Six more of our brave soldiers were killed in Afghanistan this week.
We figured someone would try cynically exploiting this to promote TOOTS’s activities. And then we got this email (the usual anonymous Hotmail kind - and yes, it really does start like this):
after another six young british troops have died from an IED and the risk of more is very high.would you like to to tell there familys why you are trying to stop testing on things that could save our troops lives.our boys and grils need all the help they can get.and for the sake of a two second bang that could save a life or leg.where do you get off trying to stop this! every bang you hear could be saving a life on the front line.these things need testing.wind your neck in and let these people do there jobs. how would all you RATS feel if you had kids out there.
Well actually some members of RATS do have kids serving in Afghanistan (Kevin Washington does, for a start). Do you have kids over there, Mister Whoever-you-are? No, thought not.
Now, the important thing:
There is not the slightest evidence that any work at Faldingworth “saves lives”.
The explosions are made principally by Ordnance Test Solutions. Take a look at OTS’s own website.
OTS are quite happy to admit on their site that they work for “the international defence industry”; that is, the international arms trade. Or effectively, anyone with a cheque book. The list of their activities is extensive. It includes “the full range of fragmenting munitions from grenades to complete missile systems”, “gas gun design and manufacture”, “electronic firing system manufacture”, testing of guns & gun components, quality-control firings of ammunition, etc etc. Do “munitions” save lives? Er, no. Munitions kill people.
So instead of “working for our government, and saving lives”, we could reasonably characterise OTS as “working for anyone who’ll pay them, and making stuff to kill people”. Not quite what we’re being told, is it?
We can now correct the email above, as follows: ”Every bang you hear could be helping to take another life on the front line, and making money for someone. This money needs making; let these people do their jobs and make it. We’re sure you’ll be happy to know that all those lives and limbs have contributed to getting somebody a new helicopter or swimming-pool”.
We’ve been fed this story about “saving lives” for five years. Nothing whatsoever backs it up. A con-man could use exactly the same story and nobody would know the difference. We are asked to take the story on trust; and we are asked this by a man shown to be capable of very dubious threats, and whose company has been shown to be capable of lying.
Yes, our boys and girls need “all the help they can get”. What they don’t need is to have their deaths used in a cynical PR campaign designed to swell someone’s bank-balance.