Stop the War coalition
Newsletter – 3 May 2017
The warmongering stance of the Tory government was further confirmed last week, when Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson stated that Britain would follow Trump in any new US attack in Syria. It is clear that the questions of foreign policy, war and peace will feature in this election and for once there are clear differences between the two parties. Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is a former chair of Stop the War and a lifelong campaigner against war and for peace. This could not be in stronger contrast to the record of Theresa May, who refused on Sunday to say that the Iraq war was wrong, and whose closeness to Donald Trump makes her support for more wars almost certain. The war party refuses to draw any humane and rational conclusions from more than a decade and a half of ferocious military interventions, which have led to immense suffering, over a million deaths in Iraq alone, the torture of tens of thousands of people (including thousands of children), a mass refugee crisis, and the spread of terrorism across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.
The Tory establishment has also exhibited a callous disregard for international law and basic decency in its pronouncements in favour of nuclear weapons and, astonishingly, even of nuclear war itself. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon last week reiterated that Theresa May would have no hesitation to use thermonuclear weapons. He also added that the government would be prepared to fire these weapons of mass destruction pre-emptively, even if Britain was not under threat of nuclear attack.
The Conservative government’s militarist and pro-war priorities are also obscene considering the mass misery and deprivation caused by the cuts in health care and welfare. The renewal and maintenance of Trident nuclear weapons alone will cost the taxpayer around £205 billion. This will have terrible consequences. Cuts to NHS and social care budgets have probably been the cause of 30,000 excess deaths in England and Wales in 2015 alone.
We are urging all groups to hold local election hustings on these issues, involving candidates from parties opposing war and racism including Labour, the Greens, Plaid and SNP where appropriate, as well as to organise other public meetings and hold stalls against the continuation of Theresa May’s savage warmongering agenda. We are going through the fourth general election where Britain has been at war, and we need some honest accounting. Recent polls show some narrowing in the Tories’ lead. Grassroots anti-war campaigning can help change the outcome of this election. An anti-war questionnaire for parliamentary election candidates is available here.
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