Press Release: For Immediate Release
One year on the half of the St Athan project not yet dumped is blasted - Skeptical Citizens question ethics and job numbers!
Jan 17th 2008 There will be a demonstration at the Senedd 13:00 to oppose the St Athan White Elephant. The red choir will be there to add its support in harmony with other concerned citizens. PCS members will join in the protest. ‘Cluster bombs’ will be scattered by the grim reaper to highlight the role of arms company Raytheon.
Thursday 17 Jan marks the anniversary of the announcement that the Metrix consortium had successfully bid for the contract to build a privately run military academy in
The announcement was celebrated by Wales First Minister Rhodri Morgan with a champagne-popping photo-opportunity outside the Senedd in
The proposed military training academy at St Athan will be built and run by an international consortium including major multinational arms companies. It will train not only British service personnel, but those from any regime or private company that can fork out the cash.
Anne Greagsby campaigning against the Academy said “What the government didn’t tell the people of
Raytheon is a core member of the Metrix Consortium. Today we learn that the Norwegian Government pension fund has dropped a further three companies involved in producing nuclear weapons or cluster munitions in addition to Raytheon, Serco, another Metrix partner, is dropped. I call on the Welsh Assembly government to have a full investigation of Raytheon's role in producing cluster bombs and other weapons of mass destruction. I challenge Rhodri Morgan to tell us why he was so keen to work with Raytheon.”
Other Metrix partners include EDS and QinetiQ. EDS is the company responsible for messing up the Child Support Agency and the Inland Revenue's Tax Credits systems and for the disastrous unworkable MOD new computerised payroll system. Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "It is astounding that the MoD is prepared to reward failure by handing over billions more pounds of taxpayers' money to a consortium that has failed to deliver what it said it would.”
QinetiQ, the privatised and research and development wing of the MOD, one of Britain’s most blatant war profiteers, was recently heavily criticised by the National Audit Office.
Already half the St Athan White Elephant (package 2) has been has been dumped by the government as too expensive. Politicians have been promising thousands of jobs – for which there is no firm basis in truth. PCS - the union that represents many MOD staff who also oppose the privatisation of military training - says the predicted number of jobs in package one has fallen from 1500 to 1100.
PCS met with Jill Evans recently and highlighted the blatant distortion being disseminated by a number of Welsh MPs as to the number of new jobs being created in
The St Athan project does not offer the
The champagne sprayed by Assembly Ministers Morgan, Hutt and Davies to welcome the signing of the contract to build the academy, on January 17th year ago has turned sour.
Notes to editors
Norwegian government pension fund & Serco
Norwegian government on Raytheon
...Corp, L3 Communications Holdings Inc, Raytheon Co, Lockheed Martin Corp, Alliant Techsystems...from the Government Petroleum Fund. Raytheon Company produces, according to its own web-site, 3 http://www.raytheon.com/products/stellent/groups/public..
PCS DEFENCE INSTRUCTIONAL OFFICERS
More information on our blogs
Anne Greagsby mobile 07817513610
CND Cymru campaign for nuclear disarmament
yr ymgyrch dros ddiarfogi niwclear
January 16th 2008
From Jill Gough t:01495 773 180 m: 07704 67 57 87 email@example.com
Campaign Against St
Athan Military Academy
Protest at Y Senedd,
Thursday January 17th1pm
Protestors will gather at the steps of the Welsh Assembly building at lunch
time tomorrow to mark the first anniversary of the WAG 'celebration' and
announcement of plans to build a military academy at St Athan.
On January 17th 2007, Assembly Ministers Rhodri Morgan, Andrew Davies and Jane Hutt welcomed the signing of the public private finance initiative contract to build the academy, by spraying champagne over the steps of the Senedd. A year on, opposers of the project will be pointing out where their enthusiasm was misguided.
