“The young people of this planet are not thirsting for war, they are thirsting for environmental sustainability, a good future & peace.”Jeremy Corbyn MP
In a hard-hitting exclusive interview for Labour Outlook with Labour’s 2019 parliamentary candidate in Harlow Laura McAlpine, Jeremy Corbyn has slammed Boris Johnson’s decision to increase Britain’s nuclear arsenal and the wasted opportunity of the recent Defence and Security review, write the Labour Outlook team.
Laura started by asking Jeremy his general response to Boris Johnson’s recent Defence and Security Review was – he replied by saying “it fails to address what is real security and defence,” especially in the sense that “security is your ability to eat, to have somewhere to live, for your children to be educated, to have healthcare available, and be able to breath clean air and drink clean water.”
In particular he argued that the Boris Johnson’s approach fails to look fully at “what are the likely causes of future conflict around the world” such as “human rights abuses, environmental degradation, unbelievable levels of poverty, inequality and global pandemics.”
The alternative therefore was a more in-depth review that would have gone deeper “into a much wider spectrum of issues,” including “the problems are much more likely in the future [such as] cyber attacks.”
Instead what we have is a plan to “increase the number of nuclear warheads, contrary to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.. extent Britain’s military role.. by increasing arms expenditure yet again.. and starting to send naval ships all around the world.”
Rather than “looking to what we can do to create a more peaceful world,” the Tory approach is instead one of initiating a new nuclear arms race and continuing arms exports that fuel conflicts such as the war on Yemen.
On the specific question of nuclear weapons, he issued a call to arms for our movement to step up campaigning in support of disarmament and against the Government breaking the Non-Proliferation Treaty, explaining that “Britain alone is now increasing its warheads” and choosing “a direction of nuclear rearmament, at a time when the rest of the world is going in the direction of nuclear disarmament” through the Global Nuclear Ban Treaty.
Not only will nuclear weapons not make us safe, Jeremy also pointed out that opinion polls in Britain show majority support for a global nukes ban, and this percentage is even higher amongst Labour voters.
In response to Laura asking Jeremy about how the nuclear arms increase fits with a general pattern of spending more on arms whilst cutting public services at home and international development aid, Jeremy pointed out this was a clear illustration of what’s wrong with the Tory priorities.
The socialist MP for Islington North also took the chance to point out that our participating in wars on Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have “not made the world a safer place,” yet Boris Johnson seems determined to repeat the same mistakes in the future.
Additionally, Jeremy agreed with Laura’s comment that one vital thing which “was missing from Boris Johnson’s announcement was a clear agenda for tackling the climate emergency” and said a priority for socialists must be to raise the need for real solutions and international co-operation to tackle climate catastrophe ahead of COP 26 in Glasgow later this year, “aiming for net zero by 2030,” for the sake of our natural habitat and humanity’s very survival.
Whilst young people in our schools understand this more and more, the Tories are simply in denial when it comes to understanding the scale of change needed.
We’ll leave the final word to Jeremy himself – “The young people of this planet are not thirsting for war, they are thirsting for environmental sustainability, a good future and peace.”