Foreign Affairs Committee: Global Security, Non-Proliferation

This all-party Select Committee Report (published 14th June) is couched in polite parliamentary language but is a remarkably hard-hitting document containing many categorical criticisms of government policy, plus many requests for “better explanation” of the apparently inexplicable. Key points are summarised as follows and the full document can be found on the Internet at

Mitcham Carnival

On June 13th Joanna and I, with the assistance of two drivers, went to the Mitcham Carnival with boxes and boxes of plants (so what’s new, you’re all saying) and lots of boxes of brac-à-brac too. Well, nothing ventured.

Throughout the day Joanna and I served valiantly to numerous citizens of Mitcham — and although it was quite tiring, it was really a delightful day. No unpleasantness (OK, the music could have been turned down — a lot), lots of really nice people coming to chat, to buy, to haggle, and we had the invaluable help of Helen Jones, George Marsh and Marie Claude, one of Joanna’s students who left her own stall and stayed with us almost the whole day.

We ended up making a nice bit of money, but more than that we made new friends, and — thanks to Helen’s valiant efforts — gathered many signatures for our ‘No Trident Replacement’ petition, including that of the mayor!

It was a long day, but one that I truly enjoyed. We will definitely do it again next year, with ear plugs!

Julie Higgins

AGM and Garden Party July 14th 3pm

As last year, our AGM will be combined with the annual Garden Party at 43 Wilton Grove from 3pm onwards. Please bring food to share.

Essential business will be conducted as soon as we are quorate, leaving plenty of time for reviewing the past year and planning for the future — as well as socialising and enjoying ourselves.

Book Sale

The WDC/CND book sale held on June 28th in the front garden of 43 Wilton Grove was a modest success, raising £126 and shifting large numbers of accumulated books from the Bazley garage. An especial debt of gratitude goes to the valiant team of ‘sorters’ who checked the contents of every single box in advance, classified what was saleable and weeded out the unsaleable. Kathleen provided a delicious buffet lunch and took away a car-load of books.

A second team worked throughout the day on June 28th itself and we are grateful to you all: the impressive pile of empty boxes at the end of the day said it all.

Bruce Kent and Kate Hudson

The room was full at the Mansel Road Centre on June 4th. The clash of dates with the European elections meant that party political activists were unable to be with us but it was good to see many fresh faces in the audience: a tribute to the drawing power of our two national speakers.

“Nuclear weapons: time to get rid of the lot?” was the theme of the evening. Bruce sketched in the ‘big picture’ (historical and global context), making links with the environmental and anti-poverty campaigns. War is the major cause of Third World poverty, but big aid organisations such as Oxfam etc. have historically been wary of taking on politically sensitive issues for fear of deterring potential donors, and contravening the terms of their charitable status. Nuclear weapons can be ‘disinvented’ (i.e. got rid of) — unlike climate change — and the money saved can be spent more usefully. These are political decisions and in a democracy politicians are supposed to be our servants not our masters.

Bruce is passionate about ‘peace education’ and has found that many young people have no concept of what nuclear weapons can do. CND is actively looking to recruit more volunteers to develop links with local schools and anyone interested should phone 020 7700 2393 and ask to speak to the Peace Education Worker.

Kate spoke in greater detail about the UK political context and current campaigning, suggesting that opposing Trident could become a ‘vote-winning’ position for the mainstream parties. A post-general election parliament will inevitably be radically different and CND will have to rebuild its support amongst new M.P.s. There is a very real chance that Caroline Lucas (Green M.E.P. standing in Brighton) could get into Westminster. It is important that we lobby every individual M.P. prior to the election. In the current economic climate the financial arguments against renewing Trident are extremely powerful and many M.P.s remain ignorant of the basic facts. 2010 sees the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and we can at least ensure that all M.P.s are aware of the terms of the Treaty and of the existence of a draft Nuclear Weapons Convention.

The evening was completed with questions and lively general discussion and we all emerged stimulated and with renewed determination — and three new members were made.

Report by Joanna

How to get stopped/searched by the Police (under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, 2000)

All you need to do, as I discovered to my astonishment, is to distribute leaflets advertising our Fête, with CND campaigning leaflets, in the town centre of Wimbledon! Of all the police attention I have attracted in campaigning I think this gets the top prize for the abuse of police power; absolutely unnecessary, and a waste of police time. However the officer who stopped/searched me was courteous and as reasonable as could be expected.

We should not let this deter us from working for disarmament and peace. The police have the aim “working together for a safer London”. They should understand that we in the peace movement are trying to extend this honourable aim to the whole world.

Edwin Cluer

Help Wanted

Please can we have some volunteers

  1. to help with leafleting on Sat/Sun August 1st/2nd at the Mela World Party in Lloyd Park, Croydon (meet Lloyd Park tram stop at 11am)
  2. to help with the transport of goods and running the stall at the Environmental Fair, Ruskin Park, Carshalton, on August Bank Holiday.

N.B. both these are ‘Umbrella Group’ events with CND colleagues from across South London.

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