Sad news of the death of Eileen Cook, Edinburgh CND.
Eileen was born in 1950 on the 1st May – a significant day of political action throughout her life. She marched through many May day rallies, ensuring that a CND banner was carried with her for all to see. Thanks to her parents, her involvement in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was literally life-long. She grew up in a house of peace movement activism and normal family practices included leafletting and the like. But her own activism was thoughtful not automatic, she chose to embrace many campaigns and occasionally to step back. From her first days in employment, she was an active trade unionist, working to build the union. The staff out on strike now, at her last place of work, the Scottish Agricultural College, will testify to that. Her early and long standing activism also involved the national abortion campaign, which in time became the organisation Abortion Rights and her feminist informed commitment to women’s right was also reflected in her involvement in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
On 6th June 1976, Eileen met a kindred spirit in Pete Cannell at an anti-racist demonstration in Southall Park, London, and from more or less then onwards, they shared their journey. Their move to Scotland was in the early 1980s, following Eileen securing a job teaching economics at what was then Dundee Institute of Technology, later Abertay University. It took Pete another year to switch from teaching Maths down south to a new post at Kirkcaldy Technical College. They made a home in Tayport for the next 15years and their daughter, Sinead was born in 1986. Once working in Dundee, as well as being active in her union, Eileen quickly became a key figure in Dundee CND where she served as secretary for many of those years. During the 1990 war against Iraq, Eileen was instrumental in what proved to be a very large demonstration in the city centre of Dundee, despite a few police home-visits offering suggestions about why an anti-war demonstration was a bad idea.
The family’s move to Edinburgh in 1998 was in pursuit of other employment. Eileen had started to feel ill at ease in Abertay; politically-aware economics did not fit so well with a view of her discipline as a tool of business and commerce. Her own interests shifted over time, from development economics, through political economy to environmental economics. It took a long time to find a job in Edinburgh but she was perhaps better able to nurture her environmentalism after she took up a post at the Scottish Agricultural College in 2005. By now Sinead was a mature teenager of whom Eileen was very proud and who had willingly assisted in many of her parents’ political campaigns.
By the early 2000s in Edinburgh, there were other new campaigns alongside commitment to Edinburgh CND, in which Eileen again took up the role of secretary and bolstered the sustainability of the group. She was also a founder member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity campaign, a key early member of the Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition and of the newly re-formed Scottish branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In the latter, she helped mobilise the night-time vigil during the bombing of Fallujah. New inspiration was drawn from attendance at three of the Cairo Anti-War conferences. Eileen was energised by the special significance of these events as a safe space where members of the nascent democracy movement in Egypt could speak and their internationalism. Pete tells of her sitting for an hour in intense dialogue with man from Sudan who wanted to know and understand everything about how CND was organised in Edinburgh. In 2005, as part of the G8 Alternative Collective, Eileen did much of the room booking and organised accommodation for speakers from around the world, getting many of them put up by neighbours in Portobello, including Dennis Brutus poet who broke rocks with Nelson Mandela in his time on Robin Island.
The comments and tributes that have poured in since Eileen’s death speak volumes about the encouragement she gave to others through her enthusiasm, interest and egalitarianism. Her teaching style was dialogic not didactic. Although never afraid to speak up and tackle people if she suspected wrong doing, she was also incredibly modest. I never once heard her talk about or insist that others give her recognition because of what she had done and yet she had made many a campaign happen. She lived ‘think globally act locally’ through her everyday cycling, her small acts of care for her neighbourhood and local environment. She knew and looked out for her neighbours and her communities of activists, as well as loving her friends and family. The relentless progress of her illness was not without suffering but she never stopped being herself.
Our Conference motion was passed ‘overwhelmingly’ today! See the speeches proposing it at 1:18:44 from the beginning of the session: https://youtu.be/jCg397KpGpc.
Timescale for Removing Nuclear Weapons from Scotland: motion to SNP Conference, September 2021
The SNP Conference has the following motion on the agenda:
- Conference notes the endorsement of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by all SNP Candidates in the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election as outlined in the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge.
- Consequently, and in line with the provisions of the TPNW, Conference calls upon a future SNP Government of an Independent Scotland to remove nuclear weapons from Scotland within 3 years.
This motion was written by SNP CND and is supported by nine local branches from all over Scotland (and Scottish CND).
