The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is encouraging its supporters to write to candidates asking our views on nuclear issues. This is how I am replying.
Firstly: If elected, would you support cancelling the replacement of Trident?
Yes I would. This is the right thing to do. Trident does not make the world safer and we need to divert the money spent on it to better uses, including the NHS and climate jobs.
The Green Party has pledged to scrap Trident and spend its £3.6bn per year running costs on the NHS. Our Green New Deal would include training and redeploying those who are currently working in the arms industry, including in Faslane, in the Trident research work in Aldershot and in the shipyard in Plymouth. Molly Scott Cato MP has set out how the 2,000 or so people working in Trident-related jobs in Devonport Dockyard could work in the renewable energy sector instead (see https://mollymep.org.uk/
Responding to the projected increase of £575.5 million in commissioning of Trident nuclear weapons, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said, “The spiralling cost of nuclear should be the final nail in the Trident coffin. It is unacceptable that the Government is set to spend an estimated £575.5 million more on nuclear weapons it will never use, while inflicting cuts on an NHS and public services already in crisis. It’s time Trident was scrapped for good.”
I recognise that this is a hard fight to win in parliament as many in Labour, as well as the majority of Conservatives and now the LibDems are committed to Trident and nuclear weapons in general. Strengthening the Green Voice in parliament would help make the case for a peaceful future. And this should extend beyond Trident nuclear weapons to the depleted uranium munitions that have left a toxic legacy in Iraq (see https://www.theguardian.com/
So in summary, We need to stop the replacement of Trident, which is predicted to cost at least £200 billion. At a time when we are seeing increased poverty and cuts to the public sector, and finally it seems that the wider body politic has woken up to true scale of transformation needed to address the climate emergency, we must shift this money to be invested in the NHS, education, climate jobs and renewable energy instead.
Secondly: If elected, would you back UK support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, abolishing all nuclear weapons internationally?
Yes. The Green Party’s position is clear. It has always campaigned against all nuclear weapons and continues to call for a Nuclear Ban Treaty to stop them being used, deployed, produced or owned by anyone. I fully support this position.
I am a member of the the local Reigate and Redhill Peace Group which works to raise awareness of these issues locally and campaign for peace. Do join us if you would like to. We meet on the LAST Wednesday of every month at 7.45pm in the Garland Pub (back room) Brighton Road, Redhill. It is a five minute walk from Redhill Railway station. You can also email: email@example.com