NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN MICHAEL ELSTUB

Firstly I would like to wish a healthy and happy new year to you all, as your Chair of Policy Group for 2021. VFP are a special group of people with a wish to pursue peace here in the UK and around the world, which is something we can all be proud of. With that in mind can I set you all a task. This last week has seen the entry into International law of the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with 52 Nations now having signed and ratified this. Another 70 have indicated an intention to do so in the future. We of course refused to take part in the process, and the current Government has stated that it will never, ever, agree or comply with this treaty, even though we did sign and ratify the banning of Chemical Weapons, Biological Weapons, Landmines, and Cluster bombs. We as a group should not let them get away with this. So can I ask you all who reside in the UK to write to your MP quoting the following Article VI of the Nuclear None Proliferation Treaty, which we helped formulate, and signed and ratified in 1970.
“Each party undertakes to pursue negotiations, in good faith, on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date, and to nuclear disarmament, and on a TREATY(my emphasis) on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective International control”.
I have already done so with my own MP, and I did not like his response. I have delivered a suitable bollocking of substantial proportions in reply to which I have yet to receive another response.
I first started campaigning for nuclear disarmament in 1979 when still in the Army after NBC Instructor training at Porton Down, and nearby Winterbourne Gunner. We are closer now than ever to getting rid of these awful weapons from the World. Up and ‘at ’em.

6 Comments

  1. Eddie says:

    Good on you Michael. I’m playing catch-up here. Came back to the New Year message from the your January piece. I will write to my MP now and noise him up and see what reaction I get.
    I was a bad boy in the RAF in the 70’s, member of CND, went on marches, and when inspections came I had photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki pasted on the inside of my locker door. I was never ordered to remove the posters or any of the clearly visible literature or books stacked there. Great fun, must’ve been my accent (East End of Glasgow), no one ever bullied me, ever.

    1. Michael John Elstub says:

      I was threatened with the possibility of courts martial, so I officially stopped my campaigning. I had to resign from all the organisations I had joined to stay in the army, and was sent to Brunei to keep me out of the way. Didn’t stop my unofficial work however.

  2. David Westgate says:

    Yes, this a critically fresh moment in which to stress the moral blinkers that the British government have long worn on the matter of nuclear arms. Now 50 other nations have agreed to a law (not just a convention) there is a further dimension of pressure to bring to the situation. It would be so good to be on the legal as well as the moral side of the argument.

  3. Neil Kelly says:

    I have written to my MP, Helen Hayes (Labour), quoting Article VI and asking where she stands with regard to the UK government’s stated intention to once again be in breach of international law.
    Helen Hayes is a good MP and always responds in reasonable time. I did note, however, (and reminded her) that she voted in 2016 to replace Trident with a different nuclear weapons system (I don’t know what she had in mind.)
    I will will report back when she responds.

  4. Patrick Bealey says:

    Hello Veterans for Peace
    Yes, you are right. Britain has to take the blinkers off, and see that we’ve taken a step forward. And there is no going back.
    I am encouraged to follow your lead and write to my MP, and to keep going until they see the point. The list of MPs who are onside is already fairly long.
    Blessings,
    Patrick

  5. Graham Matthews says:

    Fully support the actions of Veteran’s for Peace.

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