As the Global Day of Action on Military Spending took place on 14 April 2014, tens of organisations in the UK set out their vision for a shift in priorities in this open letter. If you share its sentiment, why not adapt it and send it to your local paper too?
The latest world military expenditure figures show that spending is an enormous $1.75 trillion. One of the nations continuing to spend the most is the UK, which plans to spend £38 billion in 2014/15. This shows the backwards priorities of a government that is protecting its overblown military budget, at the same time as it is subjecting vital public services to drastic spending cuts.
For too long we have lived with the myth that high military spending maintains peace, creates jobs and combats terrorism. This myth is promoted by governments and the multinational arms companies that benefit from the global arms trade politically and economically.
The money and skills which are currently being wasted on needless and destructive weapons like the Trident nuclear weapons system would be far better spent on strengthening vital services and tackling the real challenges affecting our society; such as poverty, health inequality and environmental problems.
Nick Dearden, Director, World Development Movement
Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign
Andrew Smith, Campaign Against Arms Trade
John Rees, Stop The War Coalition
John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want
Kate Hudson, General Secretary, CND
Dave Webb, Chair, CND
Bruce Kent, Movement for the Abolition of War
Pat Gaffney, General Secretary, Pax Christi
Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility
David McCoy, Chair, Medact
Chris Cole, Drone Wars UK
Millius Palayiwa, Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Claire Poyner, Network for Peace
Jill Gough, National Secretary, CND Cymru
Dr Paul Dorfman, Founder, Nuclear Consulting Group (NCG)
Hannah Brock, Action AWE
Robin Bowles, Acting Co-ordinator, Northern Friends Peace Board
Helen Drewery, General Secretary, Quaker Peace & Social Witness
Fr Peter Hughes, Coordinator, Columban JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation)
Anne Scott, Secretary, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Scottish Branch
Brian Larkin, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre and Trident Ploughshares
Frank Jackson, Vice-President, Uniting for Peace
Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation
Anne Peacey, National Justice & Peace Network
Jane Tallents, Trident Ploughshares