A NPC&PC Trident Statement, please read !

Posted on | March 15, 2016 | No Comments

National serviceman in the early 1950s infantry learnt not to fire until “you can see the whites of their eyes”, and how to propel an anti-tank grenade from an old-fashioned rifle. Nothing about the atom bomb the UK was already testing, or “the bloody Union Jack” Ernest Bevin wanted on it. We were conscripts, called up by a country still in shock from so nearly losing a war, still numbly following the Roman Vegetius’s maxim “if you want peace, prepare for war”. Yet it was not altogether surprising our leaders thought then it needed a super weapon, not requiring us to get within 100 yards of a tank to knock it out. The surprise is that, 65 years later, we have lost sight of much of the dignity of military service, beneath the overwhelming inhumanity, hypocrisy and cost of Trident. Why does our government intend to perpetuate such an abominable weapon, incapable of doing anything to lessen today’s real threats of climate change, terrorism and food and water shortage?
A clue lies in when Vegetius said that. Not at the height of Rome’s greatness, but when it was in decline, beset on all sides by its former vassals states. Vainglory rather than prowess prompted him. The MP for Norwich North has exclaimed that she wants us to retain the bomb “in order to keep our seat at the top table. Don’t you?” Vegetius was being a bit optimistic too, even in those sparsely populated times; as is shown by the unending wars since then of those professing to want peace. Nowadays we’re a crowded, bellicose species made up of bumptious, mistrustful nation states, for whom the actual attainment of peace comes far behind many other goals.
At the Peace Camp we know that there is no way to peace, for peace is the way. A difficult way, but only by practising is it likely to get any easier. Using the money that would be wasted on a new Trident system to practise instead peaceful ways in schools, in human relations, in environmental care, in growing decent food, in conserving water resources – in every way we can – is a start. Irrelevant that others may take advantage; one expected to suffer in order to knock out a tank.

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