Keeping focussed

Letter by John Taylor

ImageI thank David Webb for his careful response (PN 2543) to my letter suggesting CND should stick to its core remit of campaigning against nuclear weapons and not diffuse this focus by succumbing to other agendas.

David says there is an obvious link between the anti-nuclear campaign and the war on Iraq and the threat of war against Iran. This link is not obvious to me, any more than with intervention in Libya, headlined by CND as ‘an excuse for yet another war.’ Perhaps David would spell it out.

Of course many members of CND are also pacifists and/or hostile to any military intervention by the West. Fair enough. We can have different views and argue about that. But in the broad coalition of the peace movement they have their own organisations, whether Pax Christi or Stop the War, through which to promote these views.

Part of the problem is the word ‘links’, extensively used by David. Of course CND needs to maintain links with a range of other organisations, and not only within the coalition. But that does not mean it should take on their views and preoccupations, even if there may be (may be) connections or because the issue is of concern to its members. Otherwise it will end up campaigning on world poverty and the Palestinians.

On Pat Allen’s defence of the speaker at London CND’s November Forum: I agree that controversial views are good; but they need to be argued, not wafted out on conspiracy theory and hearsay.

Finally, I’m sorry I missed the AGM. But I stick to my view that CND’s targeted anti-nuclear expertise is too important to be overlaid, particularly with Trident renewal a live issue.