Tuesday, February 10, 1981

No nukes, sort of

I got in really early, just after eight. Superbly sunny, but quite cold. Frost on the ground. After an uneventful school day characterised by my distance from people, we had a school magazine editorial committee meeting in the 6th form library.

The meeting was quite well attended (thirteen of us there) and, towards the end, Mr. Barkston showed up as well. We discussed what was to be included in the magazine and decided on a number of ex-5th years who we'll interview about their lives after school and so on. I have to interview Craig Bateson and Simon Dyson about how they’ve found working life. The meeting was amicable and I quite enjoyed it.

Art College went OK; we’re doing colour studies of still life, and I got home at 6.30. I half-intended going to this CND meeting and although Jeremy and Lee didn't want to go, I just set off by myself at ten-past seven, not really thinking about it. By half-past I sat uneasily in the lounge of the Windmill pub in Moxthorpe.

The meeting was held in a corner of the pub and conducted very informally. There were about thirty people present, some from school and some typical middle-aged/elderly “protest” types, but generally it was quite a cross-section. Right from the start I wasn’t keen on the general atmosphere of the meeting, which began with a pro-Soviet tirade from Alan Victor of Keddon, who is a veteran of the Aldermaston marches. He minimised the Soviet threat, and made a few statements which were wrong:
  1. Western fear of Soviet Russia is that it is trying to export communism whereas a communist revolution comes about internally and cannot be exported. True, but Russia isn’t communist or Marxist, so it doesn’t apply.
  2. The Russian people, because of their remembrance of the Second World War are not warlike. This is also true but it’s surely never a people who go to war, only their governments. 
I still believe in CND because it’s morally right to want the abolition of nuclear weapons, and this has nothing to do with either a pro-Soviet or a pro-Western viewpoint. I found the general quality of the meeting pretty predictable and quite off-putting. The next meeting is on Monday Feb 23rd at the Trades Hall in Farnshaw and as I left the embryonic Farnshaw CND branch stood about in little groups talking.

I got home at half-nine and came to bed two hours later. We're going to Purswell Polytechnic tomorrow.

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