Arms sales to Saudi Arabia

July 11, 2017
 
I need to say something about this because the government is bamboozling the public into allowing arms sales to one of the most repressive regimes in the world so that it can bomb a poverty-stricken population in Yemen…just because they wanted a government that Saudi Arabia didn’t agree with. Yemen is one of the poorest countries on earth; I lived there when I was a kid and, believe me, there are reasons why they have no tourist industry. They have nothing. The Saudis have more wealth than they can spend and…what do they spend it on? Not weapons to help defeat IS but weapons to kill poor Yemenis. And we are happy to supply the arms to allow them to do this. We should all be deeply ashamed.
 
I used to work in military sales at BAe (Tornados, etc) and we always used the argument that if we didn’t sell these arms then the French would gladly do so. It’s a murky world of corruption and secret government-to-government deals but it meant jobs for our part of Lancashire, so we closed our eyes to the reality of Saudi as the money poured in.  In those days the Saudis could barely fly the aircraft they’d bought and weren’t bombing people but they are now.  Oh, and another thing:  the BL755 cluster bombs that they are using…they are now illegal but were made by British company Hunting and we supplied them to Saudi Arabia.  Yes, really.  The government issued the approvals via the Defence Sales organisation, part of MoD.  
The Saudis own vast amounts of London and invest heavily in UK. It’s dirty money but we take it because, when push comes to shove, our tory government will put profit before people every time. It’s wrong and it has to stop.  Where has our moral balance gone?  Didn’t we once think that we were a decent people?  
 
I end my case, M’lud.