Kate Hudson's blog

Kate Hudson's 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'.

May 14 2015
A guest post from peace activist Bill Gidding Why did Labour and the LibDems do so badly at the polls and why was it such a surprise? At first glance, the answer seems obvious. Scots who narrowly lost the referendum on independence last year decided to give the SNP one last try at gaining more power for Scotland through Westminster. In England, relentless campaigning by the Conservatives and the mass media convinced voters that the Labour Party could not be trusted with the economy and might be tempted to ‘do a deal’ with the SNP that would somehow be against the national interest. Meanwhile as junior coalition partners, the LibDems were unable to distinguish themselves sufficiently in government to stop their supporters voting in droves for the real thing once they were given the choice between a Deputy PM and an actual PM. A more careful examination of the election results, however, reveals a very different picture. In nearly every case where LibDems or Labour lost seats, it was because people who previously voted for them were this time voting for a more ‘left-wing’ alternative - or not voting at all. The net result of voting for what was in…
May 12 2015

Election outcomes

Written by Kate Hudson
The general election outcome – a narrow majority for the Conservative Party – was unexpected. Polls and pundits had predicted a hung parliament, too close to call whether Conservative or Labour would be the largest party. Britain's political make-up following the 2015 general election Much of the pre-election talk was of a minority Labour government, sustained by the smaller anti-austerity, anti-Trident parties which were surging in the polls. With a very slight recent shift in Labour’s position on Trident, this would have presented new possibilities for halting the drive towards its replacement. In the event, the pro-nuclear Conservatives emerged as clear winners with 331 seats and 36.9% of the vote, surprising even themselves, and forming a majority government for the first time since the 1992 to 1997 government of John Major. The real losers were the Liberal Democrats, previously in coalition with the Conservatives, with their number of parliamentary seats reduced from 56 to 8. They were roundly punished by the electorate for putting a Conservative government in power for five years with its massive ideologically driven austerity programme, redistributing wealth from ordinary people to the rich: after five years of coalition government the rich have never been richer. Labour…
Apr 30 2015
As we have said repeatedly, the MPs elected next week will decide - at some point in 2016 - whether or not the Trident nuclear weapons system will be replaced, at a cost of £100 billion. That’s why, since January, CND has been lobbying general election candidates across the parties. We've been in touch with candidates directly, and our supporters - in their thousands - have been emailing them, asking them – if elected - how they will vote on Trident replacement. And the responses have been fascinating. We have contacted over 3500 election candidates and to date we have had almost 900 responses from 24 parties. Not as many as we would like, but we understand that candidates are bombarded with requests for information. But there’s still time for candidates to submit responses - we’ll publish an update next week. So this isn’t the full picture, but it’s the most comprehensive there is, and it’s definitely worth a read. Firstly, the raw numbers themselves are interesting. In terms of parties, the greatest response rate has been from SNP candidates. To date 46 of their candidates have replied or 78%. Closely following them are Plaid Cymru, 26 of their candidates…
Apr 30 2015
CND's Sara Medi Jones reports from Day 3 at the UN's nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York. Read more of Sara's guest posts from the NPT over on Kate Hudson's blog. St. George slays the "nuclear dragon" - now outside the UN HQ in New York.The dragon is comprised of dismantled US and Soviet nuclear missiles. An early morning briefing from UK Ambassador Matthew Rowland was the first meeting of the day yesterday. CND challenged the UK government's commitment to disarmament and the fact that they're already spending billions on a new nuclear weapon system even though the final decision is yet to be taken by the Parliament. Ambition tempered by realism? Ambassador Rowland made it clear that the UK's approach is based on 'ambition tempered with realism'. In that vein, he stated that a huge step forward is not expected at this conference. Again, we heard that disarmament is conditional on the security situation. One wonders what the security situation would need to be like for nuclear disarmament to be properly considered by the British government. CND was disappointed at the Ambassador's attempt to downplay the current discussions on Trident replacement taking place in the UK.…
Apr 29 2015
In my last blog I set out the party Manifesto positions on Trident. Today I’m looking at widespread reports from local hustings. The picture is fascinating. Trident replacement is a live topic, being debated in church halls and civic meeting rooms across the country. The SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green Party are taking every opportunity to challenge the replacement of Trident and its cost to public services. And there is clear evidence that this is shaping politics and driving the agenda locally, with the result that many Labour, Liberal Democrat and even some Conservative candidates are expressing opposition to Trident. The picture we get from the hustings is significantly different from what we get from the Manifestos and party spokespeople. So the lesson is clear – get out, organise and campaign against Trident and you can win the argument. Below is a snapshot of the nationwide debates taking place on Trident replacement. In Scotland, would-be SNP MPs are speaking out against Trident. Brendan O’Hara, who could represent the Clyde naval base told a Dunoon hustings that there is, ‘No moral, economic or military case’ for Trident. Natalie McGarry, seeking to take a seat in the former Labour stronghold of Glasgow,…
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