Thursday 26 February 2004

Oxfam accuses UK of hidden arms trade

Ever wondered why some nasty person might want to blow you up on the number 27 bus? Well here's why. We are selling weapons to people who should not be being sold them, they then use those weapons to blow up children and kill babies. How nice to know that my government sanctions and probably encourages this, and they want me to respect them? I have more respect for the smelly pile of shit that I just stepped in than I do for Phony Tony and his Corrupt Cronies.

Arms companies and the government are evading export controls by supplying countries with components rather than complete weapons systems whose sale would be banned, according to a report published today by leading aid and human rights groups.

They accuse the government of double standards by exploiting loopholes enabling it to get round international embargoes and its own human rights guidelines.

There has been an eleven-fold increase in the number of weapons components licensed for export in recent years, says the report by Oxfam, Amnesty International, and the International Action Network on Small Arms.

The loophole has enabled British arms components to be sold to countries including Zimbabwe, Israel, Indonesia, Uganda, Colombia, Nepal, and the Philippines.

A shift in policy was discreetly announced by Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, in 2002. He added new criteria including the "importance of the UK's defence and security relationship with the incorporating country".

His move was prompted by the sale of British components for American F-16 fighter aircraft destined for Israel and used in raids on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Full story...