View Full Version : "For Agricultural Purposes"

08/04/2006, 11:48 PM
Anyone see the programme on More4 tonight about arms dealing. It involved two schools - one from Oxford and one from Portlaoise:eek: dealing in arms. Apparently, there is no decent law regulating arms dealing in this country. It showed one scene where an Israeli company brought a rocket propelled stone thrower (used by Israeli forces in Palestine) to Portlaoise to demonstrate it. The document said it was "for agricultural purposes" and could be sold on to anywhere in the word also using the same false description.

Click on the link and see it yourself.

RealVideo: stream with RealPlayer or download RM file (27.6 mebibytes)


Working his way through a spider's web of vast and, in some cases, archaic legislation, Thomas unearths a series of dangerous loopholes, inconsistencies and, even more shocking, simple omissions that would have the most avaricious arms broker salivating with glee.

The programme highlights the international trade route that runs from Eastern Europe to the Far East and the twists and turns that make it possible to broker equipment like thumb cuffs, wall cuffs and the particularly menacing sting stick (two-foot metals bars covered with sharp spikes) within the existing UK guidelines.

In his inimitable style, Thomas highlights the shocking impact of this trade route not just in war-torn countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but also in our own backyard. But nothing prepares Thomas for the possibilities that open up when he discovers a neighbouring European country with no brokerage laws.

It was also on Channel 4.

As an ex-Teacher it makes me proud of the Portlaoise pupils and their teacher - ditto the Oxford students - and the great work they did in this programme, given the negative publicity young people get these days. There should be more of this aspect of education in schools. The Irish government at least promised to enact legislation - we'll see.