By Paul Thetriger
After the news announcing the jailing of Harry Shilling, a gun-smuggler who worked without official licence, Terminal Context can report that companies providing the largest illegal or grey market arms deals are not only unpunished, but capable of walking the corridors of power, lobbying our MPs and Prime Minister and even have their support when London hosts events to promote them.
Yes, Britain’s most notorious gun smugglers, the UK arms trade, have not been jailed and have in fact been encouraged to keep selling. These are the same companies that were selling to the Mubarak government as the UK was supporting the so called ‘Arab Spring’ uprising. Supporting meaning selling weapons to both sides if possible because that’s the best way to make money and sod any innocent life that gets in the way.
It also follows revelations of dodgy arms deals with human rights averse Saudi Arabia, who definitely don’t use the weapons for anything bad.
Never mind that ISIS (the so-called Islamic state, so called because they so called themselves that, but we have to say so-called to call that legitimacy in question. Like so-called Palestine, or so-called Scottish Independence, I suppose…) is currently rocking around in military vehicles provided by Western arms companies to help prop up Iraq after we invaded it, turned it into a civil war and then rubbed our hands and declared the job done. Never mind they carry Western provided guns and explosives too.
Yes, the message is clear. If you try to sell a small amount of weapons on the black market, you are a criminal and deserve to be punished. If you try to sell an awful lot of guns to an oppressive regime, even at a time of war against their own population, you are a hero of innovation, business and industry and should be allowed to shake hands with the Prime Minister who will smile at you and thank you for the good you are doing.
So, while the UK’s biggest unlicensed individual gun smuggler gets 35 years in prison, Britain’s actual biggest gun smugglers, their arms businesses and government, get off completely free.
All of us here at Terminal Context cannot help but get the feeling something is wrong in this world.