December 2011

The Church
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has led a meeting of international church leaders to discuss plans to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Scotland was chosen by the World Council of Churches to host the meeting as Faslane is home to the UK’s nuclear weapons arsenal despite opposition from churches and the Scottish Parliament.
The convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council, said, “We need to continue to press the case that nuclear weapons are inherently evil and that Britain must not replace Trident.”

Depleted Uranium
In spite of the Early Day Motion calling on the government to abandon the use of depleted uranium weapons [November Mailing] they are set to be tested in Scotland again in the next two years, as they are due for renewal in 2013.
The UK government has ratified additional protocol 1 of the Geneva conventions. Article 36 requires that all weapons are subject to a legal review to assess whether they are “capable of being used discriminately“, or cause “widespread and severe damage to the natural environment“. 
The MoD has repeatedly assured campaigners that DU weapons had undergone such a review and been cleared.  However, when Katy Clark MP asked to see the latest review, the minister was forced to admit that it did not actually exist.   The government now makes clear that it will retain DU weapons.  The Scottish government said it was “strongly opposed” to DU testing on Scottish soil.