Vested interest in the nuclear weapons industry critiqued by Steve Topple

trident2 demo

Saturday’s phenomenal demonstration will be remembered as the biggest anti-nuclear demo in a generation – a day when CND joined forces with over 20,000 – 60,000 people, from activists to families to leaders of political parties, trade unions and faith groups – to Stop Trident. Picture in Carib Flame.

Felicity Arbuthnot forwarded a link to an article by CommonSpace columnist Steve Topple, who has issued a timely report on the finance behind nuclear weapons.

He started in the House of Lords, and discovered that over 15% have what can be deemed ‘vested interests’ in either the corporations involved in the programme or the institutions that finance them, and this is just for our nuclear capability – one suspects the percentage for defence in general would be higher.

Two individuals who have been campaigning in the press and the Lords for support for Trident’s replacement are singled out by Private Eye: Lord John Hutton – paid consultant to Lockheed Martin which builds Trident missiles and Lord George Robertson, who works for the Cohen Group, a US consultancy that lobbies for US defence companies, some of whom are involved in the Trident successor programme.

Citing a report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Steve Topple noted that 41 UK-based financial institutions (including the Cooperative Bank, HSBC and Barclays) invest directly in the nuclear weapons system. The list also includes companies whose ownership is elsewhere – for example in Russia. The Royal Bank of Scotland (currently 84% publicly owned) invests in ten companies which are involved in Trident and also finances Russia’s VEB bank – which invests in Russia’s nuclear deterrents, and also in Trident.

Steve Topple’s conclusion: The whole nuclear weapons industry is a con of epic proportions. We, the public, are being deceived left, right and centre into allowing fraudulent governments to squander our money on something which merely serves to inflate the wealth of those involved. Read the full article at

Forthcoming posts:

  • EDF can’t afford to build Hinkley Point and Britain can’t afford to pay for it. There are better options elsewhere.
  • Plans to build an £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset could be halted by the industry regulator over safety concerns. The Office for Nuclear Regulation is yet to give final approval to the French-led project amid increasing worries about the reactor’s steel dome.

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