Live now! CAAT’s new Political Influence Browser exposes the extent of the intimate and compromising relationship between arms companies and government.
This huge new data-project, profiled in the Guardian today, shows how the arms industry has inserted itself into the very heart and machinery of government giving it totally disproportionate access and influence over vital areas, warping public policy and harming us all.
Find out more and support our campaign to get the arms industry out of government and end its damaging political influence: www.caat.org.uk/influence
The browser highlights the many ways arms companies gain access to and influence the Government:
- from the thousands of hours of meetings,
- to the revolving door between companies, military and government,
- to the industry bodies within government itself.
We know that the political influence of the arms industry leads to deadly consequences: Promoting arms deals is prioritised over controlling the flow of arms, and private commercial interests are allowed to trump human rights.
A stark example is the government’s refusal to stop arming Saudi Arabia, even as UK weapons are used in the devastating bombing of Yemen, in clear violation of the UK’s own rules, and European and international law. Despite overwhelming evidence of repeated violations of international humanitarian law, thousands of deaths and a humanitarian crisis, the UK government refuses to stop the sales.
The campaign to sell the BAE Systems‘ Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft now bombing Yemen involved interventions at the highest level – from Tony Blair’s intervention to stop a corruption investigation into arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Prince Charles’ infamous sword dance for the Saudi king. CAAT’s browser shows how the machinery of government was mobilised at key moments in the sales campaign to secure the deal.
If we’re to end scandals like this and ensure policy is made in the public interest, rather than for the profit of private companies, we must break the links between arms industry and government.