Call for reversal of policy so Crawley taxpayers' money can be invested in weapons manufacture
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During a meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday (November 23), Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green) said it was time to ditch the policy when it came to investing in armaments manufacturers.
“I’m very proud of that because we are providing air defence systems that are protecting people in Ukraine from a terrorist state who is seeking to freeze millions of people this winter by destroying their infrastructure.
“I was very pleased when the council, at the beginning of that conflict, put out a joint statement supporting Ukraine.
“But what message does it send out that this council is not prepared to invest its money in those companies that are working at a pace to provide weapons to defend the people of Ukraine from Russian aggression?
“I do think it is time that we ditched this so-called ethical policy in terms of armaments manufacturers because of what is going on in Ukraine.”
The ethical policy is wide-reaching and covers areas such as tobacco and gambling as well as armaments.
Mr Crow’s suggestion did not go down well with Chris Mullins, cabinet member for wellbeing, who described his words as ‘pure opportunism’ and ‘almost embarrassing’.
He said: “If you look at the arms industry all over the world, it is causing wars, bloodshed and death. Not just in Ukraine – it’s doing it in Somalia, it’s doing it in so many other countries around the world.
“The reason that they can go round killing mostly civilians is because they’ve got guns – where are those guns made?”
Straying off-track somewhat, Mr Mullins asked Mr Crow if he was suggesting investing in the American gun business – ‘there must be a big return [on your investment] there – something the latter did not suggest at all.
No other councillors backed the idea of changing the ethical investment policy on Wednesday.