Conflict of interest” British House of Lords’ members and Trident nuclear programme

According to the House of Lords register of interests, around 15% of sitting members are directors of, or shareholders in, companies that are either directly contracted to the Trident programme or invest in it.

Specifically Barclays and HSBC. A report by Don’t Bank on the Bomb details the involvement of major financial institutions in the western nuclear weapons industry.

The truth about Trident: the shocking fact that would turn us all against paying for nukes, The Canary, JULY 18TH, 2016  STEVE TOPPLE As parliament debates the renewal of Trident, the UK’s “nuclear deterrent” – the arguments surrounding the controversial weapons system rage as fiercely as ever. But there’s one aspect which has been repeatedly overlooked. UK banks not only finance our nuclear deterrent, but also our supposed “enemy” Russia’s as well, and senior politicians enjoy a direct financial profit through keeping Trident.

The name Trident refers to the nuclear missiles that are carried on four Vanguard-Class submarines. Based out of Faslane, on the Clyde in Scotland, at any one time, there is one submarine on active patrol, another in service, another preparing to patrol and a final one on exercise.

Each submarine can carry 16 Trident missiles (but since 2010 this has been reduced to eight), and each missile can hold 40 warheads.

The cost of replacing the Trident system with “Successor” (which is what the parliamentary debate on Monday is about) is disputed. The official Ministry of Defence (MoD) line is £41 bn per submarine. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) says the true cost is around £205 bn for all four, when you included the cost of their upkeep.

The mainstream arguments for and against Trident are fairly clear cut………

However, there are two arguments that both sides fail to acknowledge – maybe because if they did, it would bring the whole military industry into question. The role of multinational banks and senior UK politicians.

All aboard the Westminster gravy train

The main companies involved in Trident are US multinational Lockheed Martin (who produce the missiles), BAE Systems, Babcock & Wilcox and Rolls-Royce – who are involved in the Successor programme – and also names like BechtelHoneywellRaytheon and Serco who are contracted or subcontracted in relation to the current Trident system.

According to the House of Lords register of interests, around 15% of sitting members are directors of, or shareholders in, companies that are either directly contracted to the Trident programme or invest in it.

Prominent names include Lord Hollick, a Labour Peer who is a director of Honeywell. Lord (William) Hague, chair of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). RUSI, who are supposedly impartial US and UK government defence advisors, are sponsored by Babcock, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Rolls-Royce.

But one of the most telling individuals is Labour’s Lord Hutton, defence secretary under Gordon Brown. He is an adviser to Bechtel, consultant for Lockheed Martin and chair of the Nuclear Industries Association (NIA). The revolving door (the phrase used to describe MP’s who, once finished in parliament, go into jobs related to their previous role) has never spun so quickly.

It may be no wonder then, that the majority of parliament (excluding the SNP and the Green party) are supportive of renewing Trident.

With reference to the role of multinational financial institutions, all the companies listed above, aside from being involved in Trident, share one other common denominator. They are all financed, or owned, by UK banks. Specifically Barclays and HSBC. A report by Don’t Bank on the Bomb details the involvement of major financial institutions in the western nuclear weapons industry. http://www.thecanary.co/2016/07/18/truth-trident-shocking-fact-turn-us-paying-nukes/

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