Tuesday 10 November 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
On Britain’s nuclear deterrent you’ve said, ‘ There are circumstances in which its use would be justified’.
It is impossible to understand under what circumstances it’s use would be justified. As David Shariatmadari put it in has Guardian article, ‘It’s time to leave the nuclear hall of mirrors’: “Corbyn had let the air out of the nuclear balloon, given the game away… the truth is that no one is going to press the big red button – not Cameron, not George Osborne, Theresa May or whoever follows him. To do so would either be grossly disproportionate (against a non-nuclear state) invite our own destruction (against a nuclear-armed one) or be grossly immoral (a futile retaliation against civilians). But the important thing isn’t to say so.”
The point at which a deterrent is used is the point of madness; that there’s always someone mad enough to use it or consider using it and that it’s a weapon of the most violent, destructive, aggression.
The person who would consider the use of nuclear weapons is the person who is the greatest threat to our national security, not the one who refuses their use under any circumstances.
This is not an academic argument, it cannot be conducted dispassionately. There are enough videos of nuclear explosions and people need to think about such a thing on their city, town and green fields, it is quite simply the horror that must never be. It represents the abject failure of humanity to consider ending war as a means of progress. In fact it is not humanities failure, it is the failure of those in power who alone have the power to make war. It is really down to the few putting the lives of the many in jeopardy, as it has always been, who use the lives of ordinary people so extravagantly for political ends.
The people of Coventry or Ipswich or even Peasedown St John don’t make the decision for war, ordinary people are just the cannon fodder of wars. Wars are the very specific failure of those who presume to govern and as such wars are not something to be glorified or pursued to demonstrate how much war muscle a country might have. Nuclear war is a step beyond reason, the indiscriminate destruction of vast areas and countless lives rendering the very earth uninhabitable. There is no possible justification for such a thing, not now, not ever.