CND Cymru Chair Jill Evans MEP said today:
"This demonstration is a reflection of the opposition to the privatisation of military training and to making
Walesthe base for that training for and other countries. Coming in the wake of the disastrous and illegal invasion of Britain Iraq, the celebrations a year ago rang hollow to many people in . We in the peace movement want Wales to continue to be recognised internationally for its traditions of peace and reconciliation and not for its contribution to war. We want a full and open debate about the implications of this development for Wales ." Wales
While our elected representatives have so far welcomed the project,
campaigners are suggesting to them that it would be sign of strength, not weakness for them to 'think again' and will be asking them:
Do you really want to put
at the forefront of the global arms trade?The developer of the St Athan Academy, the Metrix Consortium, aims for the academy to be a centre of military training for armies from all over the world -not just the British military. Wales
Do you really want
to promote the privatisation of war? Wales
We are well aware of the disaster that comes with the privatisation of
warfare, we only need to point to the Blackwater affair. St Athan Academy would represent the largest privatisation of the military in British history.
Do you really want
to become a business partner with one of the Wales
world's largest manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction?
A core member of the Metrix Consortium is Raytheon, a company that produces and sells bombs and missiles to any country with the money to pay. Cluster bombs, depleted uranium weapons, thermobaric bombs, bunker buster bombs - all these and more are Raytheon products.
Do you really want
to become a business partner with a company that the National Audit Office has criticized for 'unethical business practices'? Wales
Another member of the Metrix Consortium is Qinetiq, a company that has been mired in ethical controversy since its very beginning, and has been accused of taxpayer rip-offs, profit-gouging, 'sweetheart contracts' and conflicts of interest. The National Audit Office has condemned the company for the "excessive profits" earned by senior managers and investors.
Do you really want
to sell its own youth on the business of war? Wales
Since 2003, more than ten young Welshmen have lost their lives in the
illegal and unjust war in
. Why are Welsh politicians embracing the St Iraq
Athan Academy, a project designed explicitly to do a better job of selling more of our youth on military work instead of speaking out against this utterly unnecessary and immoral loss of Welsh life?
Do you really want
to embrace an industry that is inherently Wales
destructive of sustainable development?
If a cigarette company were to claim it was in a healthy line of business because the factory where it made cigarettes was a clean work environment,we would laugh - the relevant issue is what the cigarettes made in thefactory do to people in the rest of the world. The Metrix Consortium claims it is environmentally friendly because the Academy will practice energy conservation, recycling and waste reduction. Yet this will be an institution in the business of training armies to wage wars all over the planet. The Rio Declaration from the 1992 Earth Summit explicitly states that "warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development" (Principle 24). "All major wars of the 20th century," the US Center for Defense Information notes, "have had a hidden casualty: the environment. Unexploded weapons,polluted rivers, contaminated soil, and damaged landscapes have all harmed human health, local economies, and ecosystems." Would this be something for
to be proud of? Wales
Do you really want to commit the future of
to the culture and economy of militarism? Wales
Should Wales seek to become a country tied closely to the business of making war, the global arms trade, the production of weapons of mass destruction or one committed to sustainable development, responsible international citizenship, and the creation of green and ethical jobs?
Jill Gough National Secretary of CND Cymru commented:
"Many people in
are in a serious mind to examine other sustainable non-violent avenues in dealing with social and international conflict,ideological and environmental dangers. We owe it to our children and our Wales
children's children to build the foundations of a safer, tolerant, just and healthy world in the best way we know how."
* Interviews are available: please contact Jill Gough CND Cymru 01495
773 180 m:07704 67 57 87 HYPERLINK
"mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org"email@example.com or Ray Davies (CND Cymru
Vice Chair - and who will be singing with Côr Cochion tomorrow)
for no2militaryacademy campaign contact Anne Greagsby co-ordinator:
02920 626 287 m: 078175 13610 HYPERLINK
firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
* More about the campaign to stop St Athan : HYPERLINK
* For Bilingual interviews with Jill Evans please contact David
* Protestors will gather at the Senedd for 1pm tomorrow. Cor Cochion
will be singing.
* PICTURE EDITORS note: large banners will be a feature of the protest