thousands of retired warheads in their stockpiles.

Parallel to this, negotiations should commence on a treaty which would encompass all US and Russian nuclear weapons – including the smaller tactical weapons which are ignored in the new START agreement.
The Senate vote opens the space for further disarmament measures by the US, Russia and other states. This is clearly where Britain should be taking a lead and the decision not to renew Trident would demonstrate our real commitment to Obama’s goal of a nuclear free world. At the same time, however, we must not forget that the present war in Afghanistan is killing thousands of civilians, that under Obama the numbers of drone and other airborne attacks have increased and that ridding the world of the most deadly of weapons, on its own, is not going to stop that. Hard times are ahead. The campaign goes on.


2011 will be marked by the gradual effect of the cuts to the welfare and public service budgets being felt up and down the country. CND, as a single issue campaign, has no official line on these, but there is one cut we would support– to the budget for Trident renewal.. Locally, a group of trade unionists centred in and around Chelmsford has set up an anti-cuts campaigning group and Unison has produced an alternative budget which could help pay back the deficit to the tune of £74 billion in one year. These are some of the things which they suggest.
* Cancel Trident –
£1.8bn saved in one year
(£76 bn over 40 years)
* Introduce a 50% tax on
incomes over £100,000 –
£4.7 bn saved.
* Reform tax havens and residency rules to reduce tax avoidance by big corporations – £10 bn saved.
* Introduce a Major Financial Transactions Tax on UK financial institutions –
£30 bn saved
* Introduce an Empty Property Tax on vacant dwellings – this would also help to alleviate the housing shortage – £5 bn saved
* End the central government use of private consultants who bring little discernible benefit – £2.8 bn saved
* Replace PFI schemes, which cost money in user fees and interest charges with conventional public procurement – £3 bn saved.
These measures together with half a dozen others not detailed here would mean that the government did not have to make any cuts to the welfare or public services budget.
If you are interested in further information E-mail :
maljan9@gmail.com or ring 01245 601373.
There will be a benefit cabaret on 26th February starting at 7pm at Christ Church, New London Road, Chelmsford the Banner Theatre and the 1st May Band.


An impressive display of people power took place in Germany in early November when the 12th annual transport of highly radioactive material from La Hague (France) to storage at Gorleben (Germany). In Southern Germany a blockade by 1,500 – 2,000 protestors forced the train to change route. People dangling from bridges also impeded progress. As the train neared the terminus it was met by some 50,000 protestors. Despite the cold, 3,000 lay down on the track and 800 were arrested. The last 20km were by road where protestors parked tractors, dragged logs and herded flocks of sheep across the route. In total the transport, which without protests should take a matter of hours, took nearly 4 days – the longest journey time ever. The large numbers of German protestors can be accounted for by the German Government’s decision to repeal the law closing all 17 German nuclear plants by 2022 and instead extending their lives for up to 14 years.
Back here in the UK we have to witness Chris Huhne’s speedy back peddling on the issue of nuclear power. On his old (pre-Coalition) website he said:
The nuclear industry’s key skill over the past half century has not been generating electricity, but extracting lashings of taxpayers’ money.
From this, one might deduce that subsidies for nuclear power would be out of the question – and therefore that there could be no nuclear power stations as no corporation is prepared to underwrite the costs of insur- ing against a the effects of a nuclear accident, of decommis- sioning or of storage of waste. But no – if we pay attention to his weasel words of 16th December in the House of Commons, we hear this:
I could not be clearer than to say that there is no subsidy here which attaches to nuclear power. The subsidy attaches to low-carbon generation….. and the reality is that nuclear power is a low carbon energy source.
So that’s all right then. We can forget about the dangers of waste transport and storage, of accidents, of health risks – none of which apply to any of the other energy sources he is thinking of subsidising.


Any time from January 1st Penny, our treasurer will be pleased to receive your subscriptions.
£3 (£1.50 conc) individuals
£6 (£3.00 conc) families
Please send your cheques to Brentwood CND c/o 9 Harold Gardens, Wickford, SS11 7EN
Don’t forget to check out our updated website at:
Saturday, 8th January 10.30am
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square
London Region (to which we are affiliated) AGM
15th January 2pm
Excel Exhibition Centre
East London Against Arms Fairs Musical Protest
18th January 7pm
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square
Rally for Gaza
5th February 10.30 am
St Mellitus Church, Tollington Park Movement Against War Strategy Day
26th February 7pm
Chelmsford Against the Cuts Cabaret, Christ Church, New London Road
WIRE is published and printed by Brentwood CND, 26 Mascalls Gdns CM14 5LT 01277 216712

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment