We started the morning with a “Breakfast show” at the Fringe festival in Edinburgh. Obviously, we didn´t want to miss out on this well-known and amazing culture festival. Coincidentally, even the theme of our tour was reflected by the performer: we watched an ironic play about merchandising war.
With our spirits still high we used the remaining time before our meeting with members of the Scottish parliament to quickly climb up the hill to the castle.
Before Lunch, we met with Bill Kidd from the Scottish National Party and Alison Johnstone from the Scottish Green Party as well as members of Medact to discuss the Scottish position regarding Nuclear Weapons. Bill Kidd has been active in the civil society movement for years and has been actively campaigning for the abolition of nuclear weapons. He even went to the vote on the Nuclear Arms Treaty at the UN in New York in July. There he was presenting a letter of support for the Nuclear Ban Treaty to the Conference President from Scotland’s First Prime Minister. We discussed the Scottish policies regarding the nuclear weapons and how this topic seems to be much more prevalent in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. The majority of the Scottish parliament is opposing the nuclear weapons stationed in Faslane, but their opinion seems to mean little in London. He was pretty pessimistic about the prospect of UK ever getting rid of the nuclear weapons as the UK does not seem to want to lose the prestige that comes with it. In addition, the permanent five at the Security Council (China, Russia, UK, France and the US) all have nuclear weapons. But if the Scottish succeed in pushing through the removal of the weapons from their soil, it probably would mean the end of the British nuclear weapon program. The UK does not have a feasible alternative location to Faslane – they could station them in the channel or relocate them to the US, but how sensible would this be? If you want to know more about this topic, you can look at this well-researched report by John Ainslie
The topic of North Korea and the current tensions involving nuclear weapons came up as well. We all agreed that North Korea is unlikely to abstain from continuing their nuclear weapon program as long as their perceived enemies have them. The best way to get rid of North Korea´s Nuclear weapons would be to get rid of them all. In the words of Bill Kidd: “Our world is dangerous enough. Why do we make it more dangerous?”
After our meeting with the presentatives, we started cycling the 35 miles to North Berwick. After an enjoyable bath in the North Sea, we enjoyed the sunset while eating Fish´n´Chips on the beach.