What would you spend £205 billion on?
The last few months have turned the world upside down. The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in an unprecedented fashion and it’s clear there can be no going back to the way things were before.
Out of this catastrophe we need new thinking from the government, to meet the real challenges our society faces. Pandemics will continue to shape and limit our lives; the climate crisis worsens; a deepening economic crisis is unfolding; water and food insecurity – these are all major security problems. But our government’s capacity to deal with them is hindered by massive wasteful spending on nuclear weapons: it is currently in the process of spending £205 billion on replacing Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons system. But these weapons are irrelevant to the actual security challenges we face. The money wasted on them must be re-allocated to meet our real needs.
This is the time for a new vision of society, and nuclear weapons have no part in it. Here are just some ideas for how the money we currently spend on weapons capable of killing millions indiscriminately could be used to improve the lives of ordinary people instead:
NHS not Trident
Reverse the chronic underfunding that has left the NHS and its heroic staff struggling to cope with the pandemic: build 120 state of the art hospitals and hire 150,000 nurses. We must be prepared for further public health emergencies.
Education not Trident
Cover the tuition fees of 4 million students; invest in early childhood education; or build 30,000 new primary schools – in short, invest in our young people and the next generation’s future.
Homes not Trident
Build three million affordable new homes; house the homeless – we cannot have people living on the streets in one of the world’s richest countries. Rather than spending on weapons of mass destruction, we could be tackling homelessness and the housing crisis.
Climate not Trident
Build enough wind turbines to power every household in the UK; or install solar panels in every home; we could stop the scourge of flooding that is wrecking homes and lives. Climate change is an existential threat – it’s time top stop wasting money on nuclear weapons and start focusing on this urgent priority.
The actions taken by governments over the last few months show that big changes can be made – like making ventilators not nuclear submarines. We need this to be continued and expanded: the money being wasted on nuclear weapons must be used to make the UK a safer, greener, fairer place for all. This is why CND campaigns against nuclear weapons.
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