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) became a formal UN international treaty when it entered into force in January 2021. The post-independence Scottish Government, if an SNP Government, would, under clause one of this motion, be committed to ratifying the TPNW at the earliest opportunity. The Treaty has specific provisions for states which have the nuclear weapons of another state on its territory. Any state that ratifies the Treaty is obliged to present plans for the removal of the weapons as soon as it can.
The motion gives a three-year deadline for the removal of Trident; that is three years after an SNP Government assumes office in an independent Scotland. SNP CND have written the motion to commit the SNP to time limited action on disarmament to avoid any chance of continuing delay – a real possibility at a time of great change in Scotland. Our previous SNP resolution, ‘Roadmap for Trident Removal’, in 2019 set out the steps of decommissioning and was accepted unanimously at the SNP Conference in Edinburgh in 2019. This motion adds timescale to the practical steps described then.
The leaked information that the MOD is working on its plans for Trident in the event of independence has made it even more important that the SNP has a very clear time-line and route map for Trident removal. There is no doubt that the MOD’s preferred option is to keep Faslane/Coulport as British territory in the Gibraltar model. This is totally unacceptable and we must make the timescale for removal absolutely clear so that there can be no claim that “they didnae know” and didn’t have enough time to make alternative plans. A three-year timescale is certainly viable and through the TPNW we would have the assistance of the UN.
Tuesday 9th March, 2021 at 7:30pm
Arms Exports and Remote Warfare Bill meeting.
SNP CND is hosting an online meeting with Alyn Smith MP, SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, on Tuesday 9th March to discuss his Arms Exports and Remote Warfare Bill that is scheduled to have its second reading on Friday 12th March.
Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-arms-exports-and-remote-warfare-bill-tickets-143691323617
Monday 8th March, 2021
To mark International Womens’ Day on Monday 8th March, Jean gave a talk for IndyLive Radio: “The theme for International Women’s Day this year is ‘choose to challenge’. I’d like to celebrate the women who challenged the idea of nuclear weapons and won a Nobel Peace Prize.”
Title: Baseline timescale for removing nuclear weapons from Scotland
Conference notes the public endorsement of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, and support for the ratification of the Treaty by an independent Scotland.
Consequently, and in line with the provisions of the TPNW, Conference pledges that a Trident removal timescale of 3 years from a Yes vote on Scottish Independence will be included the SNP manifesto for the election to the first sovereign Scottish Parliament.Explanatory Note How an independent Scotland deals with the nuclear weapons on its territory will define our international standing as a principled and visionary state or one which yields under pressure. Fortunately we now have an international legal framework within which to act. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons now only requires six more states to ratify it and it then becomes a formal UN international treaty; more states than that are in the pipeline. The Treaty has specific provisions for states which have the nuclear weapons of another state on its territory. On ratifying the Treaty such a state must present plans for the removal of these weapons as soon as possible and their removal will have international supervision. This motion gives a three year timetable for the removal of Trident. Trident is the missile system and the warheads. The removal of the submarine hulks must happen but it is the missiles and the warheads that are relevant to the Treaty. These can be removed well within this time-scale. There are over 200 nuclear bombs at Coulport and these and the missiles are regularly moved and transported for servicing: the warheads to Burghfield in the south of England and the missiles to the US. The technical details and practical time-scales can be referenced in the publication Disarming Trident by John Ainslie. So this resolution is both principled and entirely practical.
September 2020Events 27/8/20 Jean Anderson at SNP Glasgow Kelvin 9/9/20 Bill Ramsay at SNP Glasgow South West 16/9/20 Bill Ramsay at SNP Stirling 8/10/20 Bill Ramsay at SNP Livingston South 5/10/20 Bill Ramsay at Aberdeen CND
August 2020SNP CND conference goes online. On 13th and 20th August we held online debates called ‘Guantanamo on the Clyde?”. The events were really interesting. Speakers were Isobel Lindsay, Scottish CND; Gail Lythgoe, International Law specialist; Martin Docherty-Hughes MP; and our Convener, Bill Ramsay. The panel were pleased by the good questions and we all thought the discussion was excellent. Listen to the recording of the talks at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU7olaV5w38&feature=youtu.be These reading materials formed the basis of the discussion:
- SNP CND: “Nuclear Guantanamo on the Clyde?: the Plans to keep Trident on the Clyde in an Independent Scotland”
- Scottish CND: “Disarming Trident”
- Trevor Royal, UK Defence Journal: “Leasing Faslane could generate a billion pounds a year”
- Crawford and Marsh: “Defending an Independent Scotland post-Brexit”
Baseline timescale for removing nuclear weapons from Scotland · Conference notes the public endorsement of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, and support for the ratification of the Treaty by an independent Scotland.
