Why I dare question C.N.D

Being outside "the box" is a terrible curse, if you are insecure and anxious to be accepted by a herd. However, in my opinion group-think is a cancer which has rotted the notion of personal responsibility in the minds of many. "The box" is a prison where others do your thinking for you. These days I always feel most comfortable when people are unable to put me in one.

In the 80's I grew up terrified of the possibility of nuclear war. Foolish world leaders driven by childish[1] greed and petty concerns could destroy the world at a moments notice. There were adults around me who thought the same and so C.N.D. signs were common. Life was simple, the dominant narrative suggested, all we had to do was convince "the baddies" to "give peace a chance" by getting rid of the bomb.

Notice the terminology here. Anyone who opposed my 'noble cause' was a baddie. You don't sit and negotiate with Darth Vader, "Han Solo shoots first", to coin the phrase[2]. In fact it's important not to even listen to Darth, who knows what powerful Jedi mind tricks he can pull. Just grab your blaster and destroy. If you disagree with my premise but have gotten to the end of this third paragraph I commend you. Most people in "the box" shout down those who question them and refuse to debate.

Back to the 80's. In my mind back then we lived in a world where either the USSR or the USA might shoot first. As I was sat in my "lefty" box at the time I generally assumed it would be "the stupid Yanks" who would do this. What idiots they were, they thought that nuclear weapons would end the cycle of World Wars we were emerging from. The idea was that nuclear weapons were so terrible no one would use them again. "As if", we shot back dismissively. Clearly, World War Three was round the corner, it was about to happen any minute.

Then, it didn't. There was no World War Three. There were lots of wars, sure, but neither my Dad or I was conscripted like my poor old Grandad had been. My Grandmother remembered a world where our country faced another one which was prepared to flying planes over it and drop bombs on us. That world had gone. It was replaced with one where the wars we fought seemed mainly to be with countries who did not have nuclear weapons or the ability to fight back. Strangely the "superpowers" seemed far more comfortable messing with people who couldn't destroy one of their capital cities at the push of a button.

The C.N.D. argument sort of shrank and was morphed into a convincing suggestion that stopping less responsible "rogue states" getting nukes was the way forward. Whether they like it or not it's this 'common sense' that Bloodthirsty Blair[3], a prominent C.N.D. member, tapped into with his "weapons of mass destruction" nonsense.

I call it nonsense because, if you remember, almost at the same time as Iraq, North Korea happened. One of those nations has nuclear weapons, the other didn't. One was shot first, without mercy, by the likes of Tony "the lefty" Blair and the other was not. One lot now has families who live there and hate this country, because we killed their loved ones, the other doesn't.

In other words, the "M.A.D"[4] idea that no nation would risk war with a nuclear armed country held out. The facts supported the theory. The 90's became a period of relative peace, for people who lived in countries with nukes and did not get seduced into joining the military. It seemed that we'd reached "the end of history". So much so that in 1994 Ukraine actually gave up its 2,000 nuclear weapons as part of a treaty signed by the US and the UK. Everyone promised to respect their territory and so, why did they need nukes? Only people who were mad needed them.

Nick Margerrison

Further reading:

Too Bad Ukraine Didn't Keep Its 2,000 Nuclear Weapons



[1] Bit of fun for podcast listeners. Pesky Law of Projection eh? I was a kid, I thought the people in power were as well. Funny eh?

[2] The 'Solo shoots first' meme is a cracker. In the original versions of Star Wars Han would always shoot first and ask questions later.

CRIMINALLY Lucasfilm has tried to correct this in subsequent edits:

[3] I feel deeply betrayed by Tony Blair. I feel he lied to me and my generation. Perhaps it's unfair to personalise it, he's part of a system and bureaucracy that did that. The New Labour Order's lies predate him and he's not integral to the story. His name "Bloodthirsty Blair" is maybe unfair, who knows what drove him to push the war in Iraq. His membership of "Labour C.N.D." is well documented. I wonder if, when people from that organisation read this, the nickname I've chosen for him will fit as far as they are concerned?

He's been given far more peculiar nicknames. According to this article here, friends of his used to call him "Miranda".

[4] Mutually Assured Destruction, or "M.A.D." as we 80's peacemakers used to delight in abbreviating it to.


cockneyreject said…

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