Campsie Branch SSP joined the CND PEACE CHAIN around Faslane Nuclear Submarine Base today. This Chain signified four aniversaries (five if you include comrade Morag Balfour's birthday! - Make birthday cake not war is slogan of the day...).
These anniversaries were -
- One year ago, 14 June 2007, the Scottish Parliament voted against the UK Government’s plan for a new nuclear weapon system.
- The day of the Peace Chain also sees the celebration of the 26 th birthday of Faslane Peace Camp.
- 40 years ago, 14 June 1968, the first British nuclear patrol – HMS Resolution – sailed from Faslane.
- This year is also the 50 th birthday of CND and its struggle against nuclear weapons.
The UK followed the US into a war on a sovereign state because, allegedly, it had Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Neither of the aggressors appeared to see the irony of waging war over WMD while having, between them, the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world.
One of the supreme ironies of the Iraq war is that more and more countries now believe it is imperative they invest in a nuclear capability - or risk invasion by the world's only superpower.
Despite this, we believe the policy of nuclear deterrent is a failed policy. Since the dawn of the nuclear age, that the number of wars has not declined but escalated.
As a result, entire national economies are skewed towards accumulating weaponry, particularly nuclear missiles, in an arms race that only the richest nation on earth can win.
Furthermore, we are not convinced that nuclear war is an impossibility. If George W Bush gets his way, and the US successfully launches the National Missile Defence system, aka Star Wars, then a limited nuclear war, with Europe, Asia or Africa as its theatre, is a possibility as the American mainland will be shielded.
We, alas, won't be. Against the will of the people of Scotland, we have been forced to live with a devastatingly destructive nuclear arsenal just 30 minutes drive from the centre of Glasgow.
The Faslane nuclear base contains four Trident submarines, each bearing 16 missiles. This in turn amounts to 48 Trident nuclear warheads. Each of these warheads has a nuclear capability seven times that of the warhead dropped on Hiroshima.
This makes Scotland, in particular the dense conurbations in the West, a target for a direct nuclear or terrorist strike Trident is also hugely expensive, at a cost of £1 billion a year.
The SSP has consistently opposed the presence of nuclear warheads on our soil, with members and MSPs alike risking arrest to attend the Big Blockade every year at Faslane nuclear base.
We will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with organisations such as Scottish CND and Trident Ploughshares to campaign for immediate, unilateral nuclear disarmament.
The SSP stands for:
* The closure of the Faslane nuclear base and the scrapping of Trident with all jobs guaranteed via a diversification programme.
* Support for non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to disrupt the functioning of nuclear bases.
* Support for those arrested and imprisoned for resisting nuclear weapons.
* Outright condemnation of nuclear testing by other nations, such as France, India and Pakistan, which causes radiation-induced cancers.
* A united campaign across the UK and Europe to halt plans to establish nuclear weapons bases at Fylingdales and Menwith Hill in Yorkshire.
* A ban on the use of weaponry tipped with Depleted Uranium (DU). These have been used on Iraq since 1991, and in Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo during the 1990s and are known to cause fatal cancers and birth defects.
* A ban on testing DU-tipped missiles including at the at the MoD's Dundrennan firing range, near the Solway Firth.