The Guardian 13 July, 2005

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Letters to the Editor

Missing uranium

Nuclear inspectors in Britain have ordered an urgent search for missing uranium at Aldermaston. Aldermaston has been the site for Britain's nuclear weapons industry for more than 50 years, producing nuclear warheads using highly radioactive and unstable plutonium and uranium. It has billions of dollars worth of government contracts and expects to run for another 25 years. Though it is owned by the ministry of defence, it is run by a government contractor and a consortium of three companies: British Nuclear Fuels, US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin and Serco.

The management of the establishment by the three private companies was described as "sloppy and disorganised". We are talking about a 300-hectare site with an extremely dangerous material and an appalling safety here.

Years ago thousands of people took part in Aldermaston peace marches maybe it's time to do it again. World politicians like to present themselves as caring about people.

Tony Blair has been promising real help and assistance to Africa, for instance. At the same time, the UN data reveals that in Britain for every pound spent on development, eight pounds is spent on defence.

Nuclear weapons will not protect Britain elimination of poverty and equal distribution of wealth may. Last week's tragic events in London should once again remind the politicians that it's ordinary working people who always bear the brunt of the policies the politicians pursue.

Andy Nelson
(no relation to Brendon)
Sydney, NSW

Bread not Bombs

The myopia of the Howard government was demonstrated yet again last week when Tony Jones interviewed Peter Costello (ABC TV, Lateline). Costello was at the fundamentalist Hillsong Church, Sydney, when Jones asked him about the deal made with Family First Party and how this might lead to family impact statements having to be made for each piece of legislation.

Costello: "Let's suppose we're discussing changes to the Family Law Act. Well, then you'd want to have a family impact statement very obvious area. But let's suppose we're making a decision on whether to buy an air warfare destroyer. I can't imagine that a family impact statement would be very influential." How blind is that?

Last year the world spent US$1 trillion on weapons. If this comprised a stack of $100 bills they would reach 1000kms miles high. Can anyone guess how many schools, hospitals, water treatment plants, universities etc that fabulous bounty would buy? Last year James Wolfensohn of the World Bank told an audience: "We are spending 20 times the amount on military expenditure than what we are spending on trying to give hope to people". If only he were Australia's treasurer!

Gareth Smith
Byron Bay, NSW

Beazley unfit to be PM

Commenting on the London terrorist bombings Kim Beazley said it was the work of "subhuman filth who must be captured and eliminated".

Without retreating from unreserved condemnation of the bombing, Beazley's outrageous remarks shows that he has no understanding of the roots of terrorism the years of frustration and killing of Palestinians, the war in Iraq, the mass poverty in many Arab countries, the persecution of Muslims in a number of western countries, the exploitation of the Arab countries by European and American imperialism and the steadily increasing anger in the Muslim world at their treatment.

Underlying Beazley's statement are racist sentiments. No other political leader has made such an evocative statement not even Tony Blair who had more reasons than Beazley. It shows that Beazley is unfit to ever be considered seriously as an Australian PM.

Once can only speculate on how Beazley intends to "eliminate" the growing army of terrorists that policies supported by him, are helping to multiply. He has shown himself to be a first class and irresponsible fool.

Bruce Gillman
Sydney, NSW

Good Christian Peter

Dr Phillip Aspinall the new Anglican Primate of Australia may not be a Professor of Industrial Relations as Mr Costello observes. Mr Costello also went onto to say that he was a theologian and his remarks about the governments' new IR changes should be taken in that context.

Surely Mr Costello misses the point, as a theologian Dr Aspinall is an expert on moral issues such as right and wrong, just and unjust, lies and truth. Anyone looking at the government's IR legislation can see that it is wrong, unfair and the government's propaganda about it is full of lies and deceit. The very fields that Dr Aspinall is a specialist in!

So look out good Christian Peter the moral theologians of the world are uniting to throw off your chains!

Denis Doherty
Glebe, NSW

Baghdad comes to London

In the aftermath of the London massacre Tony Blair said: "They are trying to use the slaughter of innocent people to cow us, to frighten us out of doing the things that we want to do". Isn't this what any resident of Baghdad could have said as the missiles and bombs rained in during "shock and awe"?

How long will it take us to realise that there is no ethical difference between a suicide bomber and a warplane and that violence cannot be used with impunity anywhere in our global village?

We either live together equitably and have an ethical foreign policy or we die in a tangled mess.

Gareth Smith
Byron Bay, NSW

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