Hello, and welcome to a sweltering July issue of the Voice!
The political events in June have been heating up too and we have witnessed over the last month, and perhaps particularly over the last week, some baffling decisions by those in power. A couple of the articles we have, one by Mike Small and another by Janet Fenton consider the issues of Heathrow expansion and de-nuclearisation respectively. Amid these towering problems are the grassroots actions and protests by people trying to make sense of such incomprehensible situations.
So during the voting at Westminster last Tuesday night on the expansion of Heathrow, protesters staged a ‘lie-in’ in Parliament. Their message was clear – ‘we can’t tackle huge environmental issues and build a third runway’. Two days later the parliamentary Committee for Climate Change published its annual report which declared the UK was not on course to meet its carbon targets. Even without airport expansion this was going to be tricky.
Alongside the Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un summit, and the British government declaring they will need to spend extra billions on the defence budget to keep up with the threat posed by Russia, at the beginning of last week more than 40 campaigners under the banner of Trident Ploughshares, chained themselves to the railings outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They demanded that the UK Government sign the nuclear ban treaty to get rid of “these horrific weapons” and “denuclearise the world”. And in the last few days hundreds of protesters have gathered at the Undersea Defence Technology conference taking place in Glasgow. Glasgow council has now apparently declared they will never host an Arms Fair in the city again.
Some smaller but no less significant campaign successes are seen in this issue with the news from John Kinsman that Cal Mac are taking their plastic reduction further and will no longer stock disposable plastic cups, individual milk portions or sauce sachets. The company had already stopped supplying plastic straws earlier in the year. The new walkway and automatic door system may not work very often but there is tangible joy to be had at least in pouring milk into your tea from the big stainless steel jugs they now provide! Anyway we hope you enjoy the mixture of news, reviews and previews in this issue, among the problematic political mysteries taking place in the world, and have a good July too!