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Bombs and Bananas

What a chilling statistic; there are more legal restrictions on the sale of bananas than there are on the sale of arms. In the heat of the moment, one could inflict a messy and marginally uncomfortable injury on someone with a banana, but the ability that one human being has to inflict appalling injury and death on another human being using the products of the arms trade is shocking.  What a completely crazy world we live in, when legislators concentrate on ensuring that no one gets a little ill from a dodgy banana or whether the banana is the ‘right banana shape’. But little or no time is spent on regulating the arms trade.

The United Nations have a unique opportunity to make amends this year by introducing a treaty which will regulate the sale of arms. But, guess what? Some countries want to water down the treaty’s effectiveness! Some people just need shooting – sorry, probably shouldn’t have said that! With 1500 men, women and children dying every day around the world as a result of the arms trade, politicians are haggling over whether this treaty would impact on arms company profits!

And speaking of profits from the arms trade, let’s not single out the politicians as the only ones who have blood on their hands. What about those who have money in bank accounts, savings plans, Superfunds and pensions? Can you be absolutely sure that your money is not invested in global arms companies? If it is, then as an owner of these companies you are directly tied in to their products and profits.

It needs to be appreciated that if you have money in a bank account, the bank is completely free to lend YOUR money to any company that wants to borrow it.  If that company manufactures weapons, and needs to borrow money to expand production, it could well be your money that the bank lends to fund this increased production of weapons.  Did the bank ask your permission to lend this money and make themselves a nice profit on it? How does that make you feel?  I sincerely hope it makes you angry.  If it does, are you angry enough to do something about it?  Think about changing your bank account to an institution which either has an ethical lending policy, or to a Building Society/Savings and Loan company which doesn’t lend to companies.

If you are investing in a Superfund or retirement plan, where has your investment company put your money?  Which shares have they bought and, as a result, which companies are you are part owner of?  As a part owner, you support and endorse the products, services and environmental/social impact of the business.  If there is any exploitation of people, planet or animals, then it is done FOR you and WITH your support and agreement.  Sorry, but that’s the way the system works and you are part of that system.  There isn’t any point complaining about what companies do if you are an owner of the company. You either stop complaining about environmental destruction, animal cruelty or the manufacture and sale of weapons, or you disinvest – your money, your choice.

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8 responses to “Bombs and Bananas”

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