Socialist Worker

Nuclear weapons are a part of the poverty system

Kate Hudson, chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, spoke to Socialist Worker about the renewed threat from nuclear weapons

Issue No. 1958a

Tony Blair's public position is that no decision has been made on replacing Trident submarines with a new generation of nuclear weapons.

But many reports have indicated that a decision has already been made to do that. And Blair has repeatedly stressed how important he thinks it is for Britain to have a “nuclear deterrent”.

The issue of nuclear disarmament, and ending war generally, is a central part of the campaign against global poverty.

Britain spends £25 billion on arms each year, compared with just £4 billion on aid.

Trident costs £1.5 billion a year. A replacement will cost at least £10 billion. Nuclear weapons are about securing power in a world of privatisation and neo-liberalism, which are part of the fundamental causes of world poverty.

There is a staggering hypocrisy over nuclear weapons. The US and Britain talk a lot about non-proliferation, by which they mean stopping other states getting nuclear weapons. Iran and North Korea are the two most often cited.

But the western leaders say nothing about the responsibilities they have under the non-proliferation agreements. They are developing new nuclear weapons. That in itself is proliferation, and it is linked to the aggressive doctrine of regime change.

The result is further destabilisation across the globe, leading to an increase in world arms spending.

The wars the US and Britain have fought are themselves leading to greater poverty. There is greater violence and poverty in Iraq now as a consequence of the occupation.

So one of the key messages CND is taking to the G8 protests is “Fight poverty, not war.”

We have to get to the fundamental roots of the problem. That means the whole issue of economic justice for people around the world.

This week will see significant protest action at the Faslane nuclear base in Scotland as part of the mobilisations against the G8. Many other protests are planned throughout the year.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We should remember that the US is the only country to have every used nuclear weapons in war. There will be many events to mark Hiroshima Day on 6 August. It’s time to make nuclear weapons history, along with poverty.

The Faslane demonstration is on Monday 4 July.

Buses leave George Square, Glasgow, at 5.30 am, and Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, at 4am.

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Sun 3 Jul 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1958a
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