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     Scottish CND     magazine

Make Trident an election issue

Tony Southall

For the forthcoming period British public life is dominated by the impending general election. The two main British parties are seeking every opportunity to differentiate themselves and score points off each other. However the Conservative and Labour leaderships avoid any opportunity to debate defence because they both support the escalation of British nuclear weapons through Trident.

Our job as Scottish CND is to try to break through this conspiracy of silence and make Trident an election issue. It's likely to be an uphill battle but we need to start now to bring these facts to public attention:

* that Britain is currently trebling her nuclear arsenal

* that from 1998 all British nuclear weapons will be stationed in Scotland

* that most Scots oppose Trident

* that economic benefits come from ditching it

* that it's dangerous and destructive of the environment

At the best of times its difficult to generate national publicity for our case. It will be particularly difficult during this election. But we do believe that at a local level it will be possible to raise the issue.

Even when you are simply an individual member of CND, the Peace Pledge can be used to approach any or all of the candidates. Write to them and ask them to sign - this is a sure-fire way to get their views. In some areas our local contacts (see list on back page) will be trying to organise public meetings with the candidates to enable questions to be put and debated. Even if you don't live in one of these places, nothing prevents you from attempting the same thing. If you do, ring Scottish CND and get a note of other members in the area. This is exactly the time with the best chance of some success. Maybe a new or revived CND branch could come out of this.

Enclosed is a new leaflet available for wider distribution. This incorporates the arguments against Trident and the Scottish Peace Pledge which will be our main campaigns for 1997. Please order copies rapidly and help make Trident an election issue.

Also with this magazine is a special supplement on Trident. This is designed for a wider readership than our own members. Please order extra copies to distribute.

Scottish CND      magazine