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 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…
Apr 25 2016

Chernobyl: consequences and lessons

Written by Dr Ian Fairlie
A guest blog from Dr Ian Fairlie to mark April 26th - the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. In 2005, the International Atomic Energy Agency/World Health Organisation (IAEA/WHO) stated “The magnitude and scope of the disaster, the size of the affected population, and the long-term consequences make it, by far, the worst industrial disaster on record. Chernobyl unleashed a complex web of events and long-term difficulties, such as massive relocation, loss of economic stability, and long-term threats to health in current and, possibly, future generations…” The original independent TORCH (The Other Report on Chernobyl) report in 2006 covered the health evidence up to then. However thousands of scientific articles have been published since. These are discussed by a new TORCH -2016 report commissioned by Friends of the Earth Austria and funded by the Government of Vienna which indicates that the adverse effects from Chernobyl are continuing.   http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/30-years-after-chernobyl/ The new report, TORCH-2016, (93 pages, ~200 references) updates the 2006 TORCH report.  http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/30-years-after-chernobyl/ The accident had many consequences, including economic, ecological, social and political effects. TORCH-2016 focuses on the health effects, and clearly shows they were and are manifold, severe, widespread, and long-lasting. In a word,…
Apr 12 2016
Roger Cole, Chair of Ireland's Peace and Neutrality Alliance, writes a guest blog “We must face the difficult of moving towards a single economy, a single political entity, for the first time since the Roman Empire, we have the opportunity to unite Europe.” Romano Prodi, EU Commission President, 13 October 1999 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Irish Rebellion against the British Union and Empire and it was marked this Easter by the Irish people with a massive show of solidarity and pride. The first time all the leaders of the Rebellion came together was in September 1914. They founded the Irish Neutrality League to bring together all those who opposed the 1914 imperialist war and Irish participation in that war. So the values of Irish independence and neutrality are deeply enshrined in our history. The Peace & Neutrality Alliance (PANA), was founded in 1996, with the intention of carrying on and sustaining that tradition in response to the decision of the ruling Irish cast to destroy Irish independence, democracy and neutrality by integrating Ireland into the EU/US/NATO military structures. One of the consequences of the Rebellion was that we have a Constitution which states that “all power derives…
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