Hain's Record On Arms Dealing

Peter Hain had a shocker on Question Time, being jeered and booed by the audience for his take on Britain selling arms to Libya:

If we found, as we did in some instances that they were not being used for the license they had been granted for… If that’s the case, then it was wrong to sell them and we wouldn’t do it again…

Which would of course be too late…

Hain’s ministerial record on arms dealing is far from squeaky clean:

Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister with responsibility for Africa, yesterday told The Independent on Sunday that the Government would investigate the deal if any substantiated allegations were made… “nobody could object to Britain selling arms to South Africa”.

On the BBC’s Today programme ….

…the Foreign Office minister Peter Hain gave his personal assurance that new Labour had never sold arms to any government that used them for internal repression. At last month’s Farnborough arms fair, weapons and all manner of war equipment were on offer to Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey…

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: “The public were outraged and shocked in the role the UK had in being a major supplier of arms to countries like Indonesia. The fact that the government finally brought in an embargo given the atrocities in East Timor just recently shows that the public has become very concerned about where we are selling arms too.” However, Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain insisted the government had acted ethically and openly in its arms sales policy.

His conversion to the cause of peace seems to coincide with him being out of office…




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David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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