UK government pushing sale of air defense system to Tanzania, one of world's poorest countries and proud owner of a grand total of 8 (eight) military aircraft
December 19, 2001 8:22 AM   Subscribe

UK government pushing sale of air defense system to Tanzania, one of world's poorest countries and proud owner of a grand total of 8 (eight) military aircraft This just reeks of Western hypocrisy: despite Labour's commitment to development goals and an ethical foreign policy, despite the World Bank's highly critical stance, despite a per capita income of £170 a year, despite a system that could be used for civilian air control at one fourth of the cost, despite all this and more, the jobs of 250 Brits must take precedence.
posted by magullo (5 comments total)
While I agree with the outrage, I should point out that "the government" is apparently split, with Gordon Brown and Clare Short (Cash and Development, respectively) apparently against it and Blair for (as it says in the article, but not in your rather one-sided summary).
posted by andrew cooke at 9:01 AM on December 19, 2001

Well god damn, why doesn't the UK just reconquer the whole fucking country and set up whatever air traffic control system it likes? It's not like the government of Tanzania deserves any responsibility for making it's own decisions. They're Africans for crying out loud...
posted by techgnollogic at 9:31 AM on December 19, 2001

Surely everyone realizes that the US is the only nation in the world that can act as a moral agent, and therefore the only nation that can do anything wrong, or be blamed for it.

This story, therefore, is impossible. It does not exist, and we are all merely deluded.
posted by aramaic at 9:39 AM on December 19, 2001

techgnollogic - while I'd like to agree with you, given that Tanzania is at position 82 on the Corruption Perceptions Index (check out the cartoon), what is the actual likelihood that BAe's proposal was evaluated purely on its technical merits? BAe is not Britain's most ethical companies, it really isn't.
posted by pascal at 11:47 AM on December 19, 2001

aparently the kit is already built, the export licence having been previously granted. the sale will go ahead. so the fact that this got into the press is quite interesting.
this is a good example of what is called 'joined up government'.
the ethical foreign policy of new labour has resulted in more export licences being granted than under the tories, as has been said before, the only way they could be 'less ethical, would be if the foreign secretary went out to < insert name of deprived country here> and shot people himself'.
I would imagine that the export credit guarantee department (ECGD) had something to do with this sale, condemned by the world bank, who have in the past supported this kind of 'development'.
'At present, ECGD's remit brings it into head-on conflict with activities in other government departments - for example, Gordon Brown's much praised debt initiative. '

so new labour fail, yet again, to live up to their promises. maybe it's time for another slow hand clap of justice.
posted by asok at 7:16 AM on December 20, 2001

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