· Consequently, and in line with the provisions of the TPNW, Conference pledges that a Trident removal timescale of 3 years from a Yes vote on Scottish Independence will be included the SNP manifesto for the election to the first sovereign Scottish Parliament.If any SNP Branches (or other groups) want an online meeting we can help set that up and provide an SNP CND speaker. Do get in touch with me if you want to discuss it: email@example.com.
July 2020Our latest report: “Nuclear Guantanamo on the Clyde” is now available.
June 2020See SNP CND’s new YouTube channel. There are some insightful videos and lots of interesting interviews to come!
New report: Scotland’s Place in the World: An equitable and sustainable approach to the development of the foreign and defence policies of an independent Scotland“… because of Scotland’s inherently stable geopolitical situation it will able to develop a progressive foreign policy based upon the paradigm of Human Security in which Scotland’s National Security concerns can be given their place, but within an overall Human Security context.”
Conference: A Roadmap for Trident Removal28th September, Renfield St Stephens, Bath St, Glasgow. 10:00 – 16:30. Conference registration opens on 16th August. Buy tickets on Eventbrite. Confirmed speakers and discussion leaders: Bill Kidd MSP; Bill Ramsay, SNP CND; Dave Webb, CND UK; Isobel Lindsay, Scottish CND; Jean Anderson, SNP CND; Robin McAlpine, Commonweal; Ronnie Cowan MP. Conference themes:
Roadmap for Trident Removal discussion paper published
Read the full ROADMAP FOR TRIDENT REMOVAL article.
- The key technical steps as described in the Disarming Trident report by Scottish CND
- The looming redundancy of submarines as a platform for nuclear weapons
- The transformation of the international mood with the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- How it fits neatly into current SNP policy for Scotland’s future defence forces
- The need for an agreement with the remaining UK to safely dismantle the hulks at Rosyth and Devenport
- The credible nature of a distinctive Scottish, as opposed to British, defence diversification strategy
- Addressing for the first time the issue of the seven nuclear powered, but conventional tasked Astute Class hunter killer subs based at Faslane
- Looking at the prospect of NATO membership as a negotiating tool to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons, rather the binary in/out perspective
ROADMAP TO NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT ADOPTED AS SNP POLICYThe resolution as passed:
- Conference welcomes the continued support for nuclear disarmament and, with the impending inevitability of independence, we need to set out a clear timetable for removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil and waters.
- Conference believes that we need a practical description of the process and timescale to safely remove nuclear weapons at the very earliest opportunity on Scotland regaining our independence.
- Conference therefore agrees that we should develop a credible road map that has at its end point the removal of the Royal Navy’s nuclear armed and nuclear powered submarine fleets from Scottish soil and the repurposing of related support bases on Scottish soil.
- Conference calls on the Scottish Government to work with the STUC to undertake a diversification study that will set out the positive contribution the skilled workers of Faslane and Coulport can make to the Scottish Defence sector free of nuclear weapons.
A ROADMAP FOR TRIDENT REMOVALOur resolution is number 2 in the draft agenda for the SNP Conference, April 2019. Supported by SNP Kelvin and SNP Maryhill and Springburn. The proposed resolution
A ROADMAP FOR TRIDENT REMOVALA proposal by SNPCND Draft Resolution for SNP Conference April 2019 Conference recognises the need for a Trident Removal Roadmap in:
- developing the case for the reemergence of an independent Scottish state
- developing the case for nuclear disarmament both domestically and internationally
- developing a framework by which an independent Scottish state could fulfil its obligations when Scotland becomes a signatory to the 2017 Treaty On The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- developing SNP Defence and Foreign Policy.
4th November 2018
SNPCND AGM and ConferenceThe Lesser Hall, Albert Halls, Stirling 10:00 – 11:00 AGM for SNP and CND members. AGM 2018 agenda SNP CND Treasurer’s Report 4th November 2018 CONSTITUTION SNPCND Nominations for the Executive Committee are as follows: Convener – Bill Ramsay Treasurer – Ron Dickinson Secretary – Jean Anderson Committee members – Brian Quail, Drew Kyle 11:00 – 16:30 Conference Ticket sales on Eventbrite, “Scotland After Trident: A Defence and Security Strategy for an Independent Scotland” This one day conference will examine and debate the issues raised and the suggestions made in the Commonweal White Paper “A Defence and Security Strategy for an Independent Scotland”. You can read or download the paper from Commonspace. Programme Chairs: Isobel Lindsay and Jean Anderson Speakers Douglas Chapman MP, the SNP Defence Procurement Spokesperson. Garry MacDonald, analyst and the author of the Commonweal White paper. Robin McAlpine, Director of Commonweal. Lt. Col. Stuart Crawford, former army officer and Scottish military affairs commentator. Bill Ramsay, Convenor of SNPCND.
