This article is from 2006.
‘The arms trade causes misery on a global scale,’ political activist, comedian and now author Mark Thomas tells me. ‘But I met some arms dealers who were nice guys.’ Excuse me? ‘What they did was shit but life is complicated. Arms dealers aren’t just sitting there in dark glasses, smoking, twirling wax moustaches and going “I’ll have that baby and the tank. Serve it to me on a nice bed of lettuce.” They’re not like that. The small guys do £200m worth of business a year, and they crawl through loopholes in the law. The big guys, BAE Systems, don’t need to crawl through loopholes. The government will do whatever they want.’
While Thomas is best know for his rabble-rousing comedy on TV and stand-up stages (he’s playing at the Bongo Club on Sat 19 and Sun 20), he is equally at home on the page. ‘There are ways we can stop this but unless you put the right pressure on the right point at the right time, it won’t work. There are stories in the book about friends of mine who have taken on the British government and the arms industry in court, and won. That’s fantastic. We can win.’ (Miles Fielder)
18 Aug, 3pm, £7 (£5).