Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"When you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherfucker in the room..."

David Osler provides a much better researched and less snarky take on the FT arms trade story at Liberal Conspiracy. I particularly liked this:

Can there be any justification for extensive state involvement in times when all other industries are left to prosper or flounder according to the market? Why the throwback to 1970s-style dirigisme?

The argument is often advanced that the making weapons provides employment. This is patently spurious; military exports sustain just 60,000 jobs, around 0.2% of the UK workforce.

In employment terms, that puts it roughly on a par with kebab shops. Moreover, the skills of these workers are directly transferable to socially useful applications, and could be better used elsewhere.

Quite. So long as we're going to plough state money hi-tech projects, it's not really that hard to think of worthier candidates. I'd go for clean energy and better transport and communications infrastructure, but you're free to pick your own. Just not weapons.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Support the Open Rights Group Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.