In 1945 World War 2 ended. 6 years of misery and suffering came to a close, the world began to heal. Peace once again became the norm. But 1945 was the start of an abhorrent war that would haunt the world until today, and possibly for years to come. In 1945 we detonated the first atomic bomb, an estimated 220,000 people died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And so began the war on peace.
Over the 72 years since, we’ve measured power on a scale of destruction. Nuclear weapons became a norm and the indifferent slaughter of millions seemed imminent. Today the majority of the world still cower in the shadow of the mushroom clouds that stain our history a dirty shade of shame.
And yet the human race has managed to retain a shred of dignity. Since the bombing of Nagasaki, the concept of “mutually assured destruction” has prevented many catastrophes. But if the only thing keeping us from blowing each other to smithereens is that we will also be wiped out, then maybe that shred of dignity is smaller than we thought.
The West has failed on every front for decades, while our military and nuclear capabilities have thrived. Our education system in the UK is nearing a cliff-edge. Urgent investment is required and soon to ensure a good recovery. Our NHS struggles to operate from day-to-day. Child poverty is on the rise in a monumental fashion and our housing crisis isn’t ending any time soon.
And yet we blame the problems on mass immigration. Somehow the hard-working immigrants who contribute a net surplus to our economy have bled us dry of all resources. Now, maybe we can contribute a small portion of the issues modern-day Britain faces to immigration, but not all of them. When have we laid the blame with our government. Our government will spend £30 billion renewing TRIDENT, the UKs nuclear missile system. Estimated operating costs will exceed £150 billion over the lifetime of the new submarines. Is this really acceptable? £150 billion, that’s what we’ll waste on a system that has never once been used, and yet we use the NHS, houses and schools every day. Where’s the logic in that?
For years we have thrown money into an abyss of obliteration, and nothing good has come from it. Surely this signals to everyone that it is time to change?
Yesterday 122 countries agreed to sign a new treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The treaty ensures that “never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, own or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” This treaty would supersede the current Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, so does this show that there is a significant appetite to once and for all remove nuclear weapons?
In short, probably not. The entirety of NATO, apart from the Netherlands, boycotted the meeting in their usual war mongering fashion. Russia and China also failed to show. However their absence speaks volumes to their non-committal nature when it comes to their atomic arsenal. They argue that the current nuclear proliferation treaty merely needs a bit of stiffening up.
But their absence is not a defeat. Of a total of 193 member nations in the UN, 122 have committed to making sure to that our next generation never has to think of the entire world being obliterated within minutes. 1 has put forward their commitment to stupidity (Netherlands), and Singapore abstaining. If the world unites against nuclear arms except those who bear them, then this process won’t be difficult.
Personally, I have no expectations that this new treaty will encourage a rush for peace from NATO and Russia. I don’t even expect it to lead to a slight reduction in the number of atomic bombs in the worldwide arsenal. But if everyone unites against them, then we might witness the beginning of a worldwide revolution that overthrows our current ideology of power, and influences a new era of social equality and peace.
Until then, we will continue to throw money into the abyss, and blaming immigrants for our problems and not the politicians who incite such destruction. But if there is a good time to start a global campaign for nuclear disarmament, it’s in the back of this treaty, and to mark the end of 72 years of war on peace.