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WTF were you thinking Air New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, February 9th, 2021 - 57 comments
Categories: greens, human rights, International, war - Tags:

There is a particularly brutal war happening in Yemen in the Middle East.  Yemen is next door to Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Government has taken a keen interest in doing what it can to affect the result of the war.

The Guardian has this recent description of the war:

The war has killed more than 100,000 people, destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, subjected large swathes of the population to famine and generated the worst cholera outbreak since modern records began. All parties to the war have likely committed violations of international law.

In December 2018 the UN supported a ceasefire so that the damage to local people could be minimised:

A UK-drafted resolution supporting the ceasefire, agreed in Stockholm, was adopted on Friday afternoon, the first UN resolution on Yemen in more than three years.

The news was welcomed by aid agencies. “Today, at last, the council has taken a much needed step to respond to the urgency of the humanitarian disaster as well as the international community’s growing outrage and desire to put an end to the brutal war in Yemen,” said Frank McManus, Yemen country director for the International Rescue Committee.

“With more than 20 million Yemenis facing severe hunger, and 10 million on the brink of famine, it is imperative the agreements reached in Sweden are implemented effective immediately, and all parties to the conflict commit to further talks in January.”

In 2019 the English Court of Appeal castigated the UK Government for providing support to the Saudi Government.  Again from the Guardian:

British arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been ruled unlawful by the court of appeal in a critical judgment that also accused ministers of ignoring whether airstrikes that killed civilians in Yemen broke humanitarian law.

Three judges said that a decision made in secret in 2016 had led them to decide that Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox and other key ministers had illegally signed off on arms exports without properly assessing the risk to civilians.

Sir Terence Etherton, the master of the rolls, said on Tuesday that ministers had “made no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so”.

As a result, the court said that the UK export licensing process was “wrong in law in one significant respect” and ordered Fox, the international trade secretary, to hold an immediate review of at least £4.7bn worth of arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which brought the case against Fox, welcomed the verdict that continuing to license military equipment for export to the Gulf state was unlawful.

Thousands of civilians have been killed since the civil war in Yemen began in March 2015 with indiscriminate bombing by a Saudi-led coalition that is supplied by the west and accused of being responsible for about two-thirds of the 11,700 killed in direct attacks.

What should the Western World do?  How about demilitarise the responses so that less people die and work out how to provide aid and get elections happening again?

And what it should not be doing is assisting the Saudi Navy to make things worse.

Which is why Air New Zealand’s decision to service Saudi Navy engines is such a jaw dropper.

From Benedict Collins at One News:

A 1 NEWS investigation has revealed that Air New Zealand’s business unit, Gas Turbines, which specialises in servicing military marine engines and turbines, has been supporting the Saudi Navy.

The Saudi Navy has been blockading Yemen – stopping food and medicine getting through to the country.

The United Nations believes five million civilians in Yemen are “one step away” from famine.

But it appears Air New Zealand has put an immediate stop to the work and is promising it won’t happen again.

For nearly eight weeks Air New Zealand refused to answer 1 NEWS’ questions about its activities in Saudi Arabia.

First it ignored media queries then claimed it would never discuss its clients.

It has also ignored requests for interviews.

Last week it finally issued a short statement saying Air New Zealand Gas Turbines had been carrying out work for the Saudi Navy through a third party contract.

“It is through a third party contract that work has recently been carried out on two engines and one power turbine module from vessels belonging to the Royal Saudi Navy.

“The Gas Turbines business has not contracted directly with the Royal Saudi Navy and will not be carrying out any further work of this nature.”

Air New Zealand attributed the work for the Saudi Navy to a lack of “oversight”.

“The Gas Turbines business is reviewing its contracting processes to ensure it has improved oversight of future work assigned through third party arrangements,” an unnamed spokesperson said.

I am aware that post Covid things are difficult at Air New Zealand.  But providing assistance to a regime intent on making the plight of an impoverished nation even worse should not be something that it even considers.

I mean there were choices.  Air New Zealand could decide to not accept the contract.  Or it could decide to accept the contract and assist a regime which is subjecting millions of people to aerial attack and a naval blockade which coincidentally has a really bad reputation for its treatment of women and homosexuals.

Why it chose the latter needs to be subject to Government consideration.  It is a State controlled company.

