Following our visit to Roger Godsiff (MP for Hall Green) with a view to arranging a debate on Trident we dropped into to see Jess Phillips at her new permanent office on the Yardley Road in Acocks Green. At another busy surgery session (We have often noticed that being an MP is hard work!) Ms Phillips was keen to emphasise that she grew up in a CND supporting household and that her parents were active in Kings Heath CND when she was young. She agreed – indeed volunteered – that Trident is an expensive item, set to cost over 100 billion pounds in its lifetime, and noted that this would pay (for example) for all the nurses needed by the NHS at present. However she is concerned about international security issues and describes Trident as ‘the nuclear ‘deterrent’.
She readily agreed to represent the Labour Party’s still pro-Trident policy position, and is willing to debate with Roger Godsiff on Trident at some time, early next year, probably in February, when the parliamentary recess is on (She thought that might be easier for both herself and Mr Godsiff.) We are grateful to Jess for being prepared to enter into the spirit of our democracy by taking part in a public debate on what is clearly at present a vital matter.
We would also like to take this opportunity of thanking both Jess and Roger for voting against the recently highly controversial parliamentary motion to bomb Syria. This is an issue in which CND has taken some interest because there are still so many unanswered question. We feel that there is always a danger that any military operations between countries could escalate to something much worse and in this case we also note the particular tensions between Russia and the West which have come into play.
Watch this space. We will announce the date and the venue, for this debate, and the exact wording of the motion, when these have all been arranged. Meantime, we note that there has recently been quite a lot general feeling expressed that there should be a formal Trident based discussion in the West Midlands soon. With this in mind we are also pleased to announce that we now have the support of West Midlands CND who will assist with additional funding and publicity.