Now that the dust has settled we thought we should offer a review of the situation vis-a-vis ourselves and the new Government.
There is now an outline of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition agreement up on the Liberal-Democrat website here. The section on defence is interesting:
“The Government will be committed to the maintenance of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives. We will immediately play a strong role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and press for continued progress on multilateral disarmament.”
Sure it is not everything we asked for. It is nothing like. However, maybe this is a start. The renewal of Trident to be ‘scrutinised’, the case for ‘alternatives’ is to continue to be made. If we can actually reduce the cost and number of nuclear weapons, rather than go on increasing, then there is a little chink of light at the end of the tunnel? We would like to think so, although National CND, at present, is seeking further clarifiation on the Liberal Democrat positiion here, at present. See their website article: “Liberal Democrats must Clarify Coalition Agreement on Trident Replacement” here
The Lib-Dems are promising to “play a strong role in the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.” CND will be monitoring this.
Locally, in our area of five constituences, the only change has been in connection with reorganised boundaries. We retain the following MP’s whose views are listed on our Candidates Views posting: John Hemming (We should drop Trident, but retain a cheaper nuclear defence and puruse the NPT) Roger Godsiff (Several EDMs against Trident proposed in previous parliaments.), Lorely Burt (Has signed several EDMs against Trident) Steve McCabe (Strongly in favour of retaining Trident), Caroline Spelman (strongly in favour of retaining Trident). We will continue to work and liase with sympathetic, or partially sympathetic MPs were possible, and hope to maintain a dialogue wiith those who are not sympathetic to our views.