The Green Party ‘s Golriz Ghahraman has called for an investigation.  From the Green’s website:

The Green Party strongly condemns the revelation that Air New Zealand may have provided assistance and maintenance to Saudi Arabian vessels involved in committing atrocities in Yemen.

“My thoughts go to the Yemeni community who continue to suffer one of the worst atrocities in human history, including mass starvation and violence causing hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, leaving millions displaced”, Green Party spokesperson on Human Rights Golriz Ghahraman said today.

“New Zealanders will be heartbroken to find our national carrier may have helped commit these mass crimes for financial gain.

“We welcome Air New Zealand’s move to cease all support for the Saudi military after the matter came to light, and to apply this lesson to all future third party contracts.

“However, we as a nation have an absolute legal and moral duty to investigate, and hold to account anyone in Air New Zealand’s leadership who may be found to have knowingly provided support and assistance to the atrocities committed in Yemen. If those in Air New Zealand HQ were not aware of what was going on, it needs to be established how that was allowed to happen.

I hope that the Government reviews this urgently and asks why Air New Zealand did not even advise if of what it was doing.  Clearly the Government Air New Zealand relations need to be reviewed.  I agree with Golriz that this needs to be investigated further.

57 comments on “WTF were you thinking Air New Zealand? ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Air New Zealand's "management" severely embarrassed Helen Clark when it was revealed that they had been leasing planes to secretly, illegally, transport Australian troops in Iraq. A few years later, in March 2011, the Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe went on the Holmes show on TVNZ and with a straight face assured viewers that Tokyo was absolutely safe, that there was absolutely no danger of any danger of nuclear contamination following the Fukushima catastrophe. It was later revealed that, as Fyfe was mouthing his empty words, the Japanese government was contemplating the evacuation of Tokyo.

    From the infamous National Party crony Morrie Davis in 1979, to the infamous National Party cronies Fyfe, Luxon, and Foran, the orchestrated lying continues.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Yemen is a classic example of a nasty, vicious proxy war between two regional powers – in this case Saudi and Iran.

    If there was ever an unfortunate position to be in, it has to be caught in the middle between a brutal Saudi nihilism and an opportunistic Iranian cynicism.

  3. Morrissey 3

    A "proxy" war is it? If you bothered to actually have a serious look at it, you might notice that Saudi Arabia, backed and armed by the United States and Great Britain, is blockading, bombing and killing Yemenis.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      All true. And who is backing the Houthi rebels do you think?

      And how long would have this nasty war have lasted without that support?

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        More to the point: who is arming and diplomatically supporting the Saudi aggressors?

        • RedLogix

          The roots of this war pre-date the modern world by many centuries.

          My top two contenders for 'authoritarian dictatorships' must include the CCP and the House of Saud. Both are rich and powerful, but the Saudi's have a certain psychopathic edge driven by a mix of Wahabi zealotry and a geographic strategic weakness. That they control both the centres of Haj, and a great deal of oil supply for Europe and Asia only adds to their volatility.

          The Iranians by comparison are almost sane, but are ambitiously seeking to re-establish their old dreams of empire. For the moment they're too economically limited to achieve this overtly, but they do have the capacity to fund mischief. Providing support to the Houthi rebel faction is from the geographic perspective of the Saudis – pretty much the equivalent of say the CCP funding a rebel independence movement in PNG or Fiji. A deliberate, cynical provocation that's not going to be ignored.

          In my book there really is no 'more to the point'. The real question is that the US no longer has a battle group patrolling the Persian Gulf – they no longer need ME oil and are not interested in imposing stability in the region any more. The process of their withdrawal is far from complete, but the trend is in one direction only.

          History informs us that most of the big wars and conflicts of empire have taken place in three major regions, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Since the end of WW2 the US security hegemony has taken conflict between the regional powers off the table. That era has just ended – and the consequence will be more conflict in these regions. Yemen may be just a warm up.

          The armaments industry is an innately ambiguous business. If you're selling to the good guys then everyone gets to live with their conscience. If not then it's finger pointing and unhappy accusations all round. Always has been like this – and NZ is only going to have to face more ugly choices like this one.

          • Morrissey

            The "good guys"? Are you serious?

            • RedLogix

              Go back and read my comment above again – this time more carefully.

              • Morrissey

                I read your comment very closely. You claimed that the US has been "imposing stability in the region."

