Letter: Labour clings to outmoded nuclear weapons strategy

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Sir: Malcolm Rifkind may see CND's protest against Trident as a useful distraction in a party political argument over defence spending, but the world outside the Palace of Westminster should take it much more seriously.

The first fully armed Trident patrol is due in the next few months. The message this will give to the world is an entirely destructive one. It will provide comfort to those regimes wishing to develop nuclear status and seriously undermine the chances of a successful outcome to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty conference in April 1995.

If the political leadership of this country cannot understand that deploying Trident will undermine our security, then CND has a duty to convey the urgency of the problem. This is new politics, not an 'old bogey'.

The developing economic, environmental and political costs of our continued commitment to nuclear weapons are so huge that the British people deserve a full debate on the implications of Trident. It is regrettable that the majority of parliamentarians wish to ignore the problem. CND will not.

Yours sincerely, JANET BLOOMFIELD Chair, CND London, N7 18 October