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.
NEW LIFE FOR MILFORD HAVEN?
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.
FOR NUCLEAR POWER
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
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
Anthony Tinley, Rhyl
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CND National Conference
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