                • RedLogix

                  Yes. The word 'imposing' implies the use of muscular military force, and over prior decades they have not held back from doing this. And we all understand the obvious consequences.

                  But the less obvious consequence is that at the same time the US presence took conflict between the regional and local players off the table. The idea that if the US had never intervened in the ME that somehow the alternative was going to be peace and light is not supported by the history of the region. It has been one of the more unstable parts of the world since Adam.

                  So yes the Yanks are going home. You can take pleasure in this if you want – Yemen being but one example of what is likely to happen in their absence.

                  • Morrissey

                    You're saying, with a straight face, that the United States imposes "stability" in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and Yemen.

                    That's funny, in an awful kind of way.

  4. I wonder if the 'great white hope' of the National Party (Christopher Luxon) was the CEO who signed off on dealings with Saudi Arabia.

    Evangelical ethics anyone?

    • Phil 4.1

      who signed off on dealings with Saudi Arabia.

      The extent of the arrangement was that an Air New Zealand sub-contractor worked on three engines. "It is through a third party contract that work has recently been carried out on two engines and one power turbine module"

      Operational decisions at that level that would never get anywhere near the desk of the CEO. It's still a super-shitty thing to be involved in, but the heads that should (correctly) roll for this are far lower in the organisation than the executive team.

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        So he gets all that money, but has no responsibility, even for being involved in the chain of a massive war crime.

        • Tricledrown

          A massive war crime 2 engine repairs by a sub contractor should we trade with the US or UK for supplying arms.

          Over the top gotcha politics key board warriors seem to think their opinion is more important than all others.

          • Morrissey

            ??? Sorry, but your message is a little garbled. Could you try to explain yourself more clearly please.

        • Phil

          So he gets all that money, but has no responsibility,

          Get off it, Morris. Delegated Authority is a real thing in the government- and corporate-world.

          The CEO, Greg Foran, is not operationally responsible for signing off individual contracts for work. But he is now accountable for how Air NZ responds to these serious accusations.

          • Morrissey

            I find it very hard to believe that Mr Foran, who is paid a massive salary ostensibly to administer Air New Zealand, was unaware that its technical support crew were involved in working for one of the most brutal regimes in history.

            Likewise, I found it hard to believe that Mr Fyfe was unaware of Air New Zealand's contracting to illegally and secretly transport Australian troops around Iraq.

            • Foreign waka

              Agree with your assertion.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Could be taking their lead from Dr Mapp, or maybe Allan Bond?

              Series Two: The Games. Episode 5: Enquiry

              BARRISTER: I think we’d better work out exactly what you’re going to say.

              JOHN: It very much depends on what I am asked, doesn’t it?

              BARRISTER: I want you to listen very carefully. If you’re asked a question about what happened on a particular occasion and you don’t want to answer, you say ‘I don’t recall’.

              JOHN: I don’t recall.

              BARRISTER: Yes. And if you’re asked if some event happened, you say ‘Not that I recall’.

              JOHN: Not that I recall.

              BARRISTER: That’s right. If you’re asked whether something happened and it has been established that it did happen, you say ‘Not in my presence’.

              JOHN: Not in my presence.

              BARRISTER: That’s right. If you’re asked about any detail about anything, it means they think they’ve got you. You clam up, you say ‘Not to my knowledge’.

              JOHN: Not to my knowledge.

              BARRISTER: That’s right. And if you think you’re about to reveal something, anything, you stop immediately, you turn to the judge and you say ‘Can I have a glass of water?’

              JOHN: Can I have a glass of water?

              BARRISTER: That’s right.

              JOHN: God, it’s no wonder the court system’s going so well is it?

            • Phil

              I find it very hard to believe

              Before Covid, Air New Zealand's operating revenue was just a little short of six billion dollars. Your belief that a CEO in that situation would know the details of a $3m contract (itself apparently via a 3rd-party sub contractor) is, to put it bluntly, fucking ridiculous.

              To put it in context, $3m is 0.05% of Air New Zealand's revenue. It's a bit like saying if your income was $50,000 per year, you know exactly how your kid is spending $25 of their pocket money.

              • McFlock

                At some point in the AirNZ corporate structure, the disproportionate blowback from that particular $3mil was either unforeseen or it was a calculated risk.

                The former suggests a competence issue and the latter suggests an integrity issue.

