A Proposal to establish a Ministry for Peace in the UK

 IST. Draft: August 2003

Updated Draft: November 2018

by Christopher Titmuss

www.christophertitmuss.net

MINISTRY FOR PEACE

Britain has the most violent history of all nations on the Earth.

Britain has been at war more than any other country on Earth in the past 500 years.

These wars include world wars, regional wars, colonial wars and civil wars.

British government has endorsed and supported wars between nations and within countries in a policy of divide and rule.

There are memorials to British soldiers in some 150 countries out of around 200 countries worldwide.

The British government sanctions and actively supports four types of warfare:

  • An invasion by land/sea/air.
  • A military presence
  • Supporting with military advisers and weapons one side against another
  • Temporary incursions

All four kinds of warfare share a principle in common, namely to enter the territory of a sovereign nation in a manner hostile to the rulers and/or people of that country.

There are only 22 countries that Britain has never dispatched an army or elite soldiers to on behalf of the British government.

The countries, who have not suffered under British military occupation or witnessed a small expedition of military personnel, include the Vatican, Lichtenstein and Lithuania.

More British soldiers have committed suicide in the past few decades after engagement in warfare overseas than died in battle.

There are high levels of domestic violence among soldiers returning home from active duty, as well as subsequent addictions to alcohol, drugs and medication – often due to depression and pain.

Britain is the world’s second biggest arms dealer.

The USA is the world’s biggest arms manufacturer and dealer.

The weapons industry is Britain’s biggest export. Two-thirds of British weapons have been sold to countries in the Middle East since 2010.

Since the end of the second world war in 1945, the British government has dispatched troops to 20 countries or more. In some cases, British military has joined forces with armed forces from other countries.

British military units or troops have entered Malaysia, Korea, Kenya, Oman, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Falklands (Argentina) Lebanon, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia and Libya, as well the war over Northern Ireland, which cost 3000 lives.

Saudi Arabia buys its bombs from Britain. Saudi Arabi drops these bombs on the neighbouring people of Yemen, the world’s fifth poorest country.

British armed forces provide weapons and military training to foreign governments that the British government wish to exert influence over.

The government acts on behalf of major corporations wishing to exploit resources in a country.

British secret services provide information and advice to foreign security forces, who serve British interests.

No British government, Conservative or Labour has ever addressed arms production.

The Conservative Party supports the manufacture and selling of arms as big business.

The Labour Party supports the arm industry as the industry provides around 1.2 million workers with employment, directly or indirectly. There are 11,000 businesses in Britain dependent on weapons production.

MINISTRY FOR PEACE

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MINISTRY FOR PEACE IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

MINISTRY FOR PEACE will:

  • Apply arbitration to resolve differences of view
  • Apply creative responses to regional security problems
  • Communicate and cooperate with other Ministries and Departments 
  • Convert factories that produce arms into factories for constructive use
  • Develop conciliation and reconciliations practices
  • Develop peace initiatives at home and abroad
  • Employ and train the army to develop peace in regions:
  • End arms sales of governments to other governments and organisations
  • End international arms sales of dealers
  • End exploitation of natural resources of other countries
  • End payments and other forms of corruption to government officials to exploit natural resources
  • End provision of arms export licenses
  • Engage in extensive use of diplomacy
  • Engage in international dialogue with nations, organisations and communities
  • Engage in peacemaking and peacekeeping
  • Ensure conflict resolution stands at the foreground of international affairs
  • Export equipment, tools and resources for impoverished countries
  • Extend powers of international charities to rebuild communities
  • Increase substantially international aid
  • Make full use of the powers of the United Nations to facilitate peace
  • Mediation
  • Negotiate settlements
  • Offer an alternative army to join to support communities and home and abroad 
  • Offer major financial support to rebuilt nations and communities who have suffered under warfare
  • Offer compassionate support to refugees, asylum seekers and those trapped in regions of conflict
  • Participate in international conferences on arms
  • Present to the British cabinet, Parliament and citizens practical alternatives to war
  • Promote disarmament
  • Raise major financial support from the public, businesses, corporations and the rich to support poor nations.
  • Train teams in conflict resolution, domestic and international from civil servants to Members of Parliament

MINISTRY FOR PEACE will examine the causes and conditions for all manifestations of violence, acts of terror and warfare.

