NO TO TRIDENT!
SUPPORT CORBYN'S DEFENCE DIVERSIFICATION!
As the Labour Party leadership election proceeds, it is clear that Corbyn’s consistent, long-standing opposition to Trident is in sharp relief to Smith’s support for the Tory plan to spend billions on a weapon whose use would almost certainly mean the destruction of the human race.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
On August 6, 1945 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, followed three days later by another on Nagasaki. Over 200,000 people were killed - almost all were civilians.
The UK has 225 nuclear weapons, each has about nine times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb. The UK has the 5th largest military budget in the world and plans to spend £205 billion to replace the Trident nuclear submarine system.
Corbyn’s policy statement Defence Diversification lays out both his moral and economic opposition to Trident. He is at one with the international movement against nuclear weapons, as well as the communities dependent on the wages generated by work associated with Trident, and with the trade unions.
TRIDENT AND JOBS
The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), in unprecedented alliance with the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament produced Cancelling Trident: the economic and employment consequences for Scotland (2007); and the STUC produced Trident & Jobs - the case for Scottish Defence Diversification Agency(2015), both making the case that not only would it be safer, but there would be economic gains to be had by not renewing Trident. CND has explored some of the social benefits to the NHS, housing and education that could flow as a result of dumping Trident here.
As the debate about Trident has heated up, there has been great interest in the extraordinary Lucas plan as indicated by this article by Kate Hudson.
Members of the Lucas Aerospace Combine Committee (1977)
The Lucas plan emerged in the mid-1970’s from the shop stewards committees representing thousands of blue- and white-collar workers at Lucas Aerospace, a major defence contractor. Concerned about job losses, they created an Alternative Plan. They asked their members how to use the existing equipment and human expertise, to make socially necessary rather than socially destructive products: to beat swords into ploughshares.
They created plans for 150 products: medical equipment, alternative energy and new methods of transportation. To quote of the authors of the Plan:
“We have a level of technological sophistication such that we can design and produce Concorde, yet in the same society we cannot provide enough simple heating systems to protect old age pensioners from hypothermia. In the winter of 1975-76, 980 died of the cold in the London area alone…”
Picture from the film The Story of the Lucas Aerospace
Shop Stewards Alternative Corporate Plan (1978)
A 24 minute video of those who produced the plan and how it was received can be found here. A one day conference on the plan is set for 26 November of this year, its 40th anniversary.