ON the morning of Monday June 13 I was lying on the road at Coulport, my arm hidden in a plastic tube. At the other end of this, the redoubtable Willemein from Faslane Peace Camp was handcuffed to me. (This is called locking on and is a method of frustrating arrest).

We were accompanied by some young folk from XR Peace, while the wonderful Protest in Harmony sang to keep our spirits up.

After an hour or so, a nice policeman started to go through the five warnings process. Analogous to reading the Riot Act, this is a formality which I always welcome since it means the process of being arrested is actually starting.

I struggled up into a sitting posture when he said that we were preventing people going about their normal business. I pointed out that servicing hydrogen bombs is not legal business. My point was ignored. I was put into a very narrow cage on a van and driven off to Clydebank and several hours of imprisonment in a police cell.

All things are connected. While this is going on here, in Vienna, the United Nations States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) just concluded the first meeting, and condemned unequivocally “any and all nuclear threats, whether they be explicit or implicit and irrespective of the circumstances”. Some 61 countries have ratified this Treaty. It is now compulsory international law – ius cogens – from which there is no derogation.

The SNP is committed to ditching Scotland's nuclear weapons after post-independence

In Ukraine, civilians are killed by aerial bombing, while the rest of the world looks on in horror. We are not allowed to burn people. We all know that, but we are threatening to do just that every moment of every day with our so-called “deterrent”. Young men are diligently practising their role in using Trident. All things are connected.

In a few weeks we will commemorate our nuclear Original Sin, the greatest single-act war crime in history, Hiroshima. This will be largely ignored. And precisely because we are unrepentant of this atrocity, we are prepared to repeat it – and unimaginably worse – with Trident. All things are connected.

At start of the Second World War when Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, Hitler justified this by saying “better 1000 dead Dutchman than one dead German soldier”. People were aghast and said this was just the attitude we were fighting against. Yet at the end of war bomber Harris blanket bombed German cities. When some scrupulous people protested this he said: “All the cities of North Germany are not worth the bones of one British grenadier.”

I don’t know if Bomber Harris realised he was parroting Hitler, but it hardly matters. What is important is we ended up adopting the morality which we went to war to fight against in the first place. We became the enemy.

When aerial bombing of civilians was first used at Guernica in the Spanish Civil War the world was horrified, a revulsion immortalised in Picasso’s famous painting. This slaughter of non-combatants was normalised and culminated in Hiroshima. But we cannot build our security on another country’s insecurity. Likewise, climate chaos and the thousands who demonstrated in Glasgow during Cop 26 show the truth of Martin Luther King’s words “We must learn to live together as brothers, or to perish together as fools”.

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When human extermination became the official policy of the advanced states, the finest brains in the world reacted with incredulous horror. Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell published the Peace Manifesto back in 1955, where they said: “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.” Their anguished plea was ignored.

The good people who wanted us to have a future rallied round the call to “ban the bomb”. We said ban the bomb and – guess what – that is exactly what we have done. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at the United Nations in New York on September 20 2017 and entered into force on January 22 2021. This has finally banned the bomb. The nine rogue nuclear states may ignore this but they are thereby stigmatised as pariah states, and they will ultimately have to accept the rule of law.

Today the Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than at any other time in the past. The nuclear states respond by obdurately modernising their weaponry. Boris Johnston has increased the killpower of Trident by 40%. So we in Scotland have to endure Trident. How long can this tyrannical lunacy endure?

A few days ago I received a letter informing me that my appearance in court on June 29 which I agreed to following my arrest, had been cancelled. Is this an indication that a glimmer of sanity has penetrated the legal bureaucracy? Or am I just clutching at straws?

Scottish independence means freedom from nuclear terrorism not only for us, but for all the countries of the world also. If only we can find the courage to seize it Because all things are connected.

Brian Quail

Glasgow