British taxpayers’ money for tanks, not for butter

John Heartfield photomontage on guns instead of butter in nazi Germany

Comment from Madame Pickwick Art Blog on this ‘guns or butter’ picture, with as its caption title ‘Hurrah, the butter is gone!’:

This work is Heartfield’s most famous, it is the climax of the artist’s mastery of the genre. A German family is depicted eating various parts of a bicycle, with Hitler’s portrait and swastika wallpaper in the background. The quote is from Hermann Göring, and it reads: “Iron has always made a nation strong, butter and lard have only made the people fat”. In his work, Heartfield parodied the style of Nazi propaganda posters to criticize the regime. Heartfield’s work was of course a type of propaganda in itself, but his work expressed the discontent of the opposition in Germany.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Fallon signs 3.5bn order for 600 tanks

Thursday 4th September 2014

Arms trade activists slam war minister for anti-welfare rant

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was criticised yesterday for speaking out against welfare spending — preferring instead to invest £3.5 billion in nearly 500 armoured vehicles.

As today’s opening of the Nato summit in Newport approached, Mr Fallon signed the single largest Ministry of Defence order for 30 years.

The 589 “digitised” Scout tanks will be equipped with a 40mm cannon and will be used in surveillance and reconnaisance.

Mr Fallon defended the monumental bill saying that “US taxpayers won’t go on picking up the cheque if we choose to prioritise social welfare spending when the threats are on our doorstep.”

His comments are bound to be welcomed by the rest of the Cabinet, which spent much of the day emphasising over the international threat posed by Isis jihadists.

But anti-war organisations blamed Mr Fallon for spouting “might is right” propaganda.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) spokesman Andrew Smith told the Star that the purchase made clear that the government’s priorities couldn’t be further from those of normal people.

“Why is £3.5bn being spent on military vehicles while child poverty is soaring?” Mr Smith asked.

Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that by acquiring the hi-tech war vehicles the government was “not only helping to keep Britain safe,” but also underpinning nearly 1,300 jobs across Britain.

According to CAAT’s collected data, arms exports amount to little more than 0.2 per cent of British jobs.

The group said that no other similarly sized industry had been awarded the same level of public subsidy — an estimated £700 million a year.

Labour was also quick to criticise Mr Fallon’s order, suggesting it had already made the same proposals and allocated no less than £5.5 billion for the same project.

“Given the critical issues facing Nato this week and the tough decisions that will have to be made at the summit, the British people expect more from the government than this cynically timed rehashing of old news,” said shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker.

But Mr Smith branded the statements a celebration of militarism.

“We don’t just want to see an end to arms sales, we also want to see an end to the militaristic mindset that promotes them,” he said.

31 thoughts on “British taxpayers’ money for tanks, not for butter

  1. This was a sobering topic to wake up and read, new tanks in 2014. Wow. As we all know no one builds tanks unless they are preparing to us them. I wish we all had used our peacetime more wisely. Thank you for raising awareness of what is happening in your country to others whose news focuses on nude pictures of celebrities.


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