As part of the Control BAE campaign, London CAAT set up stall near Old Street station on Friday 30th November to call for the reopening of the Serious Fraud Office’s enquiry into alleged corruption in deals with Saudi Arabia. We chose the location because it was outside the BAE/HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) joint venture company located at 4 City Cloisters, 196 Old Street.
The main objective of the afternoon (in the absence of any media for our photo opportunity stunt) was to inform people in the area of the issues and get signatures on the petition to reopen the enquiry. In addition, we were able to point out the presence of an arms company to many surprised local residents and garner some interest in the local group.
An element of the event that raised a few laughs was an “Opinionaire” formulated to generate the sort of statistics I can now include in this piece.
Please indicate how likely you think each of the following statements is:
Elvis Presley is still alive. likely / possible / unlikely / impossible
There is/was a Loch Ness “monster”. likely / possible / unlikely / impossible
BAE is innocent of all bribery charges. likely / possible / unlikely / impossible
The Apollo moon landings were faked. likely / possible / unlikely / impossible
Aliens have visited Earth. likely / possible / unlikely / impossible
As a result, we can now state that of the respondents to our opinionaire, more people thought it was “impossible” that BAE is innocent of all the charges of bribery being investigated in six different countries than thought it was “impossible” that aliens have visited Earth or that there is or was some kind of Loch Ness “monster”. Approximately 86% of those who responded said that it was either “unlikely” or “impossible” that BAE was innocent of all of the corruption charges.
Other statistics show, somewhat incredibly I feel, that twice as many people who took the time to complete the survey believe that it is “likely” that the moon landings were faked as believe that it is “likely” that BAE is innocent. More people thought it was “unlikely” that BAE was innocent than thought it was “unlikely” that Elvis is still alive!
It is clear that the British public have already judged BAE and those who signed our petition are testament to the fact that they still believe the British legal system should be allowed to run its course.