MINISTRY FOR PEACE will pursue the resolution of acts that deliberately inflict suffering on others.

MINISTRY FOR PEACE will explore suffering and pain inflicted upon ourselves, in the home, outdoors, on our streets, in our schools and at work.

MINISTRY FOR PEACE will seek to bring about mutual understanding between ethnic groups, nations and organisations.

MINISTRY FOR PEACE will apply a wide range of skilful means to resolve such problems at every level.

MINISTRY FOR PEACE will provide constructive support for those who suffer.

The  blight of civilised behaviour reveals itself in acts of violence of the nation state, the organisation or the individual.

The human species sinks to its lowest level when it deliberately inflicts suffering, pain and death on others rather than develop creative and bold initiatives to restore political, social and environmental harmony.

Minister for Peace will have responsibility for the active development and cultivation of resolutions to forms of conflict with a wide network of human, financial and environmental resources.

INTERNATIONAL

  1. In the 3rd Millennium, the priority of government is to explore a civilised approach to dealing with conflict rather than repeat the history of the last century with more than 100,000,000 people killed through wars. It is the task of governments, organisations and citizens to acknowledge the mistakes of the past, explore fresh initiatives in the present and point the way to the real welfare of the global community for the future.
  2. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would recruit an army of facilitators, psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, diplomats, peace workers, NGO’s and committed individuals in the public and private sector.  This new kind of army would be committed to conflict resolution, mediation and dialogue at home and abroad. The current armed forces would also be extensively trained in peaceful resolution in any arena of conflict. The creative power of words would replace the destructive power of weapons.
  3. A new ministry is not rare in a government. In the last generation, the British Government has established the Ministry for Children, the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Overseas Development.  Many would argue that a MINISTRY FOR PEACE is sorely needed. It is vital that the MINISTRY FOR PEACE is independent of other ministries, rather than features of it absorbed into other departments.
  4. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would have a unique role in government life since it would deal directly with issues of violence, domestic and overseas, upon adults, children, animals and the environment. Owing to mental, verbal and physical abuse, fears stalks the lives of young and old alike, indoors and outdoors, at home and overseas
  5. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would have the responsibility to provide the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defence Minister with a wide range of alternative solutions to any proposed act of war. It would offer different options than the heads of the Armed Forces.
  6. It would be the task of MINISTRY FOR PEACE to ensure that statements of foreign and domestic policy were accurate, honest in the detail, free from spin, and free from any manipulation of the media and public.
  7. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would act as an advisor to all other departments and feature strongly in party policy to cut down public anger about the government.
  8. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would actively send teams invited to war torn countries for the emotional, mental, physical and environmental welfare of those suffering as a result of conflict. Training would be offered to the police forces, social workers and community leaders in war zones. These teams would co-operate and support people and their infrastructure to establish a culture of active citizenship.
  9. MINISTRY FOR PEACE will co-operate with all parties at home and abroad to establish agreements, treaties and implement UN resolutions to build a consensus of understanding about an enlightened way forward in areas of dispute. It will support UN Peace Keeping Forces.
  10. MINISTRY FOR PEACE will examine both short and long terms solutions employing a civilised approach for peacekeeping. History shows that the victims of war harbour resentment with the result that the victims may well become the victimiser.  Worldwide terrorist organisations have increased tenfold since 9/11. Government’s authorisation for war or the organisations authorisation for acts of terror spirals equally into obscene violence upon men, women and children and their environment – regardless of motivations
  11. MINISTRY FOR PEACE will make public the list of arm sales to foreign nations, and the amount of money transpired in arms sales.
  12.  MINISTRY FOR PEACE will advocate careful analysis of the reasons behind violence and war.
  13. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would address equally the psychological and regional rationalisations behind war. Does the Prime Minister and War Cabinet show:
    1. Obsession with power and control,
    2. Religious, political, personal or historical beliefs
    3. Over-identification with ethnic group or nation
    4. Acts of retaliation
    5. Acts of discrimination and prejudice, gross or subtle
    6. Territorial claims
    7. Pursuit of Profit
    8. Exploitation of environment (e.g. oil)
    9. A means to unite people behind a leader
    10. Unquestioning belief and identification with what is good and determination of what is evil.
  14. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would detail and list overseas aid and ensure that such aid was used wisely and with discernment.
  15. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would increase substantially aid and NGO initiatives.

