Nuclear weapons and their terrifying power to destroy us all are back on the agenda. Russia has just ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation and START II treaties. The five main nuclear powers – the United States, Russia, Britain, China and France – have pledged ‘unequivocally’ to ‘ultimately’ eliminate such weapons, though no timetable has been set. But critics at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference which ended in May, say the process is open ended and too slow. The time is right for two of the smaller nuclear states – Britain and France – to take a radical new initiative for progressive disarmament.