Ian Mackinnon quit his job to create a ground-breaking web app that allows anyone to browse the licences granted by the UK government for exporting arms. Here he talks about why this work was so necessary.
I first came across the UK Government’s Export Controls web page out of curiosity. Among protesters organising against the DSEI arms fair there is often speculation about what arms deals might be done in private between British companies and representatives of repressive governments, but I wanted more concrete information.
Working Group 4 was charged with developing a proposal for a global referendum on environmental issues. However, the debate among the participants ranged frequently and profoundly into issues of war, militarisation and occupation.
The group concluded two and a half days of discussions by submitting to the plenary session a document outlining their plans for the structure and preparation of the referendum. Their proposal recommended that it comprise the following five questions:
1) Do you agree with changing this capitalist model of over-production and super-consumption, and re-establishing harmony with nature, recognizing and respecting the rights of the Mother Earth? YES or NO
2) Do you agree that countries and transnational corporations reduce and reabsorb their greenhouse gas production proportionally to their emissions and historical responsibilities in order to halt global warming? YES or NO
3) Do you agree with transferring all that is spent in wars and for allocating a budget bigger than used for defence to climate change? YES or NO
4) Do you agree that our countries be transformed into territories of peace, free from occupation by troops and foreign military bases? YES or NO