A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I was trying to think of a pun about compasses but couldn't

Ever one to engage in dialogue with the left and/or a glutton for punishment I trekked to Westminster Central Hall today for the Compass Conference at the invitation of CND, whose opponent of choice in debates I seem to have become.

I arrived in time to catch the end of Ken Livingstone's plenary speech - the bit I heard was eminently sensible stuff about tackling climate change through city-level measures.

The CND fringe was supposed to be about future opportunities for disarmament and fulfilling our Non Proliferation Treaty obligations, but I guess inevitably got dragged back onto the recent Trident replacement decision. My opponent was Jon Trickett MP, Chair of the Compass Group of MPs. He seems to be calling for another vote on Trident as early as 2 years' time - i.e. between the concept and design phases - can't see Gordon being up for that in what could be a General Election year, somehow. Rather than keep trying to reopen a vote they lost, I don't understand why Trickett & co don't use their energy to push Ministers to be more proactive in kick-starting multilateral disarmament talks, or leading efforts to get nuclear free regions in places where there is a danger of conflict such as South Asia and the Middle East - which would be policies that would not only be more likely to be adopted by the Government, they would be likely to have a bigger impact on global disarmament than unilateral non-replacement of Trident.

I bumped into and had a friendly welcome from Compass Chair Neal Lawson, which was kind of him given that I'm not a fan of his current political project, and also saw Francis Prideaux of CLPD and fellow Labour bloggers Tom of http://newerlabour.blogspot.com/ and Peter Kenyon (http://petergkenyon.typepad.com/peterkenyon/). There were even a few people who I hadn't seen since LCC days who may have thought I was there as a Compassite ...

I didn't stay for the video address from Cruddas, but if Neal wants me back next year for a broader debate on Party matters, I might well accept the invitation ...

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke - any feelings of disorientation you might have had at compass would have been trumped completely by the World Naked Bike ride which wented past me on my way home - did anyone else run into after the conference

10:49 pm, June 09, 2007

 
Blogger el Tom said...

"Rather than keep trying to reopen a vote they lost, I don't understand why Trickett & co don't use their energy to push Ministers to be more proactive in kick-starting multilateral disarmament talks, or leading efforts to get nuclear free regions in places where there is a danger of conflict such as South Asia and the Middle East"

Here here.

the naked bike ride was pretty funny. Well, not pretty, but still funny.

2:33 am, June 10, 2007

 
Anonymous Anna said...

I had the misfortune of witnessing the naked bike ride. Disgusting! Not a fit bloke in site (and I mean that in both senses). As for Luke going to Compass (and receiving friendly welcomes) all one can say is Blimey!

7:48 pm, June 10, 2007

 
Anonymous observer's friend said...

No puns about Compass and "getting the needle", so well done there Luke.

"I don't understand why Trickett & co don't use their energy to push Ministers to . . . leading efforts to get nuclear free regions in places where there is a danger of conflict such as South Asia and the Middle East".

So it's back to the old "Do as I say, not as I do", is it?

I saw lots of fit blokes - and women - on the World Naked Bike ride (albeit some were well hidden under body paint). But I thought that, as well as fun, it was commendable that so many young people care about our indecent exposure to petrol fumes.

Nice to see the police behaved themselves too!

2:26 am, June 11, 2007

 
Anonymous alex said...

It was interesting that you attacked CND's old unilateralism and then essentially agreed that the decision to replace Trident was a unilateral one, with the government not currently engaging in any meaningful negotiations for co-ordinated disarmament.

However, why do you criticise Trickett for seeking to reopen the vote when you yourself suggested it could be re-run immediately prior to the build-process? Presumably because a vote before the design phase could change things, but the lobbying pressure and the money spent after the design phase would mean any proposal of another vote would be laughed out of Number10.

And pleased to see you highlighting a nuclear-free Middle East. I assume you are referring to the state with more nuclear warheads than the UK - that rogue state Israel.

4:48 pm, June 11, 2007

 
Anonymous terry said...

oh and more interesting than the World Naked Bike Ride was the sight of the London Loyal Orange Lodge and friends from Corby(!), Liverpool, Glasgow and Antrim marching up Whitehall as if set to plough into the Palestine demo...

4:49 pm, June 11, 2007

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 
Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount