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London candidates challenged on the arms fair

Every two years London hosts one of the largest arms fairs in the world. Two mayoral candidates have spoken out against the fair, and hundreds of emails were sent to others. Here, London CAAT member Jessie describes putting questions about the arms fair at a hustings.

The hustings I attended on Thursday 26th April had almost more organisers than members of the public, so it was easy to raise my question about what the candidates can do to end the arms fair in London. In fact the candidates seemed to be grateful to have something not scripted to talk about!

The panel consisted of three GLA candidates who also spoke for their parties’ mayoral candidate, plus Steven Norris, whose support for Boris consisted of an after dinner speech which he began with ‘I won’t bother telling you Boris’ policies…’!

Anyway Lab, Lib & Green all agreed the arms fair has no place in London, they knew Newham doesn’t want it, and that Green jobs would be a better use of the money. Norris came out with the tired old argument that ‘if we don’t sell arms, then others will’, which I refuted most forcefully!

None of the candidates specified what powers they would have, once elected, to challenge the arms fair, or what they would do. However, the issue got a good airing and they heard once again that the arms fair is not wanted, and we have expectations of them!

2 comments to London candidates challenged on the arms fair

  • Rhiannon

    Well done, Jessie, for calling the candidates to account. London politicians should make it clear that DSEI, this immoral event that promotes conflict and human rights abuse, is not welcome in our city. The mayor and GLA have powers over transport, policing and emergency planning, so they must have some powers to stop it. As for the argument that ‘if we do not do it, others will’, I’m sure that argument must have been used against abolishing slavery….

  • Robert M

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
    If the United Nations once admits that international disputes can be settled by using force, then we will have destroyed the foundation of the organization and our best hope of establishing a world order.

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