What shall we abolish next?

One week ago The Guardian reported that the Treasury plans to shut the Defence Export Services Organisation. This has been a long running SPEAK campaign, and I might have got a little over excited in my immediate response:

Dear Marsha Singh,

I am writing to express my unbridled joy at the news, as reported in this morning’s Guardian, that the Treasury is planning to disband the Defence Export Services Organisation. This obviously corrupt and unnecessary government department has long been a blot on Labour’s record of reforms and I know I represent many when I say I will be pleased to see it go.

I expect that this news will have come as a nasty shock to many involved in pushing so called “British” arms, and that an intense period of lobbying will now ensue. I would ask that you now write to Chief Secretary to the Treasury Andy Burnham and request he show the strongest resolve in following through on these plans. The fact that the arms industry continues to receive DESO’s subsidies is clearly contrary to every principle of free trade; to say nothing of the obvious ethical questions, and the fact that no British civil industry is supported in such a way. I therefore ask that you also express to the Chief Secretary how important it is that closure should mean closure, and that the function of DESO not be passed elsewhere within government.

Obviously you don’t all need to be quite that gushing, but I would urge you to write to your MP with similar requests, and also to sign the petition on the Downing Street web site.

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