Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Weapons of mass destruction, and defence in the modern world

Dear Russell Brown

In the days when I was a supporter of the Labour Party, the Labour Party stood for unilateral nuclear disarmament. I'm older than you, but I'm sure that you, too, joined a Labour Party was committed to peace and to reducing the world's burden of weapons of mass destruction.

I know that many casuists in your party now will mouth platitudes about multilateral disarmament, but you know as well as I do that politicians have mouthed those platitudes for seventy years, and nothing has changed. For change to happen, someone has to make a bold first step.

And let's be clear about this: nuclear weapons are irrelevant to the threats our nation faces in the twenty-first century. Nuclear weapons might halt our most existential threat, global warming, but only at cost of obliterating all life on the planet. But those human enemies we have now - enemies we have fostered through long decades of overweening arrogance and imperialist military adventurism - are not states. Will dropping a nuclear warhead on Baghdad or Damascus abate one jot the threat posed to Europe by Jihadis?

In a Scotland where thousands of children depend on foodbanks, do we really want to spend 100 billion pounds on weapons which put our largest city at risk and can never be used? But more to the point, in this constituency now expected to return to the SNP in four months time, can you afford to alienate those progressive, internationalist electors who could just save you your seat?

I urge you very strongly to take an active part in today's debate, and to vote to scrap Britain's nuclear weapons.

Yours sincerely


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