DOMESTIC

  1. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would ensure that education from primary school to university would include practical programmes in conscious living, development of communication skills and ways to reach agreement in issues of dispute. These teachings and practices would become an essential part of the curriculum.
  2. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would act as bridge between government and voters so that citizens would experience trust and confidence in the government.
  3. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would work to reduce the wrath and cynicism of people against governments, who deceive its citizens or make decisions that profoundly concern thoughtful people – from making war, to selling of arms, to ill treatment of asylum seekers, to abuse of the judiciary, to refusal to permit a public inquiry.
  4. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would act as the conscience of the nation to re-establish trust between the dualities of society – government and people, public and private sector, divisions between ethnic groups, rich and poor, police and the public, unions, parents and children, one neighbour and another. Fear, mistrust and anger reinforce these areas of national life. The significance of the role of mediation would be increased.
  5. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would appeal to the spiritual, religious, creative and intellectual resources in society to address issues of violence and conflict, locally and internationally. There is a crisis of spiritual values and integrity in Britain. Television, radio and the media would feature the vital role of those working in the field of peace and reconciliation and explore ways to develop ethics and values in daily life.
  6. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would promote and further expand initiatives for local communities to develop their relationships with each other through meetings, entertainment, the arts and mutual co-operation.
  7. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would be to encourage diversity and a culture of inter-action through all aspects of daily life.
  8. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would greatly expand on some of the current programmes of the government to deal with conflict with widespread training for individuals to learn art of facilitation and conflict resolution. Leading figures in the field would act as advisors.
  9. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would establish the Network of Facilitators. They would be the frontline team employing their skills to meet the challenges of today – such as sexual violence, pub violence, road rage, and abusive behaviour at football matches or in the home. The part that alcohol and drug abuse play in violence would come under increased scrutiny.
  10. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would develop new programs that relate to the societal challenges of school violence, guns, and racial or ethnic violence, violence against gays and lesbians, and police-community relations. The Network of Facilitators would work alongside community leaders and respected individuals who can point the way forward to dissolve tension.
  11. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would establish major new programmes in our prisons. Facilitators would mediate between wardens, prison officers and inmates with widespread use of teams of psychotherapists, counsellors and trained motivators for inmates. For staff and inmates, there would be provision for inner work that reduces aggressive tendencies through such programmes as stress reduction, meditation and yoga. Changes in diet, application of the arts and development of a culture towards inner change would be developed in prisons. Inmates would be train as facilitators.
  12. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would explore alternatives to the Western belief system that says that the main purpose for existence centres on production and consumption, privilege and influence. There would be a commitment to end violence on land, water and air used to satisfy the demands of an acquisitive and self-obsessed society.
  13. This determination will require the fullest co-operations of the community of philosophers, social scientists, theologians, peace workers and individuals with moral authority to work together to establish a safe, secure and sustainable world.  Every area of life would enter public debate about violence including entertainment, television, cinema, advertising and the obsession with status.
  14. In the longer-term vision, the government would commit itself to establishing a person in the Unarmed Forces for every person in the Armed Forces. For every Military Academy, there would be an equivalent Non-Military Academy. For every scientist in the public or private sector engaged in research for the armaments industry, there would be a scientist in the non-military sector of peaceful resolution through new technologies, developing infrastructure and constructive use of communication.
  15. MINISTRY FOR PEACE develops a constructive engagement with the world rather than pursuance of destructive engagement through more and more export of sophisticated weapons. The Prime Minister and the rest of the cabinet would be presented equally with non-military resolutions to international conflict, risk to lives, cost effectiveness, etc.
  16. In conjunction with the UN, MINISTRY FOR PEACE would be responsible for inspection and dismantling weapons of mass destruction at home and abroad including nuclear weapons, biological and chemical weapons.
  17. MINISTRY FOR PEACE would promote constructive engagement with other countries and convert our armaments industry towards peaceful use. In other words, the defence budget would systematically go down year by year with a corresponding increase in the budget for MINISTRY FOR PEACE.
  18. In making the change from war and violence, both at home and abroad, it will require an immense amount of consultation between nations and groups. It will require the building of bridges to understand the differences between nations, religions and cultures and a deeper understanding of the issues facing the poor, marginalised, refugees, economic migrants and the disenfranchised.
  19. The cost for the MINISTRY FOR PEACE would be drawn directly from the defence budget.
  20. The country would celebrate the role of great peacemakers and facilitators.  The MINISTRY FOR PEACE would make a significant contribution to civilised culture to deal with personal, social and global problems. Such a Ministry would show true respect to the New Millennium.

