Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 70 years on

Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Today, 6th of August 2015, marks the 70th anniversary of one of the most tragic actions taken by mankind. The order was given and the A-bomb was dropped, dropped on the city of Hiroshima – wiping out 90% of the city and immediately killing 80,000 people. The shadows of people still mark the city, memories of ordinary innocent lives burnt into rock. The radiation from these new bombs lingered, causing sickness, tumours and cancer, killing tens of thousands more over the next months and years. And the radiation even injured unborn babies, changing genes and harming the health of future generations.

“Humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist indefinitely. How much longer can we allow the Nuclear Weapon States to continue threatening all life on earth?”  – Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Hiroshima.

Three days later saw this action being repeated on the  city of Nagasaki, killing another 40,000 innocent people, and leaving the surrounding area suffering from the same horrific fate.

We know of the devastating effects, some of us were primary witnesses to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki catastrophes. So why do we still maintain on keeping these weapons of mass destruction? Weapons that can wipe out a nation of people in seconds. We are told that they are ‘deterrents’ and that they are to keep us safe. That is not a convincing argument. Our history since 1945 is littered with disasters and wars.

Westminster’s position on the international stage is out of touch. With the majority of MSPs and Scottish MPs opposing nuclear weapons, it is about time that Westminster begins to listen to Scotland. We do not want these immoral weapons based on the River Clyde – and it is time for them to go.

I am proud to have stood should-to-shoulder with the SNP’s Depute Leader, Stewart Hosie, this evening at a vigil in Dundee where we paid our respects to the innocent people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I am proud to be a member of a party that says No to such inhumane weapons, a party that has been clear that nuclear weapons are a moral and economic disgrace.


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