30th anniversary of the near European nuclear war

A nuclear war nearly triggered by accident.
I guess somehow it is presumed we lost the campaign over nuclear weapons cos we didn’t get unilateral nuclear disarmament. Good therefore to be reminded about the good we did and that we did change the thinking; people came to see the damage a nuclear war would do and to realise how close we came; and changed course. 20131108-124113.jpg
I’m reminded about events 30 years ago by my Birmingham colleague, Andrew Lydon, whose put out a collection of letters he wrote at the time.
Andrew writes –
30 years ago today the Soviet military put nuclear bombers on alert in Eastern Europe in preparation for attacks in Britain and Germany where they thought NATO was preparing an attack on them.
This was the worst moment in a dangerous Autumn, where I have since been pointing out, would have been a lot more dangerous but for the large peace movement in Britain and Germany that would have given Moscow partial reassurance that an attack on them could not go too far down the road without protest here exposing it or even stopping it.
Some letters I wrote to the press about the role of CND and the 1980s western European peace movement, when details of how close we came to nuclear disaster came out in 1990s. The Soviets had really come to believe they were going to be attacked. And came very close to reacting. If Moscow had not been so confident of the oppositon to a nuclear war being launched on them from here, there would probably have been events that no one could have remained unaware of.

Thirty Years On

The revelations with the release of government papers for 1982 have done more to vindicate Labour’s view of the world then.
– It turns out ideas to dismantle the welfare state were considered in 1982 at cabinet level.
– It turns out Thatcher was indeed ready to negotiate over the Falklands, having overseen a gov’t that ignored signals that the withdrawal of the Endurance would invite an invasion by Argentina.
– It turns out that the American President did indeed let an Astrologist guide him in foreign affairs using astrology, albeit the advisor was his wife.
Say it again – astrology in The White House!
How on earth did the idea of a loony left stick, given the idiots in charge!

Pleasant opportunity today to meet colleagues from Birmingham thirty years ago, where we pushed, for want of a better word, a Tribunite programme for the country.

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MME, Greg and Martin.
And were we really so wrong about the city of London and the financial sector, an alternative econmic strategy, more housing … ?
“Longest suicide note in history” was a witty put down from the time, but many of the ideas of the time carried more weight after the 2007 financial crisis.

Of course we’ve moved on, with 1 New Labour and an OBE in the photo.

And some of the campaigning techniques developed in Birmingham have been applied to effect in Nottingham.

We’d met up at Adil’s, the first Balti establishment in Britain, which Greg had been frequenting since 1977 (five years before Wikipedia’s assessment of when it all began). The Wikipedia entry has now been corrected – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balti_(food)#Origin_and_etymology