Blog: Peace

£97 billion for Trident: five times government estimates

Posted by Louise Edge — 18 September 2009 at 7:35am - Comments

This week's news has been dominated by debate about the dire economic outlook facing the nation, and the likely severity of the cutbacks we'll need to make to pay down our now massive national debt. Ministers wring their hands about it but can't escape the reality that Britain plc needs to make cuts across the board - unless, of course, it's weapons of mass destruction that are under discussion.

Trident: wot no parliamentary debate?

Posted by Louise Edge — 16 July 2009 at 1:43pm - Comments

In recent months it has become increasingly clear that the UK has a massive hole in its national budget and whoever comes to power after the next election is going to have to slash government spending. The debate about what should be cut has just begun, but already emerging at the top of many people's lists (certainly mine) is the planned £76bn replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Promising signs on the road to nuclear disarmament

Posted by Louise Edge — 7 July 2009 at 5:50pm - Comments

Two promising developments today...

First up Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signalled their intention to reduce the number of US and Russian nuclear warheads to 1,500-1,675.

Okay, each side still have enough bombs to destroy the Earth several times over. Plus the agreement only deals with "deployed strategic" weapons, leaving out the thousands of nuclear weapons deemed "non-strategic" or "non-deployed". But coming after years of standoff the fact the two countries are back at the negotiating table is undoubtedly GOOD NEWS.

G20: Obama still finds time for historic US/Russia nuclear arms reduction plan

Posted by Louise Edge — 2 April 2009 at 4:00pm - Comments
Barack Obama: copywrite SEIU International

During his election campaign President Obama placed a high emphasis on dealing with one of the greatest threats we all face - reducing the vast numbers of nuclear missiles held by both Russia and the United States.

As he put it in his inauguration speech "With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat" In response to an arms control survey he was more specific – "I will not authorize the development of new nuclear weapons. And I will make the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide a central element of U.S. nuclear policy."

Brown's mixed signals on nuclear

Posted by jossc — 20 March 2009 at 12:44pm - Comments

International security consultant Martin Butcher

Martin Butcher gives his reaction to the Prime Minister's recent policy speech on the future of Britain's nuclear arsenal. Martin is a consultant on international security issues and a Nato policy analyst for the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy. This article first appeared in Comment is Free on 17th March.

Gordon Brown's speech today at Lancaster House exposed a fundamental contradiction at the heart of government policy on non-proliferation. The prime minister sees the importance of a world free of nuclear weapons because it is the only way of guaranteeing "that our children and grandchildren will be free from the threat of nuclear war". And yet, his government is committed to the development of a new generation of submarine-based nuclear weapons to replace Trident, thus maintaining Britain's status as a nuclear weapons state for half a century.

Can '6 step programme' wean nuclear nations off their A-bomb addiction?

Posted by jossc — 4 February 2009 at 4:06pm - Comments

David Miliband MP

Can David Miliband find a cure for nuclear weapons addiction?

Foreign Secretary David Miliband gave a speech today in London outlining a new '6 step programme' for creating a world free of nuclear weapons. His speech was largely a response to pressure created by recent high-profile campaigns emerging from the US, which have been calling for step by step progress towards the ultimate abolition of the world's nuclear arsenals.

Getting rid of the bomb? Sounds like radical stuff, but what's particularly radical is who is behind these campaigns. Not your 'usual suspect' peaceniks, but rather some of the biggest names in international diplomacy, who have come together to demand action on global security because they see the spread of nuclear weapons as the biggest threat to our immediate future.

AWE Aldermaston now in US hands

Posted by jossc — 19 December 2008 at 4:32pm - Comments

A Trident D5 crashes on take off

Trident - costs and 'independence' are both spinning out of control

The management of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, the 'bomb factory' which makes and maintains the UK's nuclear warheads, is now controlled by private US companies following the sale of the government's 33 per cent holding yesterday.

The news, a further nail in the coffin of the flimsy pretence that Britain has an independent nuclear deterent, only came to light in a three line press statement released by BNFL, the state-owned group which officially 'owned' the government's stake.

Nukewatch - exposing a deadly cargo

Posted by Louise Edge — 7 November 2008 at 3:48pm - Comments

Is there a nuclear truck in your neighbourhood?

If there's a nuclear truck in your neighbourhood - who you gonna call? Nukewatch! © fototruck.com

Few people know that convoys carrying nuclear warheads regularly travel along our roads, past our homes and schools. Containing plutonium and other deadly radioactive material, they are transported between submarine bases in Scotland and Berkshire's repair and maintenance facilities at Aldermaston and Burghfield. An accident involving and explosion or fire could cause a partial nuclear blast and result in lethal radiation contaminating the surrounding area.

Star Wars starting wars again...

Posted by saunvedan — 22 August 2008 at 1:40pm - Comments

Star Wars

NATO and Russia facing off, plans for star wars causing political ructions – its almost like the 80’s all over again. Without the ra-ra skirts. Which can only be a good thing.

So finally Poland has signed an agreement to host part of the US missile defence system on its soil. With just parliamentary approval to leap (and a supportive parliament in place) it seems the US's Son of Star Wars dreams have advanced apace.

In return for hosting ten US missile interceptors the ex communist, now NATO, country gets 100 US troops stationed on its soil, US patriot missiles and ‘assistance in modernising its military’ and (ahem) help with ‘responding to the threats of the 21st century’.

Deep Green: The dispossessed of Diego Garcia

Posted by jamie — 22 August 2008 at 12:37pm - Comments

Deep Green - Rex Weyler

Here's the latest in the Deep Green column from Rex Weyler -author, journalist, ecologist and long-time Greenpeace trouble-maker. The opinions here are his own, and you can sign up to get the column by email every month.

The dispossessed

In 1969, Marie Aimee took her two children for medical treatment, a six-day voyage across the Indian Ocean from their home on Diego Garcia island to Port Louis, Mauritius. Her husband, Dervillie Permal, stayed behind to work at a coconut oil factory and tend the family garden and animals.

After visiting the doctor and picking up supplies in Port Louis, Marie and her children arrived at the quay for the trip home. However, a British Government agent refused to allow them onto the boat, stranding Marie and her children in Mauritius. Throughout the following weeks, other marooned islanders appeared, congregating in a local slum, living in boxes or tin shacks. Two years later, Marie's husband arrived in Port Louis with one small bag and a chilling story.

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