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'.

Jul 1 2016

The truth about Trident and jobs

Written by Kate Hudson
This guest blog by economist Michael Burke explains his new report on jobs and Trident for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Michael for his invaluable contribution. Our new report published today sets out the truth about Trident and jobs. It is often argued that Trident and its planned replacement are vital to provide civilian jobs, some of them highly-skilled and well paid, many in deprived areas where alternative employment of the same quality is scarce. This is important for workers and their unions. Yet, while it is true, the extent of this job creation is tiny relative to the sums involved. In effect, they are among the most costly jobs in history. The money used could be spent on creating many more, better jobs. CND has calculated that approximately 11,520 civilian jobs are directly dependent on Trident. Guaranteeing people's livelihoods matters but when you consider that every one of these workers could be given a cheque for £1 million for a cost of £11.5 billion, a little more than one-twentieth of the entire cost of replacing Trident, it's time to think again. £205 billion can be used far more effectively to create…
May 27 2016
President Obama’s moving oration at Hiroshima is timely and welcome. His compassion and dignity will be welcome to the remaining survivors that still bear witness to those terrible and unimaginable days in August 1945 when the US unleashed atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His reflections on the dangers of scientific and technological revolution without equivalent moral revolution are unquestionably true. His call to pursue a world without nuclear weapons – echoing the sentiments of his Prague speech in 2009 – is important. His call to change the mindset on war and to strive for peaceful cooperation, for a recognition of our common humanity, is vital in today’s world. Yet what is unsaid speaks volumes. The truth is the bombs didn’t just drop from the sky – they were dropped by the United States on civilian populations. And the reality is that – contrary to conventional wisdom about the bombing - they were not necessary to bring about an end to the war. It is a recognition of this truth that is most essential. It is essential even beyond an apology, but it is what makes an apology necessary.  The ‘necessity of the bombing to end the…
May 12 2016
For some years, CND has been using the figure of £100 billion for the procurement and lifetime cost of a Trident replacement. From time to time, pro-Trident politicians have told me that's just absurd, as if we have plucked a wild figure out of the air. However, it has become clear over the past few months that even that £100 billion figure is a massive underestimate. Recent information released by the government makes it clear that a new nuclear weapons system will actually end up costing at least £205 billion. For the sceptical reader, here's a breakdown of that new figure, taking into account the three elements of the system - submarines, missiles and warheads - together with related costs. Again I stress: these are figures from government sources not something that CND has made up. The cost of replacing the four submarines now comes in at an estimated £31 billion, with a contingency fund of £10 billion. That information comes from the government's National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review published last November. The missiles are leased from the United States and Britain will participate in their missile life extension programme making them usable until the 2040s.…
May 11 2016
I am saddened and appalled to hear of the latest round of charges against the nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu. I reproduce here Amnesty International's statement. We send our best wishes and solidarity to Mordechai, still paying the price for his courage in revealing the illegal Israeli nuclear weapons programme. Israel: Drop latest charges against whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu The Israeli authorities should drop the charges handed down two days ago to nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, as well as lifting all of the restrictions still imposed on him, Amnesty International said today. This latest development is illustrative of the pattern of persecution he has faced since he was released from prison 12 years ago after serving an 18-year sentence for disclosing information on Israel’s secret nuclear capacity in 1986. On 8 May 2016, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court charged Mordechai Vanunu with breaching the ongoing severe and arbitrary restrictions against his rights to freedoms of movement and expression. The charges apparently relate to a meeting he had with two US nationals three years ago; an interview he gave to Israeli broadcaster Channel 2 in September 2015, for which he was already punished that same month; and moving his residence within the same building…
May 6 2016
Today’s results show a continuing massive anti-Trident majority in the Scottish parliament. The SNP, Scottish Labour and Greens all have clear anti-nuclear policies, together with the Lib Dems who will vote against Trident replacement even though national policy hesitates around alternatives. In party terms this adds up to 98 out of 129 seats. Even taking into account a tiny handful of MSPs who may vote against party policy, this is a reaffirmation of the overwhelming anti-Trident sentiment in Scotland. In effect, support for nuclear weapons is being reduced down to the Conservative Party, and this is a process being seen in Westminster too. At CND’s recent Stop Trident rally in London, Scotland’s First Minister, together with the leader of the Labour Party, Leanne Wood from Plaid Cymru and Caroline Lucas for the Greens, demonstrated the emergence of a new political consensus against Trident. In Northern Ireland too, both SDLP and Sinn Fein oppose Trident replacement. Of course, the Labour leader’s personal opposition to nuclear weapons does not yet translate into Labour Party policy. A decision on that is likely later this year but it is of huge significance that Labour is undergoing a genuine, open and rigorous Defence Review which…
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