Following the publication of the White Paper, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent, in December 2006, the government promised a parliamentary debate and vote on their proposals for Trident replacement. That vote is likely to take place in the second or third week of March (date unconfirmed when PN went to press).
It is believed that MPs will only be presented with one set of proposals to vote on (the government's, naturally). Despite polls consistently suggesting a significant majority of people in Britain oppose replacing Trident, there has been no attempt by the government at a wider public consultation on the issue. Speaking to PN just before the 24 February national anti-Trident demonstrations, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament chair Kate Hudson said, “Whatever the government manages to steamroller through parliament, everyone will recognise that. We have already
Despite the flawed and essentially undemocratic process, the coming month still presents antinuclear campaigners with opportunities to push for an alternative outcome.
The anti-nuclear movement is growing again. Five years of war has taught people a lot about the lies of government and the realities and consequences of aggressive foreign policy. Its time to say “enough” - and to back up the sentiment with practical, nonviolent, action.
The centre-pages of this issue of Peace News are devoted to encouraging and inspiring readers to do just that.
- DEMONSTRATE Get out on the streets and show your opposition. No point sitting at home thinking about it.
- LOBBY Your MP gets the chance to vote on the issue in March. Tell them what you think.
- WITHHOLD TAX Don't fund the warmakers. “Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes.” - Alexander Haig, US Sec of State, 1982
- BLOCK ... The military-industrial complex! Don't give the Trident-profiteers an easy ride. Put your body where your heart is.