Dear Mr Mundell,
In May’s general election the people of Scotland voted overwhelmingly for candidates whose anti-Trident stance was a key part of their platform. This was as clear a message as you can get. And it was not merely about getting the UK’s nuclear weapon launch-pad out of Scotland – it was underpinned by a realistic grasp of the horrific nature of these weapons and a longing to join the growing surge for a global ban.
The position taken by our representatives at Westminster on not replacing Trident is reflected by the whole of our elected representation. The Scottish Parliament has discussed and voted overwhelmingly to reject the continuation of nuclear weapons being deployed here, and supporting the 121 states who endorse a global ban . Our First Minister has signed a statement supporting this ban, and expressed a willingness for Scotland to be able to participate in the negotiations that will bring it about. Civic Scotland has also spoken through church leaders, the trade union movement local authorities and other highly respected leaders of civic and cultural society. In every arena the message is clear and we should need to do no more.
In response Westminster has shown a complete and cynical disregard. It is determined to develop a new version of the system that for a further generation will retain the UK’s status as a rogue state willing to deploy weapons of mass destruction. Use the current democratic structures to get your views across, we are told. Well, we have done so. Over the years we have painstakingly prepared the case against nuclear weapons and have presented it to a public which has overwhelmingly endorsed our stance through the ballot box. Yet you still pay absolutely no attention.
Any Scotland office that is fulfilling its stated function of representing the interests of the people of Scotland to Westminster must now address the UK government’s arrogant disregard by the for people in Scotland who carry the highest risk associated with the weapons and have made clear their abhorrence of the possibility of millions of deaths and the disruption of global bio-diversity.
A public and immediate response is required to explain how Trident could possibly be used in accordance with international humanitarian law. If the UK government does not have or will not provide an answer to this question will the Secretary of State agree to represent our demand that the UK disarms and dismantles these weapons.
Most recently the decision to bomb Syria has been taken with a similar a total disregard for the position taken by the Scottish MPs at Westminster. Given the possible consequences of these actions, this reflects badly on our democratic process and we need to know how the Scotland Office will communicate with the UK government on our behalf for an end to attacks on Syria.
We are waiting here until you are prepared to go on the record and discuss the matter in this public space.