Just to let you know, if you are local to Bournemouth tonight, I am presenting at a Stop the War Coalition meeting concerning selling arms (particularly to Saudi Arabia). This has been in the news recently as Saudi Arabia have been accused of breaches in humanitarian law in their involvement in Yemen and this means that the UK’s arms sales could be in contravention of our own and EU law. As such, the CAAT (Campaign Against the Arms Trade) challenged our arms sales to Saudi Arabia in court. The UK is now the second-biggest arms exporter in the world after the US. After four select committees fundamentally disagreed (two thinking we should stop, one in favour, and one distancing itself from reports), the courts, with access to secret information and reports we are not able to see, concluded that our arms sales are not in contravention of our own guidelines and law.
This was a highly controversial conclusion and ruling that is due to be appealed.
Either way, this is an interesting area of moral and political philosophy.
I’ll write something more comprehensive up in due course, but for the time being, pop along to the talk. Details are:
No More Killing: What Kind of Foreign Policy Do We Need?
16 years on from the “War on Terror”, British taxpayers continue to fund bombing and killing in the Middle East. Over a million people have died in Iraq alone. War is still raging in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, while the British establishment continue with crippling cuts to public services.The Government has admitted providing technical and other assistance to the Saudi government in its hideous bombing of Yemen, killing thousands. More than £3 billion worth of arms have been sold to the Saudi dictatorship (in contravention of international law) since the bombing began.
But the tide is now beginning to turn as anti-war politics are gaining increasing power and influence in British political life. Come and join the debate.
The discussion will be introduced by Shabbir Lakha (national officer of Stop the War Coalition), Alisdair Keddie (Green Party candidate) and Jonathan MS Pearce (philosopher/ author).