              • Foreign waka

                Phil I would certainly monitor whether the kids spend any of the money on cigarettes or alcohol, drugs etc… so yes a Saudi contract would be something that catches attention.

              • Morrissey

                It’s a bit like saying if your income was $50,000 per year, you [sic] know exactly how your kid is [sic] spending $25 of their [sic] pocket money.

                I think I'd certainly know if he or she were working for a bloodthirsty murderer.

            • Tricledrown

              Greg Foran wasn't in charge when the contract was taken on.As for his wage it's a fraction of what he got at Walmart ,to have someone of his experience and quality as CEO at a bargain basement price is amazing.

              Christopher Luxon who seemed to have the Key memory loss syndrome was the CEO.

              • Morrissey

                ….what he got at Walmart

                He “worked”—is that the right word for what these people are up to?— at the notoriously cruel and exploitative Walmart. That explains a great deal.

                … to have someone of his experience and quality as CEO at a bargain basement price is amazing.

                Yes, he's obviously working really hard and keeping right on top of all the operational aspects of the business. He's a top quality CEO, right up there with such intellectual giants as Rob Fyfe and Christopher Luxon.

                • Tricledrown

                  Morrissey Foran changed the culture at Walmart stopped Zero hrs contracts increased wages to decent levels and increased profits .

                  Just repeating what happened in the past prior to Foran being CEO at Walmart is not the Truth or fair its defamatory

            • ken


              Perhaps we need an in depth study into what CEOs actually do for all that money.

              You'd think that the least they could do is school themselves up on what contracts they are working on.

              I notice that Luxon trotted out the old "no recollection" chestnut.

              One can infer from that answer that he had full knowledge.

      • McFlock 4.1.2

        Rereading the post, the work was carried out by an AirNZ unit. The third party was an intermediary between the Saudi govt and the AirNZ unit.

        Let's say that even though they offer an "end to end" removal, maintenance, and installation service, the engines just turned up for service at the Auckland depot. Let's say the "third party" was a front company registered out of Malta, and engine deliveries were to and from Malta.

        What due diligence does Air New zealand do to ensure it's not breaking embargoes imposed by the USA? Because if the USA decided that AirNZ was supporting someone it didn't like, AirNZ could lose access to US airports. Which would be a Very Bad Thing.

        Say ISIS or Iran captured some turbines off the Iraqis, and sold them to Cuba to upgrade Cuban patrol boats. Cuba does the front company thing, Air NZ gets pinged by the yanks, and it hits the fiscal bottom line as well as the ethical bottom line.

        So it seems to me that AirNZ did due diligence and confirmed that their client was someone committing war crimes (potentially with the very engines AirNZ was servicing) but discriminates between what criminals it supports, or that this has opened a can of worms where AirNZ will help anyone's criminal organisation as long as a slight layer of corporate make-up was used to "conceal" the actual customer. Is it “drug runners, terrorists, war criminals, line up: as long as there's a "third party" intermediary, NZ will supply your engineering support needs”???

        • Foreign waka

          Lets just say a company with billions of turnover has a charta that governs behavior in that company, especially since its majority share holder is the government of NZ or by extension the public. Lets just say…

    • Kiwijoker 4.2

      He has no recollection!

  5. Gabby 5

    I wonder if anyone will have to admit knowing who the third party represented.

  6. Molly 6

    Reading this article reminded me of a documentary about striking Rolls Royce workers, who sabotaged plans to work on engines for Pinochet's regime.

    (Link to Guardian article here, documentary most likely online somewhere, since I watched it there and not on the television).

    …Six months after the bloody coup of 11 September 1973, which began the brutal 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, these four Scotsmen – Bob Fulton, Robert Somerville, John Keenan, Stuart Barrie – downed tools and refused to service and repair engines for the Chilean air force’s Hawker Hunter planes. “Down tools?” says Bob, a former engine inspector and the instigator of the boycott. “We hadnae time to pick ’em up!”

    Bob is 95 now, a gentle man with expansive hand gestures who sometimes holds on to the sides of the table while he talks, as if he’s planning to drive it away. He can still remember vividly the events of that March day in 1974: “I got to my desk in the morning and there was this compressor shaft up on the table ready for me to inspect. The first thing you do is check the card. Well, I turned the card round.” He acts out the scene, flipping a beermat over and staring disbelievingly at the underside. “And there it was: Chile.”

