I spent Sunday afternoon at beautiful Hawkwood, an amazing place on the edge of Stroud that does all manner of courses in a gothic venue. There were apparently about 60 of us there, sewing bits of wool to other bits of wool, and eating cake. This may strike you as an odd way to spend a Sunday…
Wool against Weapons is an incredible protest project. The aim is to create a seven mile long pink scarf, as a protest against renewing Trident. The scarf will join the Women’s Peace Camp at Aldermaston and the other Atomic Weapons Establishment at Burghfield, Berkshire on August 9th 2014. It’s a wild thing to be doing.
As a Druid, I am very much pro-peace. I appreciate there are, however, counterarguments. Mostly they go ‘evil, terrorist nations will get nuclear weapons and if we have no means to defend ourselves, they will blow us off the face of the planet.’ It is a consideration. However, the UK is not a superpower. Maybe it’s time we accepted that we are not a world-dominating giant and started thinking more realistically about our place in the world. If we are bombed to hell, as an island, we’re dust. Yes, some guys in a submarine can exact revenge, but so would every other nation on the planet. America is a much bigger consideration for rogue governments than our couple of submarines ever will be.
In terms of weapons stockpiles internationally, we are all holding far more than can possibly be justified by the rogue nations argument. I’m very conscious that making and storing weapons is not a risk free activity. Weapons that exist can wind up in the wrong hands. Things can go wrong with them and accidents happen. When you are playing with weapons of mass destruction, small mistakes are very dangerous indeed. Humans, being flawed, fallible, sometimes deluded creatures, would do well to consider the implications. We could do with being a lot less arrogant, and a lot less willing to stash great supplies of methods for slaughter. The thing about nuclear, is that it reliably kills a lot of civilians. It is not a targeted response to rogue leadership, it is a means for mass slaughter. There are better ways to defend ourselves.
Replacing Trident is going to cost some 80 billion ponds. We can’t afford to take care of our poor and vulnerable (allegedly) we can’t afford to maintain our flood defences, and we’ve cut funding for the arts, for tree planting, for libraries and leisure centres. 80 billion pounds is a lot of money. I wonder at our priorities when we are happy to accept an epidemic of malnutrition, but we can afford to replace weapons that we probably wouldn’t ever use. They’re a deterrent, to use them would be to plunge the world into mutually assured destruction. They are a bluff. An 80billion pound bluff, while the number of homeless children rises. This is insane.
So I went along and sewed, and I shall have a go at making a segment as well.