The UK is a weaponry ‘Amazon’ for Ukraine and a Supermarket Sweep for dictators.

Ben Wallace in Moscow
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UK defence secretary Ben Wallace has railed against the idea that the UK is an Amazon shopping service for weaponry. His comments were aimed at Ukraine, whose officials he said once confronted him with a shopping list of arms.

But there’s a problem with his claim that the UK isn’t simply Amazon for arms and ammunition. It’s that the UK sort of … is Amazon for arms and ammunition.

Even a brief investigation shows that the UK would sell lethal military hardware to anyone, including your nan if she had the money. This includes people with appalling human rights records, and I don’t mean your nan there. In fact, customers include nations on UK human rights watchlists and states which are long-term rivals.

Ukraine summit

Wallace was speaking ahead of a G7 summit to discuss Ukraine joining NATO. He told reporters he wanted to see more gratitude from Ukraine for British support. He also said he had told Ukraine before that their demands for arms in their war with Russia must be carefully framed:

You know, my counsel to the Ukrainians is sometimes, ‘Look, you are persuading countries to give up their own stocks and yes, your war is a noble war and we see it as you waging a war not just for yourselves but for our freedoms’.

And he said of British contributions to the war effort:

We are not Amazon… I told them that last year, when I drove 11 hours to be given a list

Read on...

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Arms emporium

One can spend all day debating the Ukrainian approach to lobbying for support. But one thing is clear: if Ben Wallace doesn’t want the UK to be treated like arms and ammunition Amazon, it could try being be less like Amazon.

UK military support for Ukraine has been belligerent from the start of the war. The Canary has reported on the dangers and risks inherent to the government’s commitment to arming Ukraine. In fact, we only recently reported on arms giant BAE System’s nefarious plans to turn post-war Ukraine into an arsenal.

Then, we must consider that arms licences to Saudi Arabia and Israel since 2015, for example, come to £8.2bn and £472m respectively. This is despite serious human rights concerns about both countries. Interestingly, UK governments have also approved £103m in arms sales to Russia and £304m to China since 2008. This is despite the latter two being long-term power rivals of the UK and its allies.

And we note that all the countries mentioned here (and many others the UK has licenced arms to) feature on the government’s own human rights priority list. You can use Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s (CAAT) export data tracker to compare.

So, Wallace might not like the UK being seen as a sort of weaponry Amazon by Ukrainian leaders, but in reality, that’s what it is. This country is nothing more than a Supermarket Sweep for dictators, albeit with Ben Wallace rather than Dale Winton urging eager shoppers around dank aisles of exploding death.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/UK Government, cropped to 1910 x 1000, licenced under CC BY 2.0.

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  • Show Comments
    1. A special “The Price is RIGHT!” show MIGHT get through to the dazed public just HOW MUCH of our money is is being blown up rather than used in our schools, hospitals, and welfare benefits or OUR poorest.

      Doubled spending on a school in a deprived area, or 5 ‘storm shadows’ fired at civilian Russian villages for NATO PR?

      It’s OBVIOUS where “Parliament’s” priorities lie, meaning the one-Party/two-wings dictatorship that controls the UK currently.

      And WE are not it.

    2. Poor old Zelensky.
      He just doesn’t get it – Why he should be REALLY REALLY grateful to UK for impoverishing its own people and public services to pour money and arms into his coffers.
      Remember – Ukraine is endemically corrupt – Has been for years – And that hasn’t changed.
      Pouring UK public funds down the Ukrainian black hole of corruption has never been a good idea ……. No matter how REALLY grateful Zelensky is.

      Zelensky seems only just to have realised that his country has been used as a ‘patsy’ in America’s proxy war with Russia.
      The hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians he has sent to their deaths were simply considered ‘expendable’ by NATO. Zelensky may by now have realised that NATO considers himself expendable.

      He’d better be watching his back.

    3. Whatever you think of Ukraine and it’s corruption, let’s be clear, Russia invaded Ukraine! We have a moral duty to support and arm Ukraine. Whatever it takes, Russia must not succeed.

      1. HEY, Our local fash troll turned up to use the word “moral”. We should all take note.

        And when we unpack it, we see he says “throw more weapons so more of them will be killed” – Gandhi himself would have swooned at your morality. Of course, it’s probably better we don’t hear YOUR opinions on Gandhiji, eh?

        And then what else do we discover? Oh yes, racism towards Russians, blow me down with a smelly rotten kipper, I didn’t see THAT coming!

        Well, you congenital moron, Russia IS going to “win”, and handily. So all you are doing is removing books from British schoolchildrens desks and libraries, so the UK MIC can fire cruise missiles at defenceless civilian villages and bridges at multiple £100,000s a pop.

        What? “Books”? Ah jeez, you remember, those paper things you never voluntarily opened in your life.

        Best result would have been Minsk implemented. (Don’t worry, over your head).
        Second best would have been the Apr22 diplomatic negotiations succeeding – skuppered by the sack of yellow custard promising wunderwaffen to prolong the conlict.
        And where we are now, the third best option is Russia taking the entire east and Black Sea coast, and denazifying, demilitarising the rest. No-one is going to pay “Ukraine’s” debts, so that “state” is kaput. Likely Poland will become bigger, and more fool them.

        But I do tell you what – why don’t you round up all of your fellow shaven headed loons, and go “help”
        Ukraine on the FRONT LINES.

        Unlike those brave UK souls and soldiers who went to help the KURDS, you’ll be fine to come back and receive free NHS care to extract Russian schrapnel without being sent to jail.

      2. Indeed. Let’s support the Ukrainian police when they are rounding up deeply reluctant Ukrainian men to die on the Ukrainian battlefield in a war that seems lost already. Let’s support the US government in its decision to send cluster bombs to maim and kill Ukrainian children for many years to come. Whatever it takes, however many Ukrainian children, women and men must die, we here in the UK far removed from Ukraine must insist that Ukraine be sacrificed in our war against Russia.

    4. USA has been spoiling for a war with Russia for years.
      USA and UK have been arming Ukraine for years – setting them up for a war with Russia as USA’s proxy.
      Russia was deliberately and calculatedly provoked by the attacks on the Russian speaking regions of Ukraine and by the eastward advance of NATO – Contrary to assurances given to Russia.
      NATO is the military arm of American foreign policy in Europe.
      The openly-Nazi Azov battalions were used to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Ukraine in 2014 and the attacks on the Donbass region started then.
      So the war has been going on at least 8 years and was started by Ukraine.
      Russia’s special military operation was completely justified.
      Despite wall-to-wall propaganda to the contrary, Zelensky is leading his armies to slaughter in support of USA’s hegemony.

    5. Couldn’t have said it better myself jonno-2 they brain dead the masses fed BBC itv media news on Ukraine ouch who fed America in the 60s when America had a disastrous wheat harvest Russia from Ukrainian fields

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