ICAN receives 2017 Nobel Peace Prize
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was presented to ICAN at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on 10 December in recognition of our work “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and our “ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.This means that if you are a member of Scottish CND then you are a Nobel Peace Prize winner! Scottish CND is a part of ICAN. The Prize has brought a lot of much needed media coverage and attention from members of the public and governments.
October 2017The Scottish National Party Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Annual General Meeting will take place in the Renfield St Stephens Centre, 260 Bath St., Glasgow G2 4JP, at 13:00, on the 29th October, 2017 The formal business of the AGM will be followed by a talk by the SNP Spokesperson for Defence in Westminster, Stewart McDonald MP for Glasgow South. There will then be a general debate on the role of the anti-nuclear movement in the next independence referendum. Nominations for the executive committee should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 8th October 2017. Nominations should be seconded by another member of SNPCND. Resolutions and agenda items should be sent to email@example.com by the 8th October 2017. The agenda, the minutes of the last AGM and a copy of our constitution will be sent to you soon.
September 2017“Two Men and a Bomb” conference and debate on the current nuclear arms situation between the USA and North Korea. 13:00, Sunday 10th September, 2017 in CCA Sauchiehall Street. Tickets from Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/two-men-and-a-bomb-tickets-37157020649#
Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear Weapons“On 7 July 2017 – following a decade of advocacy by ICAN and its partners – an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations adopted a landmark global agreement to ban nuclear weapons, known officially as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It will enter into legal force once 50 nations have signed and ratified it. At the time of writing (April 2018) 54 nations have signed and 7 have ratified the Treaty as part of their law.
- The full text of the Treaty http://www.icanw.org/treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons/
- Status of signature/ratification http://www.icanw.org/status-of-the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons/
- Government position http://www.icanw.org/why-a-ban/positions/
- Photographs of the negotiations http://www.icanw.org/photos-of-the-negotiations/
The local elections are on 4th May, 2017.Read the SNP Manifesto at https://snpforglasgow.scot/manifesto
A Japanese survivor of the atomic bombing and a second generation sufferer are visiting Scotland. Read their stories here.
SNP Conference, March 2017The SNPCND Festival team ran a very successful and busy stall at the conference on the 17th and 18th of March in Aberdeen. The new black t-shirts with our logo drew lots of admiring comments. But the best of the days work was the many interesting conversations we had with such a variety of people.
John Ainslie, 1954 – 2016, RIP
SNPCND 2016 Annual General Meeting
Saturday the 5th November, 10:30am to 1pm.It will take place in the Albert Hall, Dumbarton Rd, Stirling. Doors open at 10am. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be supplied at the 11:30 break. For directions see: http://my.stirling.gov.uk/events/location/4 The formal business of reports and elections to the executive committee will be in the first hour. Resolutions and nominations for the committee should be sent to the Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org, by the 15th October. Nominations should be from two members and the person nominated should indicate their acceptance of the nomination. Nominations are now closed. The current executive officers have all been nominated and are elected unopposed as there are no other nominations for the posts. There has been no nomination for Vice Chair and nominations will be sought from the floor. There have been 10 nominations for 6 ordinary committee members so there will be elections at the AGM. Statements from members standing for election. The AGM papers are here. The Agenda may be updated so check back. Agenda. Minutes of 2015 AGM. Constitution. There will be two talks: Brendan O’Hara MP for Argyll and Bute on “The Military Case Against Trident”, and Bill Kidd MSP for Glasgow Anniesland on “The UN Nuclear Ban Weapons Ban Treaty”. There will then be questions and debate. The event will close at 1pm. Everyone who is a member of both SNP and Scottish CND is encouraged to attend. Remember to bring your SNP membership card. Updated 1-11-2016 11:11
Saturday 3rd September
Foreign Policy and Defence (a conference for SNP members)On Saturday 3rd September SNPCND held a conference to discuss:
- Scotland’s future relationship with other countries,
- what our foreign policies should be,
- what our defence strategies should be,
- what ‘independence in Europe’ means to us.