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Chernobyl? Fukushima? Scotland next?

Nuclear flasks passing through Paisley Gilmour Street Station












Five years ago on the 11th March a nuclear accident laid waste to  a large area of Japan , make it  uninhabitable to people and livestock. Today toxic trains carrying high level nuclear waste are passing along the commuter routes of central Scotland on a weekly basis. This risks an accident of a similar scale affecting people, livestock and the environment in Central Scotland.

Police harass peace campaigners over convoy

An SNP MSP will write to the Chief Constable after concern was expressed about police harassment of peace campaigners who were watching the movement of Trident nuclear weapons across Scotland. Bill Kidd said: "It seems to be a waste of police time to be stopping and questioning law-abiding peace campaigners who are simply performing a legitimate public service by keeping a watchful eye on the transport of nuclear weapons along our roads. It appears that the MOD has, without good reason, requested that police officers detain peaceful nuclear disarmers by means of carrying out spurious car searches. I will be writing to the chief constable asking that this unwarranted practise should stop henceforth".  Neil Findlay MSP (Labour) also commented, "I fully support the police in their work but they have to be absolutely clear that will not prevent peaceful, law-abiding campaigners from going about their business".

Officers from Police Scotland harassed two groups of peace campaigners in Stirling.

Nuclear Convoy filmed 8 times

A nuclear weapons convoy was filmed 8 times on Saturday 9 January:

3 am Warwickshire video 
3.18 pm M74 Hamilton services video
3.40 pm M73 video
5.20 pm Leaving Forthside Barracks Stirling video
5.35 pm Stirling Castle, Stirling Uni CND film video
5.35 pm Stirling Castle, Scottish CND film video
5.37 pm leaving Stirling onto A811 video
6.30 pm Balloch video

Bears and Bombs


A controversial car load of  soft toys followed a convoy of nuclear warheads along busy roads through Central Scotland on Saturday afternoon. The  dangerous furry cargo had picked up the convoy shortly after it crossed the border into Scotland at lunchtime on Saturday. While the  Scottish population recklessly pursued their usual Saturday afternoon pursuits of  shopping and watching the football  four nuclear warhead carriers were driving North at a steady 50 miles per hour. The soft toys  travelling in wintry weather,  were accompanied by  military police with flashing blue lights along the entire route but they were happy to wait patiently while the  convoy took a rest at Forthside Barracks in  Stirling for an hour, emerging into the  football crowds making their way home from the match.  Their route took them along the M74, M73, M9, A811 and finally the unmarked 'Haul  Road' from Lochlomondside to Coulport, arriving at 7pm.

Trident vote in 2016 will test respect for Scotland

Writing in the Sunday Herald, Rob Edwards outlines how Trident was a major issue in 2015 and how the vote on renewing Britain's nuclear weapons in 2016 could test the Union to breaking point. He describes how the MOD are spending £4.2 billion on new nuclear-armed submarines before the formal decision has been taken by Westminster.  Whistleblower William McNeilly described Trident as a "disaster waiting to happen". His concerns were compounded by official reports showing a sharp rise in incidents at Faslane and how a shortage of key staff was the major risk to the safety of the defence nuclear programme. 

Poll confirms Scots opposition to Trident

A new poll for TNS confirms Scottish opposition to Trident.  It asked "Do you support or oppose the UK Government replacing the existing Trident nuclear weapon system with a new nuclear weapon system?" The results were: oppose 38%, support 29%, neither 26%, don't know 7%.  Opposition to Trident was strongest in the under 55 age groups (41-42%) and weakest in the over 55 age group (32%). In the 16-24 age group there was little support for Trident (17%) and significant opposition (37%), but also a large number who neither supported nor opposed (40%). There was less support for Trident among women (21%) than men (38%).  

Other polls have shown a higher level of opposition, up to 80%, when the cost involved is included in the question.

Previous attempts to argue that most people in Scotland support Trident have been misleading. (source) They were based on giving three options in a poll, including a cheaper/less powerful alternative which is not on the table, and then combining two of the options. Scottish polls in recent years which have asked a straight question have all found that there are significantly more opposed to Trident than support it.

FT reveals problems with Trident renewal

Two articles in the Financial Times provide a new insight into the problems facing the Government’s plan to renew Trident. Both are written by Peggy Hollinger, the paper’s Industry Editor. The front page of the paper says that the Cabinet are considering nationalising the nuclear submarine part of Rolls Royce. The company has issued five profit warnings in two years and there are fears of a foreign take over. Defence Procurement Minister Philip Dunne said the government was “concerned that Rolls Royce ... is capable of performing its nuclear obligations”.  

Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

In the light of the Labour Party's abstention in the Trident debate on 24 November, Scottish CND has sent the message below to Jeremy Corbyn.

We are surprised to hear that you abstained in the vote against the renewal of Trident, and we are unhappy that the Labour Party decided to adopt a policy of abstaining on this key moral issue. We have been contacted by a large number of our members concerned about this apparent reversal of your previous position.  We are writing to you to give you the opportunity to respond to these concerns.

Scottish MPs oppose Trident as costs soar

The contrast between views on Trident in Scotland and the rest of the UK are likely to be highlighted today. 95% of Scotland's MP are expected to vote against Trident renewal in a House of Commons debate. The motion says "That this House believes that Trident should not be renewed". Most Labour MPs are expected to abstain or not be present. A small number have indicated that they will vote with the Tories for Trident. 

Shadow Chancellor John Macdonnell has urged his Labour colleagues to abstain on what he has told the press is an "SNP stunt". This is despite the fact that he and the new leader Jeremy Corbyn were amongst a handful of Labour MPs who voted for a similar SNP motion on 20 January this year. 

Far from being a "stunt" the debate is a well-timed opportunity to tackle the issue of Trident the day after David Cameron announced that the initial manufacturing costs of Trident had risen from £25 billion to £41 billion and that the new submarines, which had been expected to enter service in 2028, would not now be operational until "the early 2030s". Earlier this year it was revealed that there were major problems in the MOD's management of the defence nuclear programme, following a review led by Jon Thompson, Permanent Secretary at the MOD, and Air Vice Marshall Stuart Peach. Thompson said that Trident was a "biggest financial risk we face in future". It was a "monster" which kept him awake at night (Guardian).

Don't Bank on the Bomb

A broadly based campaign focussing on the links between banks and financial institutions to companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons will be launched at a public meeting in Edinburgh on Monday November 16th. Arthur West chair of Scottish CND said- "I am delighted to announce that the launch of the Scottish Don't Bank on the Bomb Campaign will be kicked off by a public meeting in the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church at 25 Nicolson Street Edinburgh on Monday November 16th at 7.30 pm."
Mr West revealed that a range of campaigning organisations such as the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Edinburgh CND, Medact and the student-based People and Planet are all supporting the launch event. In addition support for the meeting is being given by Friends of the Earth Scotland, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Global Justice Now.