New Forest East


Listener – 21 November 1985

"Open Space" access programmes by their very nature make little pretence of balance and objectivity, but last week's ancillary article "The Bomb on Trial" (14 November) should not slip through the more weighty columns of the Listener unchallenged.

Far from being the product of serious consideration by impartial adjudicators, the result of the so-called "Nuclear Warfare Tribunal", held in London last January, was the foregone conclusion of a transparent show-trial, staged on classic Stalinist lines.

Its 13 sponsoring organisations were all committed to unilateralism; its specialist "clerks" were the CND's solicitors; a clear majority of its "judges" were, to put it mildly, of a committed radical orientation; and their Chairman [Sean MacBride], a "laureate" of the Lenin Peace Prize (awarded 1977), was the best-known proponent of the thesis that nuclear weapons are "illegal" – the very question he was supposed to be trying.

Contrary to the impression given in the Listener, there was, all along, about as much chance of the Nuclear Warfare Tribunal finding in favour of the possession of nuclear weapons, as there is of an "Open Space" access series ever beginning on Soviet television.

The Coalition for Peace Through Security
London SE1