Thursday, 14 May 2009

Loaded jacket potato anyone?

‘Why? Are you an arms dealer?’ I respond somewhat fearfully to the question ‘would you ever hang out with an arms dealer?’

After confirming that he was

a) not an arms dealer
b) not an aspiring arms dealer

I answered that no, I would be unlikely to find myself (knowingly) giggling and gossiping about the neighbors with a person whose goal in life was the sustenance and nurturing of violent conflict for profit.

But life, as always, is more complicated than self righteous stands. The movement of goods coupled with corporate diversification means that often times the arms trade is fed by legitimate consumerism and vice versa. Both Rolls Royce and BAE systems for example manufacture civil products used on a day to day basis while also being the largest arms manufacturers in Britain.

Pensions, investments made on your behalf by your bank and even money donated to charity can find itself weaving in and out of transactions distributing weapons to conflict areas.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, world military spending in 2006 was $1.158 trillion with one quarter of that being traded on the black market.

People seem more aware and critical of how their bananas are making it into their cereal these days. I think it's still quite difficult to know exactly where your jacket potato has been and if it's affected anyone detrimentally on its way over to you but there are some websites and publications out there that seem to be making headway.

For those who want to find out more, below are some interesting websites to visit:

Campaign Against Arms Trade
Ethical Consumer
Control Arms


  1. Hahahahahaha!! I think about the deadliest thing he's ever dealt out would perhaps be a double shot of something?

  2. haha what are you saying? that I have boring friends?