By Hugh Finlay
BBC reports that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, would appoint a minister for peace, if the Labour Party wins the British election this year. Speaking at a press conference in London, Mr. Corbyn said he would retain British nuclear weapons, and will even have Britain's nuclear weapons renewed. But would he only use nuclear weapons defensively, in the case of a nuclear attack on the United Kingdom. He is in favor of more international nuclear disarmament, what he called "meaningful, multilateral disarmament." However, he was criticized by the Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, for not wanting to scrap nuclear weapons completely, saying Jeremy Corbyn "should have the courage of his convictions on nuclear weapons."
Jeremy Corbyn is critical of the various military interventions by Western powers over the past decades, deeming them unnecessary, and even dangerous to the security of the world. While he would maintain the same level of expenditure on defense and play a full part in Nato, he does not want provoke Russia by having large amounts of Nato troops stationed near Russia's borders. His tone is more sympathetic to Russia and China. He would make sure the UK followed a more independent foreign policy, rather than being the automatic military ally of the US, in various military interventions. He is keen to work with all the members of the UN Security Council to solve whatever problems may occur in the world. He said he would do "everything necessary to protect the safety and security of our people and our country", emphasizing "that is our first duty."
Apart from protecting the UK. the main focus of his foreign policy would be protecting human rights throughout the world. Jeremy Corbyn has a history of campaigning for peace as he is a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and was the chairman of the Stop the War Coalition. It stems from his childhood, when in past decades, his parents were concerned about the threat of nuclear war and the rise of conflicts worldwide. Not surprisingly he was critical of US air raids in Syria, which he said could intensify" a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people." He went on to say that the British government "should urge restraint on the Trump administration and throw its weight behind peace negotiations and a comprehensive political settlement."