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'.

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,…
Apr 29 2015
CND's Sara Medi Jones is at the UN for the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference - here she blogs about Day 2 at the NPT. The second day started with a briefing for NGOs from New Zealand, Ireland and Mexico, countries representing the New Agenda Coalition (NAC), a group of countries seeking to build an international consensus to make progress on nuclear disarmament; in their own words: the 'sane and rational ones'. NAC has submitted a working paper to the conference which calls for sessions to be dedicated to discussing legal approaches for getting rid of nuclear weapons. This is only one example of non-nuclear weapon states trying to move the disarmament debate forward at this conference, due to a frustration with the current status quo. The Austrian Pledge Another is the Austrian pledge which 78 countries have now signed. This pledge – to 'eliminate the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons' – was the result of the humanitarian initiative to highlight the possible effects of nuclear weapons. Austria took to the conference floor yesterday on behalf of all the states involved in this initiative, and spoke of the 'deep implications for human survival' posed by nuclear…
Apr 28 2015
One of the biggest decisions in the next parliament will be whether or not to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system. With the Conservatives and Labour neck-and-neck in opinion polls – and the question of Trident likely to be a deal-breaker – party positions on Trident are of considerable significance. Here we take a look at Manifesto pledges to see what each party is formally offering to the electorate. The Conservatives are committed to a four submarine replacement fleet operating around the clock – what’s become known as a 'like for like' replacement.They pledge, 'We will retain the Trident continuous at sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our safety and build the new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile Submarines - securing thousands of highly-skilled engineering jobs in the UK.' Labour's manifesto states its commitment to a new fleet, also operating round the clock, but has not said whether this will mean four new submarines – it’s possible the same level of patrol could work with three subs. In Labour’s words, ‘it remains committed to a minimum, credible, independent nuclear capability, delivered through a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. We will actively work to increase momentum on global multilateral disarmament…
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