In February 2021 it was announced that Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria plan to open a Barrow-in-Furness campus, which ‘will work closely with key businesses, including BAE Systems’. A joint press release was issued, including a quote from Janet Garner, Head of HR, Skills and Academy Principal at BAE Systems Submarine, who says that “The Barrow Learning Quarter will have a transformational impact on our region and will help to provide some of the emerging specific skills required of our future workforce.” Although we support initiatives to increase Higher Education provision in under-served communities, and generally welcome collaboration between universities, businesses and local communities, the prospect of our universities working closely with BAE Systems is deeply troubling. As the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) makes very clear, the role of BAE Systems as a supplier of arms to belligerent forces is direct and profound. BAE Systems is believed to have sold £15 billion worth of warplanes, weapons and services to Saudi Arabia in the first five years of the conflict with Yemen. Only 5% of BAE’s sales are for non-military purposes.
Radiation Free Lakeland 30th March 2021 read more »
THAT nuclear weapons are now illegal may well have passed some Scots by. After all, mainstream media didn’t exactly make a fuss about it. Yet there has been opposition to the nuclear weapons based in the Clyde for the half a century or so they have menacingly been situated there. “Ordinary” Scots, civil society, the STUC, Scotland’s churches, the Scottish Parliament and many of Scotland’s MPs have spoken out, demonstrated and campaigned against them both because of the existential risks they represent and the conviction that the funds invested in them could be better used to build back better and fairer from the pandemic. From NatWest’s recently-released annual report it is clear that the outstanding loans to these 11 companies are just a drop in the ocean and terminating them now is not likely to make a significant difference to NatWest’s bottom line. Now there’s a chance for change. NatWest Group is updating its investment policies. That’s why the Church of Scotland, numerous Scottish trade union councils and dozens of other civil society organisations joined a call to NatWest Group to make sure no companies involved in any nuclear weapon programmes can borrow money.
Herald 30th March 2021 read more »