War. What is it good for?
This is the front page of the UK newspaper The Daily Mirror today. "We're On The Brink Of Nuclear War" cry the headlines, yet only two weeks ago the UN held a week of nuclear ban treaty negotiations. The UK government boycotted the negotiations.
So people organised against it, let our leaders know that we knew this to be wrong. I spent many a weekend in my teenage years up at Faslane near Helesburgh or over at Holy Loch near Dunoon joining CND protests. Aged 14 I was an organiser in Glasgow West Youth CND, and went as a delegate from CND to the World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow in 1985. There I attended speeches by the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who in the coming years stepped back from the arms race that had been running up until that time and signed several disarmament deals with his US counterpart, Ronald Reagan.
So to reduce the feeling of impending nuclear annihilation I have been getting prepared and flicking through the re-assuring pages of my copy of "Protect and Survive", the British government's pamphlet from 1980 full of handy tips on what to do in event of a nuclear strike. I now feel quite justified in refusing to ever throw anything out. In case you don't still own a copy and the government don't get the chance to quickly re-print it when the big one goes off, I have dashed off copies of the one I have, for your education. I hope that this makes everyone feel much safer.
Alternatively you may want to support those campaigning for nuclear disarmament by either joining, or donating money to Scottish CND or CND UK by following the links. In Scotland the Scottish Green Party and The Scottish National Party support unilateral disarmament for Scotland. I know I would feel much more safe if we did not have a target painted over Glasgow, and imagine what a lead we could take in the world at this time by getting rid of these weapons of mass destruction from our country.
Protect and Survive
Click on images below to expand. Disclaimer - I have no evidence that painting your windows white and hiding under a table will protect your family from a nuclear payload detonated over your city, but good luck with that. For more information you may wish to watch the Raymond Briggs animation "When The Wind Blows".