Monday, 18 May 2015

Professing ingnorance over nuclear disarmament

This letter was sent to the Times on 17 May:

Professor emeritus of Strategic Studies, Colin Gray, berated the Scottish National Party (SNP) for “spouting dangerous nonsense” in SNP’s opposition to Trident.(“SNP and Trident, letter, May 16).
But the SNP has many hitherto unsuspected allies in its support for nuclear disarmament.
Conservative defence secretary, Michael Fallon, told MPs in a Parliamentary debate on Trident in held on 20 January this year:
“we also share the vision of a world that is without nuclear weapons, achieved through multilateral disarmament.” (emphasis added) (
Shortly after, on 6 February, a statement was issued by the Permanent Five (P5) nuclear–armed members of the United Nations Security council (US, UK, Russia, France and China) after a meeting hosted by the Foreign Office in London that :  
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.”
More recently, late last month in New York, in her address to the 9th United Nations  quinquennial review conference (RevCon)  of the 190-member state Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), when it opened at the UN for a month-long meeting (on 27 April) Foreign Office minister, Baroness Anelay of St Johns, told the conference plenary on Monday27 April :
 “Let me be clear: the UK is here to negotiate in good faith, and we will continue to strive to build the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons. That is why we are making parallel progress on the building blocks for global nuclear disarmament.”
These words followed those of US President  Obama,, who told the NPT RevCon delegates in a message read by US Secretary of State John Kerry also read a message from President Obama to the Conference in which he stressed:
 “We have not yet achieved the ultimate goals enshrined in the Treaty—on this, we all agree—but it is only by seeking common ground and reinforcing shared interests that we will succeed in realizing a world free of nuclear dangers.”
I think all of these senior politicians - from right and liberal wings of politics - cannot be collectively wrong about nuclear disarmament. I think it is Professor Gray who is out of touch, not the SNP, over Trident.

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