The arms fair and the media

Originally published on the Pluto Press blog. It has now been six days since the main day of action called by the Stop the Arms Fair coalition against DSEi –the world’s largest arms fair- held in the Excel Centre in East London. The dust will always take a little while to settle after big campaigning days such as Tuesday, but … Continue reading

The public face of international gun-running

In March this year, as in 2001, Lockheed Martin UK, a subsidiary of the world’s largest arms manufacturer, will be helping to run the census. Their specific role, contractually valued at £150 million, will be “delivering data capture and processing capability” for the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This seems innocent enough, but whilst the … Continue reading

Confessions of a Domestic Extremist

The ink was barely dry on my Boar comment piece two weeks ago when the story of Britain’s ‘domestic extremists’ broke in the press. My article had principally been about protest and the discourse of protest. The thrust of the argument was basically that language and images are manipulated by both policy makers and the … Continue reading

Discursive Ambiguity: A Critical Evaluation of the Discourse Surrounding the Arms Trade

Introduction The discourse surrounding the arms trade is an area that remains under-theorised. Perhaps this is because it relates more to concepts of legitimacy than to the study of security –which naturally tends to focus on more the arms industry’s security implications. Equally, despite its attempts to appear and be treated like any other commercial … Continue reading

But Words Will Never Hurt Me

When dictatorial thugs oppress their people in far-flung parts of the world, our government’s response is pretty dependable. Nine times out of ten we will ignore it. For the sake of a beleaguered minority who still read the papers and/or give a shit about torture, corruption, and human rights, a harshly worded statement of condemnation … Continue reading

Lessons Written in the Snow

This winter’s early and persistent ice and snowfall have played havoc across Britain. Seasonal travellers have undoubtedly felt the brunt of it: grounded as they were at airports; hopelessly stationary on the railways. In my home in west Dorset a number of schools were also shut, with even the most perserverant forced to close a … Continue reading