PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Treasury to Close Defence Sales Organisation
Old 9th Jul 2007, 12:44
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: london
Posts: 379
Targetting Merchants of Death has a long, even courageous pedigree. Go to 1929-34 League of Nations' work, and a UK Royal Commission, to outlaw the Private Manufacture of Arms, which, it was thought, provoke, not deter war: that is taught today as prime cause of WW1. Prominent were Philip Noel-Baker, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, and R.Stafford Cripps who in 1936 urged Eastleigh Spitfire workers to down tools. But while good guys did Jaw, Jaw, bad guys did gird for War, War.

When we had no enemy in 1947, Attlee's Govt. (Philip N-B as junior War Minister, RSC paying for it all as Chancellor) spent on Bomb and Bombers, because You never can tell. Grateful we were, too, when erstwhile Allies rattled their sabres. Then in 1983 a factor in M.Foot losing an Election was nuclear Unilateralism, and in 1987 N.Kinnock lost in part due to an odd notion of tactical withdrawal if Spetznaz hit Suffolk beaches. A factor in student CND activist A.Blair winning in 1997, and staying in, was his spending muchly, inc. atomically, though we had no evident organised-body enemy, because he knew not what lay on the other side of the hill.

This Guardian/BBC campaign is not about profit, or distasteful regimes. It would continue if BAE were again a Royal Ordnance Factory, supplying democrats. It's about an honest belief that parlay defuses conflict, that sweet reason can prevail. But You never can tell. Teamwork (it was called Collective Security in 1929) requires somebody, preferably sane - so us - to carry a big stick. Voters know that, so an open campaign to emasculate UK Force would not fly. Reviving a conspiracy theory - arms as capitalists' welfare - might.
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