Executive Committee

EC Whitechapel
Members of the EC in front of a tapestry of Picasso’s anti-war work “Guernica”.

Conscience is currently looking for new members to join its Executive Committee (EC), which manages the work of Conscience. Click here for more information.

The current EC members are:

Anne McCullagh-d’Lyske

Anne wrote:  “I was first introduced to the concepts of pacifism whilst a schoolgirl by learning about Benjamin Britten’s stance during the war.  Then at Trinity College of Music, Bruce Kent was my college chaplain and my doom was sealed!  He raised my consciousness and got my spiritual butt moving… and I’ve been ‘fighting’ the good fight ever since.  (Even our language is riddled with militarisms!)

My father was a colonel in the British Army and I grew up within the Royal Signals family, travelling extensively with my parents on their many postings abroad.  But my developing anti-nuclear convictions, and eventual out-and-out War Tax Resistance and Conscientious Objector position, never distressed him.  He said that at heart no soldier wants to kill but has to do so if that is what his duty demands.  He was always the realist.

Thirty or so years ago I used to join John McDonnell and others in the Houses of Parliament to dream and plan for an eventual Ministry for Peace.  Now Labour have a Shadow Minister for Peace – and Conscience presented to Parliament our report that we commissioned to look into the practical pros and cons of such an endeavour.  Times, they are a-changing!  There is a sea change abroad…

But politicians are still far too quick to jump off the mark – with their knee jerk reactions throwing our young men into fields of combat that are always morally debatable and frankly sometimes downright, totally illegal.  Our cultural attitude to war and defence needs a complete overhaul and with the work that we have done within Conscience and will continue to do, I hope that we are contributing to the debate and public discourse with our suggestions for a more humane, considered and brighter future.

My personal long term aim is to get the Peace Tax concept established within the highest levels of international law: not only in the UK but right through and up to the UN level worldwide.  No one anywhere should be forced into war tax slavery – because that is how the status quo rests at the moment.  The whole of humanity is in thrall to the worldwide defence industry with no way out.  We are all facing extinction and our outmoded and ludicrously expensive dependence on violence is contributing to our demise.  We have to decide before it is too late.  We either continue to pay for the self destructive, self indulgence of war or we as a species must commit to a better way and choose to pay for the building of lasting peace based on justice for all.

Conscientious Objectors are the leaven in this bread – the little candles alight in the inconspicuous corners of the world – which may one day in combination blaze out into an inferno of consciousness that will lead humanity out of our present state of barbarism and darkness and into the light of universal compassion.

I have never paid for a weapon of war and I never will.  But I want us all… all of us… all over the world to enjoy the right of being allowed to earn an honest crust without it having been obligatorily drenched in the spilt blood of our fellow man.  This is our great task – to make such a simple thing so.  This is my personal hope, and this is my personal dream”.

David Amos

Fay Salichou

Fay is a Conscience member of staff and an EC member.  She is the Fundraising and Communications Officer.

Jonathan Maunders

Jonathan is a Conscience member of staff and an EC member.  He is the Campaign Operations Manager.

Karen Robinson

Karen is a Conscience member of staff and an EC member.  She is the Education Worker.  Her blog, Fund War No More can be found here: https://conscienceonline.org.uk/blog/

Monica Frisch has been on the committee since 1991.  For many years Monica was Treasurer of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), conscience and Network for Peace as well as a former war tax resister.

Robin Brookes re-joined the EC in 2015.  He has been a member of Conscience since the mid 1980s – around the time cruise missiles were being deployed near him on Salisbury Plain.  He became a war tax resister in 2003 and shortly after that joined with six others to apply for a judicial review to change the law to allow COs to divert their taxes.  They called themselves the Peace Tax Seven.  Robin is keen to encourage the spread of local campaigning groups – “More people need to know about this campaign and support it, including many who are already in the peace movement.”

Simon Reed joined the EC in 2015, taking over from Dr Iain Farrell as Honorary Treasurer.  His professional background is in IT as a Chartered IT Professional and then in change management including eight years in the Ministry of Defence.  With four decades of experience on committees, he is currently active as a Fellow and Trustee of the charitable professional body the Institution of Analysts and Programmers (focussed on improving software for society) and as a National Co-ordinating Committee member for the Scientists for Global Responsibility (promoting responsible science and technology).  He is now a recent post-graduate in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies and recipient of a Lancaster University Gold Award.  It is his aim to work full-time in the research, documentation and promotion of alternatives to war using evidence-based methods that provide better short term and long term stability and returns.  (CV here: LinkedIn).   “Spending less on overseas destruction and more on peace building just makes basic humanitarian, ethical, economic and political sense; we already know this.

Steve Ballard was brought up in a pacifist farming community, and has been a peace and social justice activist ever since.  He graduated as a chemical engineer, and later became a teacher of science; he is now retired.  He joined the EC after attending the 2018 AGM.

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