by Joyce Yendole
I’ve attached a copy of the speech I had hoped to give at the the Liberal Democrat Conference, as part of the debate on Defence policy in general, and in support of the amendment which would have led, eventually, to total worldwide nuclear disarmament.
In the event, instead of having a 4 min slot, I had only 1 min, and, like a number of other people, the mike was switched off whether I had finished or not! However, I got several important points out, some of which had not been mentioned by anyone else in the whole debate!
However, when it came to the vote, the amendment was voted down (roughly 225 for, 325 against!), much to the annoyance and distress of many of the people there. We don’t know now how long it will be before the issue gets that sort of a debate again, but will go on working under the radar, supporting anyone else who feels the same way and trying to collect like-minded people around us, ready for another attempt to influence policy in the future.
F 32 defending the future-UK defence in the 21st-century. (11. 20 Tuesday, 17 September 2013)
I’m speaking in favour
of much of the report
and this motion,
but specifically AGAINST lines 53 to 71 –
or rather the first of the two lines designated 72 in the agenda! –
and in favour of the amendment.
I KNOW the leadership finds itself bound by certain limits
because of the coalition agreement, but I am speaking to deplore
the caution –
or should I say trepidation –
which has led this party
to abandon its former stance
in support of total nuclear disarmament.
The Trident alternatives review, discussed in the policy paper,
missed a trick
when if failed to take Britain
towards being entirely free of nuclear weapons,
on ethical grounds quite as much
as on financial grounds.
Cost analysis alone
must argue for better ways
to use our resources, but, more importantly,
our possession of such weapons intrinsically undermines
with other peoples and nations.
If we need to have armed forces, then let’s have them,
but let’s have enough of them, and supply and support
them and their families as they deserve.
We don’t need any nuclear fall-out from weapons,
when the world still struggles to contain and control emissions
from damaged or decommisioned nuclear facilities.
Why do we have nuclear weapons in the first place?
We have had them since World War II,
and what have we ever used them for?
Are they there just to bolster our position in the world,
to validate our seat at the top table as one of the big nations?
It is quite implausible
that any situation would arise
in which their use
might ever seriously be considered,
and their use
should be totally unacceptable
in any circumstances.
If Britain is to oppose
any further proliferation
of nuclear weapons,
this must be severely compromised
by our having
our own nuclear warheads.
we have no moral position
from which to preach to any country
aspiring to have their own!
People of all faiths and of none regard the idea –
that the security
of any nation should depend
on the mass destruction of human life –
as being abhorrent.
We should take a stand and get rid of them all,