New Forest East


Encounter – February 1986

Mr W.M.G. Brown (Letters, November) challenges my thesis (Encounter, July/August) that unilateralist campaigns revive when major questions of nuclear policy are pending and decline once the outcome becomes a fait accompli.

While he is correct that many CND "first wave" activists from the 1958–64 period moved across to anti-Vietnam War campaigning, this need not have prevented a revival of the anti-nuclear movement in Britain until 1980. Then, in fact, it re-emerged in the aftermath of the "dual-track" decision of December 1979.

On the Continent in 1977–78, a major campaign was successfully waged by comparable groups against deployment of the so-called "Neutron Bomb". Had neutron weapons been due for deployment in the British Isles also, there can be little doubt that the CND would have revived here at that time – instead of remaining dormant until the decision to deploy cruise missiles.