The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today condemned Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s address to the Labour Conference as hypocritical. His speech, which frequently referred to ‘our values’, spelled out as democracy and human rights, failed to address the continuing occupation of Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths and the humanitarian disaster which has resulted from the US and UK-led war and occupation.
Mr Miliband referred in passing to the fact that he has visited Baghdad and Basra, but failed to outline plans on troop withdrawal or explain current British policy towards a country which has suffered enormously as a result of the decision of the Labour government to go to war. At the time of invasion, the case for war was made by the government on the basis of supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction. This was later proved to be erroneous, since when the government has claimed it went to war on Iraq to promote democracy.
Mr Miliband’s speech was equally inadequate on the question of nuclear weapons. Referring to the need for shared solutions to global problems, Mr Miliband mentioned the need for global rules on nuclear proliferation. But he did not outline any concrete proposals for advancing this agenda, nor did he refer to the fact that Britain is flouting the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system and failing in its international obligation to disarm.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “The Foreign Secretary has failed to address crucial issues facing Britain today. We have heard empty platitudes from Mr Milband about ‘values’ and ‘change’ but there was nothing of substance in this speech. Where was the timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq? Where were the concrete initiatives towards nuclear disarmament?
The government has consistently ignored the views of the majority of the British people on both these issues. The change we want to see is a new foreign policy, based on the values of peace and social justice. We need genuine new thinking from our government on these issues, not policies of aggression dressed up in hollow rhetorical flourishes.”
Notes to Editors:For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.