Looking through the media after arriving in the CAAT office this morning, I was greeted by unexpected coverage of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) – a government unit that is the focus of CAAT’s new core campaign.
UKTI promotes exports – including arms exports. However, the news today was not about the arms trade. It was about golf.
Tory MP Humfrey Malins discovered that UKTI has spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on branded golf balls – £12,030.50 in the last three years to be precise.
However, wasting taxpayers’ money seems to be par for the course at UKTI. Although arms make up less than 2% of the UK’s visible exports, UKTI employs about as many staff in its arms promotion unit as in all its civil industry-specific sectors combined.
That’s before we’ve even considered the human costs involved in the export of arms to conflict areas and oppressive regimes.