AT the dawn of the nuclear age, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto warned us all: “Remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.”

That was back in 1955. Nobody listened. What did Albert Einstein known about the real world? Untold trillions were wasted on the nuclear arms race and unimaginable cruelty inflicted on our test victims – the aborigines of Australia at Maralinga and Montebello, the victims of the USSR in Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, and of the USA, the Shoshone people of Nevada whose land is now permanently contaminated. Add the long forgotten British servicemen used as human guinea pigs at Christmas Island, and the many other unnamed and unnumbered victims of our nuclear idolatry. Never mind all those we condemned to poverty and destitution by squandering our resources.

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I had hoped that the global threat of Covid-19 might call us back to the ineluctable truth of the dilemma posited in the Manifesto, but no. We press blindly on in the lunatic race to suicide.

While the rest of us are staying at home in lockdown, on Wednesday May 13 a convoy carrying nuclear warheads (eight Hiroshimas) left Burghfield. It came up the M6 and M74, over the Erskine Bridge and past Loch Lomond to arrive at Coulport at 9.20. Nukewatch was, for obvious reasons, unable to follow this or attempt to hinder its illegal ploys.

Will nothing open the eyes or touch the hearts of our nuclear jihadis? Must we surrender our future and the fate of the planet to these deranged souls?

Alice Walker said: “Our last five minutes on earth are running out. We can spend those minutes in meanness ... or we can spend them consciously embracing every glowing soul who wanders within our reach” Can we not stop this madness now, at 90 seconds to midnight?

Brian Quail