LORD Murray, the former Lord Advocate has penned an intelligent and informed Agenda contribution (“People power can bring nuclear disarmament at a stroke”, The Herald, August 3) However, he makes no mention of a vital international campaign working to achieve this goal,.

In December 2015, 158 states took part in the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. At this, Austria proposed the “Austrian Pledge”, which is a promise to create an international treaty banning all nuclear weapons. This would fill the unacceptable “legal gap” whereby nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet explicitly prohibited under international law. So far, 113 states have signed this. The UK has not, and has no intention of doing so.

Margaret Mead famously said “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has”. Lord Murray rightly evokes this principle. However this small group of people can be organised into communities as states, which can work together. This is what is happening – and why the referendum was such a catastrophe not only for Scotland, but for the world.

An independent Scotland would have been the first nuclear-armed state to break the deadlock, by scrapping Trident. Tragically, we said yes to Trident, and no to independence. But the fight goes on.

I was disappointed to note that he refers to our H-bombs as a “nuclear deterrent”, a self-vindicating euphemism which justifies the object it denotes. We have a deterrent – they have nuclear weapons.

It has always been thus, ever since we used the bomb on other human being in Japan. This is the 70th anniversary of our using the “deterrent” on Hiroshima, the greatest single-act war crime in history.

It is precisely because we justify Hiroshima, that we justify Trident. After all, it’s only a deterrent.

Brian M Quail,

2 Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow.