Letter from Tim Hart
I would like the contents of this letter to
be considered by the committee during its inquiry.
Since the non-proliferation treaty came into
force in 1970 it has been largely successful in halting the
spread of nuclear weapons. This is in spite of the lack of progress
of the P5 states, of the USA, UK, China, Russia and France,
in nuclear disarmament and their failure to honour their obligations
under Article 6 of the treaty.
The decision to renew Trident is a blatant example
of the UK dishonouring its treaty obligations. The intention of
the UK government to allow the USA to site new missile systems
(euphemistically termed "missile defence" but in reality
an aggressive pre-emptive strike capacity) and the acquiescence
of the UK government to the USA placing missile systems in Poland
are further examples of the UK government complicity with the
USA in fuelling a new arms race. This is one of the factors which
have led to Russia invading Georgia and remains an important issue
in the deteriorating relations between Russia and "the West".
The UK Government is light years away from Robin Cook's vision
of a moral foreign policy! How can the UK justify spending on
new nuclear weapons whilst castigating those states such as Iran
and North Korea for having the desire to own nuclear weapons and
criticising India and Pakistan for acquiring such weapons? Of
course there is also Israel, although little is said by way of
criticism of its behaviour.
In 2007 the UK had the second largest military
expenditure in the world, spending $60 billion dollars on
armaments; only surpassed by that "peace loving" nation
of the USA with spending of $547 billion dollars. The USA
expenditure incidentally was more than the aggregate total expenditure
of the other nine nations in this notorious league table.
Unless the P5 make rapid and substantial
moves to get rid of their nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
then it can only be blatant hypocrisy to lecture to other nations
on the evils of acquiring such weapons.
Article 6 of the treaty requires that the P5 nations:
"pursue negotiations in good faith on
effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race
at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on
general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international
How can the UK Government claim to be in compliance
with its obligations in Article 6 given its behaviour?
The USA is the most powerful nation on Earth.
Its people are subjugated by the military industrial complex that
dominates government policy. The US openly proclaims its right
to be the dominant power in the world and to achieve this through
pre-emptive military aggression. The only potential countervailing
force to this coercive power is the European Union. The UK continually
frustrates and undermines the EU potential in this regard by its
unquestioning loyalty to the USA in major foreign policy decisionswhich
have proved disastrous in Iraq and will no doubt prove so in Afghanistan
as well. Russia, by its recent behaviour in Georgia, has grown
tired of this proclaimed supremacy by the USA. Terrorism is on
the increase as a direct result of the UK supporting USA aggression
against other nations. One could hardly have a more dangerous
and volatile set of conditions in the world. The UK continues
to align itself with the USA, like the child in the playground
who befriends the bully in the hope that it will not be on the
receiving end of the bully's behaviour, no matter that others
suffer such fate.
Isn't it time that the UK took an independent
and moral lead on this issue? It could have considerable influence
in shaping world events on this vital aspect of international
policy. Its influence would be all the greater given it is so
closely allied with the USA and a "nuclear state" in
its own right.
Please call for the reversal the decision to
renew Trident and to start positive moves to rid the UK of nuclear
weapons. Are we so bereft of moral conduct and have so little
faith in humanity that the only way we feel that we can achieve
safety as a nation is to threaten genocide on other peoples of
the world. Please take this opportunity to do something good.
Recollect those early days of hope and idealism when you first
entered politics and reaffirm your commitment to doing what is
right; not what is politically expedient. Ignore those who warn
of dire consequences of not towing the line. Take some bold actions.
Take the political risk!
28 August 2008