For the life of me, I can’t get my head round the arms industry.
Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi) is a Defence and Security Equipment Exhibition that is held every two years in London. How delightful! An arms fair. A boy’s playground quietly supported by the government but impossible to regulate given the sheer volume of visitors. And our dear inclusive government invites delegates from countries with abysmal human rights records to come and shop for weapons at the fair. That’s comforting isn’t it.
Well this year’s conference started today and goes on for three days. Three action-packed, exciting and, ahem, explosive days of messing around with great big Phwoar! boyz toys. Each exhibit designed to kill. Not a single namby-pamby human rights voice in sight. Nice. Just one great big titillating weapons fest in which the men of the industry gets to market their ware and strut their might. I wonder if there will be any women there. If there are, I bet they’ll be of the semi-naked variety coming in straight from last week’s car show. Picture it boys, a gorgeous blonde seducing a Kalashnikov or a sultry brunette strewn across the front of a weapon of mass destruction with hand grenades strapped to her thighs. Boys toys are just not the same without a lovely lady around to display the toy in its best light.
Of course it’s not all about weapons and brawn. It’s an intelligent fair with lots of sophisticated spyware and communications technology on promotion. All of which is designed to protect us so they sell tell us. Well what’s designed to protect us is usually designed to kill someone else and no matter how much those slick reps try to present their services and market their goods as a normal, everyday business, a gun is a gun is a gun. And a bomb is a bomb is a bomb. And a victim of the arms trade is too dead to be anything.
In their own words . . .
DSEi provides face to face opportunities to share ideas, discuss industry developments, conduct business and network for future growth.
Future growth? Developments? Sigh. Looks like we’re not going to find that world peace anytime soon. These guys depend on conflict and thrive off wars.
Yep, it’s bizarre but completely indicative of the world we live in that military delegates and people from the international defence community regularly get together to swap ideas and trade weapons that will be used against their own nations and their own brethren. I guess sipping champagne, patting backs and doing business with representatives of any old despotic regime, not knowing or caring where the weapons are going to hit is nothing new.