I knew I should have just done the crossword and the word scrambler in the newspaper this morning, but I went and spoilt it all by reading the news as well, and as always ended up being incensed. Apparently in order to make our way in the world after bloody Brexit, we will be increasing our arms exports internationally. The Defence & security Equipment International (DSEI) event is happening in London and our Defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon was there doing a talk. We’ve already secured £5.9 billion in defence (I use that word because he did) orders in 2016 and are already the world’s second largest weapons exporter. Well, isn’t that something to be proud of. By 2018 our ‘defence’ budget will be £37 billion. (But we can’t afford pay rises for our public servants, or pay for mental health care). Our new weapons include Dreadnought subs, Apache helicopters, F35’s and frigates. We’re also working to develop artificial intelligence for use in warfare. At least that’s good because real intelligence seems hard to come by. Sir Fallon also told everyone “there are robust safety measures to allow ethical defence exports to flourish, protected by a licensing system to ensure exports are rational and lawful and which guarantees that we do not in the process violate international law, create tensions, promote terrorism or endanger global security”. That should cheer up the civilians being bombed in Yemen with British weaponry supplied to the Saudi’s. The Rohingya muslims currently undergoing ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Burmese military in a training programme by the UK will also breathe a sigh of relief I’m sure. Coincidentally the DSEI is on at the same time as International arms control talks are going on in Geneva, the hypocrisy is staggering.
My country does not look after people, not our own and certainly not anyone else’s. Our considerable research and resources do not go into making the world a better place for anyone anywhere, but we are extremely good at defending ourselves, and subjugating and killing other people, and it was ever thus.
So I took my camera out to the coast at South Shields, my go to place when the world gets me down, and I took Frego with me for company. It was really windy with dramatic skies, but peaceful all the same.
We saw some police horses being excercised
and more weaponry! A Disappearing Gun on Trow Point was first placed there in 1887 when the army were experimenting with coastal defences. The gun was forced down into a pit for re-loading by the recoil after the gun fired, so affording protection to the crew and obscuring the gun from direct enemy fire. The structure was sunk deeply into the ground to accommodate the water upon which the platform rose and fell, actuated by air pressure pumps. Trials of platform took place on 15th and 16th December 1887. It was found that the raising and lowering of the platform was too slow and the system was abandoned in favour of the quicker and cheaper Elswick hydro-pneumatic mounting. The replica gun was installed in 1997. The graffiti not long after!
this chap was having fun
I love the colour of waves just before they curl over
and how they hug the rocks
there are still little pops of colour to be found in the grass dunes
and places to sit and take in the view