Nuclear weapons: write 'em off

IssueSeptember 2013
Feature by George Farebrother

Suppose you get a reply from a government ministry to your carefully-crafted letter – about Trident maybe. The minister or official should think about this one. Off-the shelf answers will not do.

But that’s just what you usually get – the creaky story about living in uncertain times, and how we must maintain a ‘credible’ nuclear capability.

We’re not asking much. We don’t expect a sudden conversion to sanity. We just want considered replies to considered questions or observations. At least this can provide a basis for discussion.

Letters to MPs can yield helpful and thoughtful replies. But too many are dismissive and irrelevant. The words ‘nuclear’ and ‘weapon’ provoke an automatic reflex – a stock reply regardless of what was actually written.

You’re not alone. Have a look at our new website, ‘Nuclear weapons: write ’em off’ (URL below).

If you are tiring of banging your head against official brick walls, it provides a support network. There is news of MPs’ parliamentary activity about nuclear weapons, and a record of correspondence with constituents. There are suggestions for ripostes to the most common defences of nuclear ‘deterrence’.

‘Write ’em off’ is a network, not just an information hoard. We must build up a systematic record of correspondence and explore ways of putting pressure on MPs and ministries to reply more effectively. It needs your information about MPs and your experience of letters to and fro. There is a discussion forum you can feed your ideas into – especially about countering pro-nuclear arguments.

Whenever you send in correspondence, by email or post, it will be logged and tailor-made suggestions will be made for how to develop the correspondence.

Topics: Nuclear Weapons