Tim Montgomerie is an experienced political commentator, but I would respect he experience of some experts who differ from his view that a nuclear –free world is a :utopia” (“If you want world peace don’t ban the bomb,” 10 August, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4522341.ece)
In London in February this year, the Foreign Office hosted a high-level meeting of the nuclear weapons policy chiefs of the five nuclear weapons powers that comprise the permanent five (P5) members of the US Security Council – UK, US, Russia, France and China- to discuss steps towards nuclear disarmament, and their collective final statement included the following:
“In reaffirming their commitment towards achieving a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the goals of the NPT, the P5 reflected on the contribution that the P5 Process has made in developing the mutual confidence and transparency among the P5 that is essential to make progress towards multilateral nuclear disarmament…The P5 reaffirmed that a step-by-step approach to nuclear disarmament that promotes international stability, peace and undiminished and increased security for all remains the only realistic and practical route to achieving a world without nuclear weapons.”
The P5 representatives added: “The P5 also decided that they should increasingly engage with the wider disarmament community. To this end, a number of non-nuclear-weapon states were invited, for the first time, to a briefing and discussion session as part of the P5 Conference.”(Joint statement from the Nuclear-Weapon States at the London P5 Conference, 6 February 2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-from-the-nuclear-weapon-states-at-the-london-p5-conference).
Moreover, at the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review conference in New York in May, the ambassadors of 113 non-nuclear weapons states signed the pledge to support a treaty banning nuclear weapons altogether. That is a lot of diplomatic believers in utopia.(NPT News in Review, Vol. 13, No. 17,Monday 25 May 2015; http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/npt/NIR2015/No17.pdf
Also, Mr Montgomerie cites in his support Winston Churchill’s warning over the importance of keeping nuclear weapons to preserve the peace.
He could equally have cited the final words of Professor Graham Farmilo’s 457 page book Churchill’s bomb (2013) in which he writes of Churchill’s later, regretful, view of nuclear weapons:“ By the second half of the twentieth century, Churchill believed, scientists had finally given international leaders weapons that were more powerful than they could handle. Science was finally becoming master of its creator, and humanity would pay the price.” (page 457)