32 thoughts on “British government selling weapons to Bahrain, other dictatorships

  1. A old story, Corbyns policy to terminate supplies of weapons is a new ideology, whether it is like America’s gun lobby that many American gun deaths are not going to deter ongoing deaths through political change is questionable, the weapon fraternity is the financial elite and will become a historical change that is doubtful of significant change? the elite of the politics of the front and the covert of British rulers, will not change without at least a psychic fight to the death.


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  3. THIS week I visited Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), Britain’s biggest arms fair. It’s an amazing achievement — a full sized weapons bazaar erected minutes away from the centre of London. You can even buy a second- hand helicopter out the back, and they are displaying full-sized battleships for sale.

    It is a deeply disturbing event, as most of the finely made goods on display are designed to kill people. It is also, like so much of the “free market,” very heavily backed by our tax money.

    The arms marketplace relies on a lot of government support. That support includes turning our armed forces into a sales force whose job is to help repressive foreign governments buy weapons. Each visiting delegation is given a British uniformed officer whose job is to act as a “personal shopper” for Middle Eastern and other buyers.

    DSEI, which takes place at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands, offers two huge halls of stalls offering everything from rifles to robot killer “tanks,” from drones to missiles and beyond.

    If you look properly you can see that it is a state-supported market. The government has a department, UK Trade and Industry (UKTI), which helps businesses sell abroad. They have a dedicated arms sales unit, the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO).

    The UKTI DSO hosts a huge stall which uses a mock-up of British operations in the deserts of Afghanistan or Iraq to sell rockets, armoured vehicles and the like to visiting delegations.

    The DSO used to be more honestly called the Defence Sales Organisation, and was formerly part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It was moved to the Trade Ministry to cover up embarrassment over British soldiers being used as salesmen for British firms selling weapons to foreign armies, after this threw up scandals like the “arms to Iraq” affair.

    However, this split from the MoD is very cosmetic. At DSEI the UKTI DSO “lounge” is jointly hosted by the MoD. The British government invites over 50 delegations from foreign countries to buy kit at DSEI. These include delegations from repressive Middle Eastern regimes like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

    You can see the delegations on the floor of DSEI examining the weapons in the booths — groups of men, sometimes in uniforms, sometimes in suits. Each is accompanied by a British officer from the army, navy or air force. These officers are in smart “no.2 service dress” associated with formal duties. They are “military escort officers,” given by the army to the foreign arms buyers to help them with their visit. They escort them round the halls and to and from their hotels. So while the press has made a big fuss about who sings “patriotic” songs, our armed forces are being used as personal shoppers for foreign dictators on the lookout for deadly weapons.



    • Is the free market to sell arms? extends to those who are British subjects residing in Britain allowed to buy arms? is the the free market only a export trade in arms if so why is it a free market?


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