from Sunday Herald, 23 October 2016
Warm tributes from across the political divide have been paid to John Ainslie, the veteran co-ordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND), who died on Friday after a long battle with cancer.
The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Greens, socialists, trade unionists, journalists and fellow campaigners were among the many who hailed him as a quiet and unassuming legend of the peace movement.
Ainslie, who joined SCND as a full-time worker in 1992, has been a hugely influential figure in nuclear policy. His numerous expert reports and his detailed grasp of nuclear technology won him respect and admiration from peers around the world, and he was often quoted in the Sunday Herald and elsewhere.
He was also an active campaigner. He buzzed the first Trident submarine to arrive in the Clyde in a canoe, drove around Glasgow in the early hours of the morning following nuclear bomb convoys and addressed countless meetings and protests.
“My thoughts are with John's family and Scottish CND,” tweeted Sturgeon. “John was such a committed campaigner against nuclear weapons.”
Corbyn also extended sympathy to Ainslie’s family and friends. “Such a well informed and intelligent peace campaigner who did so much for CND in Scotland as well as the wider peace community,” he said.
Ainslie was “a tireless organiser of events and activities all aimed at making the case for a nuclear weapons free world,” said SCND chairman Arthur West. “SCND and the wider peace movement have lost a massively influential figure and friend who will be sadly missed.”
The Scottish Green Party conference opened yesterday with a tribute to Ainslie from the Green MSP, Alison Johnstone. The annual conference of UK CND in Manchester also honoured him.
“A great loss to our movement,” said Kate Hudson, the general secretary of UK CND. “Rest in peace, John. We'll keep on fighting.”
Among others who paid tribute on social media was Dave Moxham, the deputy general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress. “If ever anyone deserved to RIP it's John Ainslie who fought for peace. Totally.” he said.