Kate Hudsons blog

Kate Hudsons blog

Dr Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary
Kate Hudson has been General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament since September 2010. Prior to this she served as the organisation's Chair from 2003. She is a leading anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigner nationally and internationally. She is also author of 'CND Now More than Ever: The Story of a Peace Movement'.

Nov 11 2014
In a globalised, increasingly multi-polar world, the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK might be expected to diminish, as twenty-first century reality supersedes Cold War imperatives. Nothing of the sort, it seems, when it comes to nuclear weapons. In 1958 the US and UK signed the ‘Agreement between the UK and the USA for cooperation in the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes’. Also referred to as the Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA), the treaty established a modus operandi between both countries to exchange classified information to develop their respective nuclear weapon systems. Originally, the MDA prohibited the transfer of nuclear weapons, but an amendment in 1959 allowed for the transfer of nuclear materials and equipment between both countries. This amendment is extended through a renewal of the treaty every ten years, most recently in 2004. The renewal has to be ratified on both sides of the Atlantic and Obama has already given the go-ahead from the US side. Much as successive UK governments may wish to view ratification as an automatic process to be slid through without question, there is a Westminster scrutiny process which a number of parliamentarians are trying to avail themselves of. The government…
Oct 29 2014

Why were we in Afghanistan?

Written by Kate Hudson
Strange how 13 years after we went to war on Afghanistan, the actual reasons for doing so seem to be almost entirely obscured. ‘Leaving the country in better shape’ seems a favourite if anodyne description, or perhaps making it ‘more stable’.  Beyond that, we have assisting in nation-building, tackling the drugs trade, improving gender equality… the list of constructive and humanitarian sounding tasks is a long one. Does anyone now remember or refer to the actually declared reason – the war on terror - declared by President Bush in the days following the 9/11 attacks on the United States? The war on Afghanistan was its first manifestation, inflicted on the people of Afghanistan by Bush and Blair on 7th October 2001. This was Operation Enduring Freedom - launched on the grounds that the Taliban government refused to hand over Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda operatives. The stated goal was to continue the war on terror until every terrorist group had been found, stopped and defeated. Whilst this goal may have found emotional resonance with many shocked by the terrible attacks on innocent civilians there were also many at the time who argued against the collective punishment of an entire…
Sep 26 2014

Don't vote for war

Written by Kate Hudson
As the war debate continues inside Westminster, it’s good to hear that the SNP will vote against the government motion for war. I would make two points to MPs before they vote. Firstly, not to ignore the facts of history, recent and past, that have led to this crisis. ISIL has not sprung fully-formed out of nowhere, context free. It is the product of western intervention and brutality in the region for over a decade. But the roots are much longer. For a century the region has been subject to western military, political and economic intervention, plunder and regime change. More killing will not resolve these long run problems of our collective, largely western making. Secondly, to stick to the law and not make it up as they go along. Whatever David Cameron says, it is not legal to attack Iraq. There are two possible lawful uses of force under the UN charter: in self-defence under Article 51 which doesn’t apply here; and when the UN Security Council authorises force under Chapter VII of the Charter, allowing “all necessary measures” to achieve the Security Council’s stated objectives. The UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday night didn’t give this authorisation. If MPs want…
Sep 5 2014
Many months of planning by the peace movement, at home and internationally, has culminated this week in a successful series of anti-NATO protests and events in Newport and Cardiff. In the face of a barrage of pro-NATO PR, we managed to get the message out there, that NATO is an aggressive, expansionist nuclear-armed alliance, rather than the caring, responsible face of the international community they now like to suggest. Smiling politicians and royal-hosted receptions are a world away from the reality of NATO – the carnage in Afghanistan: a country left in ruins by a Nato-led force. Here, these same helicopters that have blighted the South Wales skies over the last few days fly over a country which has seen tens of thousands of its men, women and children killed. They fly over shattered institutions, a foundering security force, a state rocked to the point of collapse. And that is what Nato stands for. It’s not Barack Obama grinning for a photo-op in a Newport school – it’s the bombed-out ruins of an Afghan school providing the only playground for local children. Formed in 1949 as a "defensive" alliance, Nato prompted the creation of the Warsaw Pact. But while the end…
Aug 8 2014
Every so often a campaign breaks the bounds of expectations and impacts on the popular consciousness in a transformative way. New methods give renewed life to continuing struggles and draw new communities into action. The peace movement has a history of creative campaigning and CND in its origins was synonymous with radical social protest. Our Aldermaston march in the late 1950s and early 1960s gave voice to the anti-nuclear message with diverse cultural expression, as well as with the political demands that mobilised a generation. The anti-missiles movement of the 1980s saw an explosion of local CND groups, and mass protests of hundreds of thousands. But we also saw the setting up of peace camps, from Greenham to Molesworth, Upper Heyford and beyond. These camps caught the popular imagination in Britain and around the world, changing the shape of politics and ultimately achieving iconic status. The peace movement is returning to its radical and creative roots this weekend as a seven mile long pink peace scarf is unrolled between Aldermaston and Burghfield, Britain’s two nuclear bomb factories. The purpose is to raise public awareness of the plans to replace Trident at a cost of over £100 billion – and to…
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