Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for June 11th, 2007

A Spicy Take on Trident

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 11th June, 2007

Kingston LibDems held what Mrs Merton would call a ‘heated debate’ last night, when Rosemary Addington, Chairperson of Kingston Peace Council, addressed a Poppadom and Politics at the Ajanta Restaurant in Surbiton on why Britain should not renew Trident. As a longstanding member of CND, she not surprisingly took a firmly unilateralist position, which was countered by a local member arguing that with the Russian bear growling once again, and the Iranians playing silly buggers, it would be rash to disarm for the time being. But in both of those cases, I think it would be helpful if the West occasionally asked itself, ‘Why are they doing this?’. Personally, I would have preferred the Trident-related motion at the last party conference to have gone further than it did, but I can live with the policy that the party adopted (basically, no decision on replacement in the short term, and a 50% cut), as it is a major step in the right direction, and would encourage other nations to do likewise, were the LibDems in a position to implement it.

Rosemary was accompanied by her husband Jim, who is Chair of Action for UN Renewal, whose events and publications I have already encountered. It is a cause I strongly support, for if the United Nations does not get a pretty dramatic overhaul soon — including making the UN Security Council more inclusive — I can see it going the way of the old League of Nations, which would be a tragedy. Amongst its other activities, Action for UN Renewal hosts an annual lecture, named after Erskine Childers, the Anglo-Irish writer and nationalist. In fact, this year’s lecture is being held tonight, at 7pm, at Friends House in the Euston Road, when Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International, will speak on ‘The Growth and Importance of Individual Action and Its Increasing Influence in the Field of Human Righst and United Nations Reform’ (free entry).

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