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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF... Warfare

24 September 2006

War! What is it good for? Well, if BAE Systems are true to their word, just about anything that that ails you, but particularly the environment. BAE is one of the world's largest and most successful arms manufacturers, and this week it was announced in the press that they are designing a new range of 'green arms'. This is simply fabulous news for anyone who's ever suffered the inconvenience of having their head blown apart by a sniper's bullet, or their entire family torn to shreds by a host of indiscriminate cluster bombs. What it means, in layman's terms, is that in the future, when these new, environmentally friendly weapons are deployed, their victims will die horribly - for sure - but they will do so in the knowledge that the environment they leave behind is not being destroyed *quite* as much as it once would have been. Super. BAE are the David Cameron of international warfare - green on the outside, greed on the inside.

It has been reported that Director of Corporate Responsibility for BAE, Dr Debbie Allen, has promised that the future of legally sanctioned (or otherwise) murder is bright, with, amongst other measures, low-emission armoured vehicles, safer and more sustainable artillery and even lead-free bullets coming to effect in the next few years. So, it'll be kind of like having your teeth kicked out by a really clean foot, which as anyone knows is so much less unpleasant than having your teeth kicked out by someone with, say, corns or bunions.

'Lead used in ammunition can harm the environment and pose a risk to people,' says Debbie. Bullets that pose a risk to people. Something must be done. Thank God then for BAE. But wait. All of this was reported in The Sunday Times this week like it was news, when in fact, a brief look at the BAE website and you will notice - along with made up quotes like this one: 'Arms are perfectly legal and necessary, but the company making and selling them has to have principles. The more dangerous your products, the more important it is to have values and principles' , attributed to an anonymous 'Human rights campaigner' - that these plans for friendly murder date back to the company's Corporate Responsibility Report 2003, and that the lead-free bullets were to be 'available in 2005'. Oh.

Memo to BAE PR dept: please remember to update website before recycling old lies as new initiatives.

Memo to Debbie Allen: why not pretend to make scented napalm while you're about it just in case we really are as stupid as our silence suggests?

Lies, lies, lies.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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