WHEREVER one stands on nuclear weapons, no one can begrudge the valiant efforts of campaigners who have passionately fought to be rid of them. Whether they are right or wrong in seeking complete disarmament in a world of grim realities (not least North Korea and Donald Trump) their sincerity and dedication is admirable.

As the Nobel Committee prepares to present its Peace Prize to the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, campaigners will be celebrating this weekend. Among them will be many Scots, including members across various churches.

The Church of Scotland has highlighted the sterling efforts of members Molly Harvey of Glasgow and Judith McDonald of Cromarty. Molly Harvey’s work with poverty meant she could not thole the cost of nuclear weapons. Judith MacDonald, a doctor, could not countenance the carnage nuclear war would bring.

This terrible issue of our times is one some people might wish away while others make calculations based on realpolitik. No one in their right mind wants nuclear weapons. The issue is whether we can rationally do without them. We have to hope that the same human intelligence that invented them can devise ways to control them. Those with the courage to confront the issue deserve our admiration. Regardless of its feasibility, a nuclear-free world is a noble goal worth a Nobel Prize.