BBC BLOGS - Betsan's Blog
« Previous | Main | Next »

From the study

Betsan Powys | 17:36 UK time, Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Back from London and off now for a few days (shamelessly flogging CDs ... ) I'll resume the blogging on Monday.

Richard Harries may be glad to know I'm typing this from the study, rather than Peter Hain's cellar.

P.S. Yesterday's sermon had some effect. Radio 5 have just called to check whether a story has relevance to Wales or not. As the bit of the BBC that came up with "the UK and Wales" the other week, I regard that as a huge step forward.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:48 AM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Ricahrd Harris wrote:

Thank God your safe, Betsan!

Cardiff/London "political" relations are now getting like the Somme...heavy shelling from both sides...maybe they'll play football at Christmas?

AND...Great to hear our much admired Kim Howells - FCO bag carrier, talking yesterday about, "the shared culture of our two nations" ~ Saudi and the UK (sic)...So, we can look foward to some back to basics hand "chopping" in the coming referendum for all those devient "Yes" voters. Safer to keep your hands in your pockets around Ponty.

Tyronne O'Sullivan called Kim ..."The Willow" ..."he bends to every wind and pressure". I think that's far, far too polite.

This is relevant to Wales.
Why is the Welsh Government Supporting Cluster Bomb Manufacturers?
Monday 5th November is the Global Day of Action Against Cluster Bombs, which will demonstrate global public concern about the problems of cluster bombs and their impact on civilians. Campaigners, led by the Cluster Munition Coalition, will call on governments to join the international effort towards a treaty to ban them.
Although the UK pledged its support of the ban, it has since stated that it intends to maintain a certain type of cluster bomb, even though this very type has been proven in Lebanon to be indiscriminately lethal. In 2005, a European Parliament resolution was introduced to ban investments in companies, such as Raytheon, that produce cluster munitions. In response to this, Norway and Belgium have already endorsed this call. Liverpool City Council has also recently adopted a similar position.
Yet the Welsh government has ignored all of these concerns, and instead launched a high profile development project with Raytheon. Raytheon is a central member of the Metrix Consortium that was awarded the St Athan Defence Training Academy contract in January 2007. According to Metrix CEO, Raytheon is “at the core of the training system redesign” the Consortium proposed to the UK Ministry of Defence.
The St Athan Defence Academy has been supported by all of the main political parties in Wales and sold to the public on the basis of alleged benefits to the economy. The involvement in the project of the world’s largest arms companies has so far not received any attention.
Anne Greagsby, coordinator of the campaign to stop the St Athan Academy being built said,
“Given the evident public concern over cluster bombs and the arms trade more generally, I am sure that most people would be shocked to hear that the Assembly has laid a welcome mat for such companies, especially at a time when other governments are turning their backs on them.”
Rhodri Morgan and Peter Hain both recently rushed to reassure the public that the Academy would still go ahead, despite a major setback about phase two of the development.
Jill Gough of CND Cymru said,
How far do we have to go before politicians of Wales’ four main parties realise that the whole project is a terrible mistake and is not going anywhere? It does nothing to deliver the Wales that people in this country want: a Wales that honestly addresses global warming and other environmental problems, champions human rights, teaches our children that violence solves nothing, does not invest in the arms trade, encourages valuable, long term employment and delivers decent public services.”
Cynefin y Werin (Common Ground)

This post is closed to new comments.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.