Saturday, November 24, 2007

Some commercially-minded war-lords?

Malcolm was hardly surprised that many "independent-minded" journalists accepted the views of their gallant and opinionated lordships, without reference to page 29 of the current issue of Private Eye.

This piece points to the commercial interests of these unretiring former war-lords.

It specifically mentions Lord Guthrie's position as a director of Colt Defense. That's for starters.

Lord Boyce is a director of the VT Group and WS Atkins. The Eye is fully entitled to make play of the VT Group's involvement in the Air Tanker consortium (first projected in 2000, costs escalating, no aircraft in sight yet) and the T45 Destroyer project (two years late and £635m over budget) and the Future Aircraft Carrier (£302m to date: not even at the drawing-board).

The Eye does not mention Lord Inge, who is on the Board of ICx Technologies, which "develops advanced technologies for effective security solutions".

Lord Bramall, who at least had been a real soldier with an MC for WW2 service to prove it, has previous form. Is Malcolm alone in remembering him taking on (with considerable good justification) Michael Heseltine in the '80s? And, of course, there is the famous thump he landed on septuagenarian Lord Janner over matters military and Israeli. Nor should we forget he signed the letter criticising William Hague's rubbishing the EU defence force. However, unlike either Front Bench, he got the Iraqi mess right from the beginning.

All in all, a formidable bunch. Even so, Malcolm will be reading the Lords Reports to see which of them declared their outside interests before speaking. Sphere: Related Content

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