CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'CURIOUS CONTORTIONS'

Sunday Times – 19 September 1993

In an article in the now-defunct News on Sunday on September 20, 1987, the then Labour shadow foreign secretary, Gerald Kaufman, referred to "those of us who have always opposed the siting of cruise missiles in Britain"; claimed that Britain's "separate, though far from genuinely independent, nuclear capability" is viewed as "an essential virility symbol"; and declared that "Trident adds nothing to Britain's genuine defences".

Between 1989 and 1991, this same Gerald Kaufman twisted and turned and dodged and weaved in tortuous efforts to evade the question posed repeatedly by Conservative Party chairmen Kenneth Baker and Chris Patten, and other specialists like myself: whether a future Labour government would continue to possess nuclear weapons as long as other countries had them. As your reports acknowledged in July 1991, it was only under Conservative pressure that he finally answered in the affirmative.

Now (Books, September 12) someone describing himself as "Gerald Kaufman" mockingly reflects on what he terms "gullible Western peace campaigners and their skilful, cynical Communist counterparts". It only goes to show that losing a few General Elections can seriously damage one's memory!

Dr JULIAN LEWIS
Deputy Director
Conservative Research Department
London SW1