Scottish anti-Trident campaign calls on voters to consider both candidate’s and party’s stances in #GE17
THE CHAIR of Scottish CND has labelled the UK Tory Government “disgusting” for ignoring Scottish opposition to the Trident nuclear weapons system, which is based on the Clyde.
Speaking to CommonSpace from the STUC Conference in Aviemore, Arthur West also branded comments by defence secretary Michael Fallon that Prime Minister Theresa May would be willing to launch nuclear war without the UK being attacked “complete madness”.
The Tories have spent recent days attacking UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for being unreliable on defence after he reiterated his opposition to the use of nuclear weapons.
The use of nuclear weapons would leave the UK and the world devastated.
At the start of the week (24 April) Fallon challenged Corbyn to match his preparedness to drop nuclear bombs, even on countries not in conflict with the UK.
“If Britain launched a first strike, it would be extremely damaging to whatever country they are attacking. But the fallout would also cause damage across the world. The fallout from these modern day nuclear weapons knows no borders.” Arthur West, Scottish CND
“That you wouldn’t press the nuclear button seems to me to be the sensible option, given what we now know about the destructive power of nuclear weapons we are now equipped with,” West said.
“If Britain launched a first strike, it would be extremely damaging to whatever country they are attacking. But the fallout would also cause damage across the world. The fallout from these modern day nuclear weapons knows no borders.
“So from a humanitarian and health point of view, it would be absolutely crazy to have any contemplation of using modern nuclear weapons. Complete madness.”
In 2016, the Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly to oppose renewal of Trident nuclear weapons. Only one of 59 Scottish MPs voted for Trident renewal at Westminster months later– Scottish secretary and lone Tory MP David Mundell.
“These nuclear weapons are housed in Scotland, which make us a target.” Arthur West
West said it was “disgusting” that the debate, after the announcement of a General Election on 8 June, had once again failed to register overwhelming Scottish political, public and civic society opposition, despite the weapons being based at Faslane on the Clyde, in Scotland’s largest population centre in the Clyde basin.
“It’s disgusting, it ignores the fact that public opinion in Scottish society and a majority of elected politicians in Scotland are opposed to Trident renewal and opposed to Trident replacement.
“One of the priorities of Scottish CND will be to remind everyone of Scottish opposition to Trident during the election campaign.
“These nuclear weapons are housed in Scotland, which make us a target. We have to say quite clearely there is a Scottish opposition across the board against nuclear weapons.”
West also said May would be embarrassed by her own plans for Trident renewal, as the UN would be in the middle of establishing an international ban on nuclear weapons at just the time she was committing to invest a projected £205bn in the weapons of mass destruction.
West emphasised that Scots should vote for both parties and candidates who were opposed to Trident.
Fallon warned Corbyn’s refusal to countenance launching nuclear war would lead to “very dangerous chaos”.
He said: “I think they have to only back candidates and parties who are committed to scraping Trident, that’s the simple advice. Those candidates and parties that take a scrap Trident position.”
“Our message will be, people should look at what candidates and parties are saying.
The SNP opposes Trident renewal outright. Corbyn is a longstanding Trident opponent, and Scottish Labour voted to oppose Trident renewal at its conference in 2016. However UK Labour policy on Trident renewal is yet to be officially established.
Speaking on Monday (23 April), Fallon said:“In the most extreme circumstances, we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike.”
He warned Corbyn’s refusal to countenance launching nuclear war would lead to “very dangerous chaos”.
Picture courtesy of Jim Mattis
Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is: Pledge your support today.