    “We had already condemned the Chilean junta,” adds Stuart, who is 74. John, the 78-year-old former assembly unit worker and member of the works committee, leans in to clarify. “The people being tortured and murdered, many of them were just like us: trade unionists. At our monthly meeting, Robert had made a motion condemning the actions in Chile. And then when Bob recognised the engines – well, you tell him!”

    Bob jabs a finger at me. “This is true,” he says, and I notice Felipe giving the fond smile of someone who has had that finger jabbed at him plenty of times. “I went to the foreman and said, ‘I cannae work on that.’ From there, I went to see Stuart, who was a shop steward, and told him there were bits and pieces of the Chilean engine possibly on the line already.” Stuart is chuckling: “I can hear him shouting, ‘There’s Chilean engines in here! The whole place is awash with ’em!’” Everyone falls about at his impersonation. “I would say you were somewhat volatile at times,” says Stuart.

    “I might’ve been,” replies Bob, in a voice softer than falling snow.

    “I told Bob, ‘Right. That’s it. We’ll black the fuckers.’” Blacking entailed attaching labels with the word “black” on them to each contested part, warning everyone in the plant to steer clear of them. The four engines – which had likely come from the Hawker Hunters involved in the attack on the presidential palace in Santiago – were eventually dumped outside in crates. Without protection from the elements, they were useless within a year.

    In theory, the men could have been sacked for their protest, but the strength of the unions made that unlikely. “The only reason we could do what we did was because we were organised,” explains John. “We took strike action for the NHS, the Shrewsbury pickets, you name it.”…

    Interesting though to do the Google search for Rolls Royce strikes and engines and see recent strike action to stop the transfer of engine maintenance to Singapore.

  7. 'An organised litany of lies' Justice Mahon. I waiting for the 'great prime minster to be' the honourable member for Botany to comment

    • Incognito 7.1

      He already has; please keep up.

      Be very careful with allegations as we don’t want you, or any other commenter for that matter, to put this site at risk, do we?

    • Treetop 7.2

      Try an "orchestrated litany of lies."

  8. mosa 8

    " we exercised poor judgement " is the official statement. In other words we got caught and knew damn well what and who we were doing business with. Human misery is just a distraction when you have the opportunity to make money. Is anyone really that surprised ? we joined up to the financial criminal fraternity years ago.

  9. Ad 9

    They were probably thinking about saving their engineering business. As it stands, AirNZ will be lucky to survive other than as about 5% of its previous size. With that go even more thousands of good jobs for which there is no NZ replacement.

    Ethics is great – fair enough don't support Saudi Arabia. Now watch Rolls Royce and the less-ethical Brits bring the jobs their way.

    • Foreign waka 9.1

      Well, saving the business ethics – so does the coffee shop in the tourist area down the road, they just don't have the backing of the government or Saudi contracts via third parties for sandwiches.

    • Gabby 9.2

      First pass up the opportunity to sell crack to schoolkids, now this, where will it end?

  10. Byd0nz 10

    Money systems have no morals.

    support a world without money.


  11. mary_a 11

    "we exercised poor judgement …" An acknowledgement by current CEO of Air NZ Greg Foran of the work carried out to maintain the military hardware of Saudi Arabia, although perhaps not during his short tenure! However, his predecessor Chris Luxon while not able to recall any of this activity while he was boss (reminiscent of friend and former Air NZ board member John Key), now seems to be laying accountability with Foran's management!

    Would not the servicing of Saudi Arabian military hardware automatically make Air NZ or any similar service agency involved for that matter, complicit in Saudi aggression, in particular the atrocities carried out against the men, women and children of Yemen?

    No moral values where the almighty dollar reigns supreme!sad

  12. barry 12

    Why is AirNZ in the weapons business? If you provide services to ANY army in the world you are contributing to misery and destruction.

    • Michael 12.1

      It isn't. It's repairing ships' engines.

      • Macro 12.1.1

        It was repairing Saudi Naval ship engines – ships which are being used to blockade aid being shipped to Yemen. So yes, it is contributing to misery and destruction.

