Outrage as council charity sponsors arms fair

People make glasgow

​World's fifth largest arms fair is sponsored by a council-run charity 

9th May 2018 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

One of Glasgow City Council’s arms-length charities has been slammed for sponsoring an arms fair.

Glasgow Life, a registered charity which runs the council’s culture and leisure services, has been instrumental in encouraging the Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) fair coming to the city’s SEC in June.

People Make Glasgow, which manages and promotes leisure and culture services for the council, is one of the event’s sponsors along with several arms firms.

More than 1,000 people from 40 nations will attend the event which is billed as “the underwater defence and security community’s most relevant exhibition and conference.”

Speakers will include  Moises DelToro, commander of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center of the US Navy. 

Arthur West, chair of Scottish CND, said: “It is frankly disgusting that an event which seems to be about developing weapons of war also looks to have gained the support of public agencies such as Glasgow Life.

“It really is time to move away from concentrating research and financial resources into weapons of war such as Trident and to start giving meaningful support to areas such as dealing with climate and building decent and dynamic public services.”

The UDT fair is the fifth largest arms firm in the world with arms manufacturers such as Northrop Gruman which makes drones, stealth bombers and nuclear missiles, listed as an exhibitor.

Glasgow City Council is led by the SNP which opposes the renewal of Trident and recently criticised the UK government for sanctioning military strikes in Syria.

Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “Council bodies should not be sponsoring an event that is a blatant propaganda vehicle for arms dealers. Councils are meant to work in the public interest, not endorse and legitimise events that promote weapons and war.”

However, Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at the Glasgow Convention Bureau, defended UDT and said: “Last year, Glasgow hosted more than 500 conferences, which brought £130 million to the local economy.

“In recent years, the UDT conference has been hosted in major cities including London, Oslo and Liverpool.

“The conference will bring more than 1,000 delegates to Glasgow with an estimated economic benefit of £1.2m for the city.”

10th May 2018 by Lok Yue

Two points: first there are nasty people out there who would like to do us harm. They would be thrilled if we ceased to be able to defend ourselves. Those who believe that turning our weapons into wind turbines will make us safer have a tenuous grip on reality. Secondly, BAE and babcock, to name two examples, are huge employers of scottish workers, mainly skilled workers. Has anybody asked them if they would like to lose their jobs?