FINAL WORD:

Violence in all its ugly manifestation shakes and disturbs us, and the gratuitous violence or organised violence such as war, carries a further revulsion for all those who care about life. There is nothing more obscene than the wilful acts against the ‘other’ with the sophisticated savagery of the means used to justify the end. For the ‘other’ are like us – wishing to live in safety and security.

War acts as one of the greatest acts of destruction and death of people, animals and the environment.

Violence and war confirm the rejection of empathy, a negation of values, a spiritual vacuum and the death of imagination.

We feel alarm if we witness an act of violence on our streets. We need to feel an equal sense of revulsion for the targetted bombing from the air of people on the ground, who are mere abstractions for the pilots, acting under orders, as their launch their bombs on men, women and children alike. There is no difference in the result for those mercilessly traumatised for being in the way of political ambitions and ideological aims.

We have become used to violence inflicted on others, perhaps numbed by it, deadened by the amount of violence that we absorb from Hollywood movies to war leaving us woefully indifferent to the grim plight of others.

Violence in any form ranks as the obscenest form of intrusion into another’s life leaving individuals and entire groups of people frightened and helpless in the face of the abuse inflicted upon them, whether by professional armies, merciless organisations, street gangs or the unresolved aggression of the individual. For the creation of the ‘enemy,’ or the ‘threat’ and the need to eradicate or humiliate ‘them’ says more about ourselves, and our inner shadows, than those we brutalise.

Governments have consistently refused to acknowledge the relationship between the violence they inflict on other nations and the violence inflicted in the home or on our streets. The difference is in magnitude, not in the act, itself, namely the wilful intention to hurt, harm or destroy another. When a counsellor asked a client why he punched his wife in the face during an argument, he replied: ‘because she deserved it.” Don’t Governments adopt the same view to a regime when they can’t get their way?

We must address the whole machinery of violence from the inner to the outer, at home and abroad, acknowledging the destructive force for what it is, and the misery, fear and resentment that it breeds, thus sewing the seeds for further generations of violence.

It is for the above reasons, and numerous other factors, that we urgently need a MINISTRY FOR PEACE to increase significantly our awareness and action to resolve violence and war.

We need the co-operations of politicians, businesses and people to find ways towards peace and reconciliation at home and abroad.

Men, women and children have a voice. We need to listen and respond.

 




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