Letter: Labour did raise Trident issue after Start treaty

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The Independent Online
YOU CLAIM that Labour's refusal to challenge government policy arises from its earlier unilateralist stance. In fact it was in 1989 that Labour ditched its clear opposition to Trident. It is still not clear why it did so when the Cold War was ending in Europe. Your current arguments are ones which unilateralists advocated during the 1980s.

Inside the Labour Party there is political debate. An anti-Trident motion was only narrowly defeated at the 1992 annual conference. The Scottish Labour Party is opposed to Trident. The House of Commons has still to debate the 1992 Defence Estimates. The Bush-Yeltsin Start 2 Treaty presents the Parliamentary Labour Party with a new opportunity. It should oppose a weapon system that has no purpose, escalates Britain's contribution to the nuclear arms race and defies the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Labour should call for a redirection of the pounds 30bn (estimated 30-year running cost of Trident) to our underfunded public services and towards strengthening Britain's civilian industry.

Frank Allaun and Ron Huzzard

Labour Action for Peace

Orpington, Kent