  13. Scud 13

    They once had subsidiary company called Tasman Air Enterprise which the RAN Gas Turbine engine and its stand alone company Safe Air did the RNZN. Both also overseas contracts as well. But both companies were sold off under John Keys Government as both were “non core companies” for AirNZ

    So the Question this why did AirNZ get back into the Gas Turbine Repair Business game? Why wasn’t due-diligence including LO with inter-Government depts as done previously done when it operated TAE & Safe Air when they did overseas Gas Turbine Repairs involving Foreign Defence contracts?

    It appears to me that when AirNZ sold those two valuable companies off they also lost Subject Matter Experts in doing due-diligence and or how to run/ manage 3rd Party Defence Contracts.

    Which my ex RNZAF Uncle who was acting Base SQN Avionic’s WOFF, once said if we (NZ Government) keep cutting to Defence capability then the likes of TAE & Safe Air/ AirNZ will (did) sell off these once profitable companies because the NZG/ the public don’t believe in high end STEM. Then they suddenly rebuild this capability when it suddenly becomes profitable again as there “core business” has crash, then this lack of investment in training, rebuild systems SOP’s and inexperience management teams including at broad level at doing due-diligence is/ was going to happen.

    Anyway that’s my thoughts on this issue, AirNZ sold off profitable companies for short term gain, instead of thinking long term. rather like NZ politics since 84 onwards always short term thinking.

    • Sacha 13.1

      Regardless of who owns them, organisations servicing military clients would surely be used to interacting with the relevant government departments like MFAT about the implications? Unless the problem is at that end of the relationship, I guess.

  14. Scud 14

    Sorry for late reply, it’s finally stop raining as the monsoon has finally bugged off for the time being. So it’s all hands on deck mowing, gardening, fixing leaks in the chook coop and we had another veteran suicide on Sunday so I’ve been busy on political front with that. So my apologies

    It’s been nearly ten or so yrs since I last spoke to anyone who worked with TAE at RAAF Amberley QLD, back then it was still an AirNZ subsidiary company.

    Where I asked a question over a few beers at RAAF Bowls Club about overseas Defence Contract work.

    The answer given, Is there is a list of approved countries vetted by NZ’s MFAT, Oz’s DFAT, with both the Australian Defence Dept & NZ’s MoD approval as well. Plus it had to IAW the various Arms Treaties, end user certifications & 3rd party IP licensing etc. If a certain country was not that list or there were certain caveats to a certain country, then prior approval was to be sort with the various government departments for a risk assessment, Security also including Political assessments and any other associated assessments like the UN and or arms treaties etc.

    So yes MFAT & NZ MoD should’ve been told that AirNZ was bidding as a 3rd party contract for the repair of the Saudi Navy Gas Turbine Engines.

    Now my theory at what possibly has happened, since the selling off those so-called “Non Core AirNZ assets” of TAE and Safe Air to Foreign owners. That AirNZ has lost the Subject Matter Expertises in dealing with Foreign Defence Maintenance Contracts at Senior Management level and possibly even at Broad level as it was no longer in the game to say the least. It all sounds like it was done on the hoof at AirNZ senior to broad level management to raise funds etc.

    Had they still owned the likes of Safe Air & TAE, then AirNZ would’ve still had the correct SOP’s & Management Teams in place to prevent this almighty cockup. Obviously some muppet thought it’s just an engine and no would be silly a enough to ask silly questions?

    P.S both TAE and Safe Air were sold off and I believe under the orders of NZ Treasury, Bling English & old mate Donkey as they were “Non Core Assets” according to the Informal Defence Rumour Network I belong to.

  15. Tricledrown 15

    A guardian news article criticises arms sales of £1.4 billion to Saudi Arabia.

    Should we be trading with the UK.

    [Take a week off for stubbornly refusing to link in your comments – Incognito]

    • Morrissey 15.1

      Good point, Tricledrown. The U.K. and the U.S. arm and diplomatically protect regimes like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, the U.A.E., Indonesia, and Colombia, and Brazil, and …..

    • McFlock 15.2

      The AirNZ issue isn't the broader philosophical point of what level of ethical perfection we expect from our trading partners.

      The problem was that we were conducting repairs and maintenance on weapons platforms that might well have been used to commit war crimes.

      Maybe we shouldn't trade with the UK. But we definitely shouldn't be doing maintenance on their nukes, even if we had the expertise.

    • Incognito 15.3

      See my Moderation note @ 10:38 AM.

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