Letters to the Editor: Birkenhead CND – 40 years of raising awareness on nuclear weapons threat

Dear Editor,

Birkenhead CND is part of Merseyside and National CND. It has been running for approximately 40 years.

We seek to raise and maintain awareness of the ongoing danger to the planet of nuclear weapons and the unfortunate dependence of the nuclear power industry on the militiary aspect of nuclear weaponry.

We dispute the notion of deterrence through the avoidance of mutually assured destruction.

One nuclear bomb could wipe out the whole of Merseyside and Manchester. 5 bombs would wipe out the whole of Britain.

All that remained of the people in or near the epicentre of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were shadows on the pavement.

How much longer can we go on hoping for the best, ignoring the danger of accidents, near misses, and escalation of conflict. Already we see powerful leaders showing total disregard for civilian life and the environment.

Many, many countries manage without nuclear weapons:- including Spain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands. Australasia. Most in fact. Only 9 countries, including UK, USA, Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea have them.

They do not make us safer – they draw attention to us as do the ongoing existence of American bases on British soil with nuclear facilities such as at Lakenheath, Suffolk. So-called RAF Lakenheath but with no British Personnel.

Are you willing, if you believe in the deterrence theory, to risk even being the tiniest bit wrong?

Peace, as we discovered through the Northern Irish conflict is hard won and hard maintained. It only stands a chance through ongoing diplomacy, peace agreements and treaties. It is only thanks to nuclear non-proliferation treaties that we can discourage non-nuclear countries from developing nuclear weapons.

Now only the United Nations is seeking to promote the banning of nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Weapons States don’t want to know even about implementing arms reduction let alone a total ban.

Chemical weapons were banned, why not nuclear weapons also?

And don’t even start us on the cost. Billions of pounds are spent on these weapons of mass destruction whilst our NHS is running into ever-increasing crises and none of us dares become ill.

For many years, we held a monthly stall in Birkenhead precinct and of late we find the Birkenhead public largely agree with us. Yet both major political parties continue to support the deterrent theory. We always make contact with whoever is the current MP for Birkenhead as we are not specifically aligned to one party. Nowadays we tend to appear at local events and fairs on the Wirral, particularly those promoting awareness of the Climate Crisis and helping the environment.

Thank you.

Birkenhead CND Chair, Joan Goodier

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