New Forest East


Western Mail – 30 March 2018

It is absolutely true, as Bruce Kent remarks (Western Mail, March 28), that I and other opponents of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament described the letters "CND" as standing for

"Communists, Neutralists and Defeatists".

That description of his movement to quit NATO, and give up all our nuclear weapons while the Soviet Union retained the ability to wipe us out, was absolutely accurate – not least in its recognition that several key CND positions were held by Communist Party members at that time.

Bruce was not a member of the Communist Party, but at the height of the Cold War in 1983 he attended the 38th Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain and addressed the assembled Comrades from the podium. Describing the Communist Party as CND's

"partners in the cause for peace in this world",

Bruce acknowledged that, during the

"lean years of disarmament",

the Communist Party was one of the few groups which had kept the anti-nuclear movement functioning (Report, Morning Star, 14 November 1983).

That he still maintains that East-West confrontation

"was the fault of Ronald Reagan"

typifies the one-sided approach of the CND which constantly – and wrongly – predicted that deploying NATO cruise missiles would not lead to a deal with the Russians. Fortunately, we ignored the CND and deployed cruise missiles in 1983. When the Russians saw we meant business, and that the anti-nuclear movement had failed to stop us, they agreed in 1987 to get rid of their SS20 missiles and to accept the Zero Option deal: the self-same two-sided deal which President Reagan had offered them right at the outset.

Cadnam, Hampshire

‚Äč[NOTE: This letter was also published in the Liverpool Echo, on 5 April 2018.]