That when it comes to the ethical foreign policy once espoused by the Labour Party and the British Government , it was the drive for profits from the armaments industry that the real priority has been at . £45 billion worth of arms were sold by Britain in the past 10 years, making us the world's second-largest arms exporter.
In the past three years, arms have been exported to 19 of the 20 countries identified in the Foreign Office's annual human rights report as "countries of concern".
The Colombian military and its paramilitary allies have killed thousands of people in the country's civil war. Yet last year Britain exported armoured all-wheel-drive vehicles, military communications equipment and heavy machine guns, alongside a military aid programme. Indonesia has received more than £400million worth of military equipment since 1997, while using British military equipment for internal repression on a dozen known occasions.
Britain has exported more than £110million worth of military equipment to Israel during its occupation of Palestinian territories and war with Lebanon. Exports doubled in 2001, as Israeli offensive military operations were stepped up on the West Bank.
Despite an EU arms embargo, Britain has managed to export £500million worth of military and dual-use equipment - nominally "non-lethal" items to China . These include components for tanks, components for combat aircraft, and military communications equipment.
And what about all the rest of the weapons produced and sold ?
Over the past four years, 199 export licences have been approved to the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Channel Islands - territories without armies. The equipment includes small arms and ammunition, anti-riot shields, CS hand grenades, crowd-control ammunition and even nuclear, biological, chemical filters and respirators (for the Cayman Islands). It is anybody's guess where this equipment is destined. And this could be just the tip of the iceberg. Government statistics show the destination of only a quarter of all arms exports - the public are not told where the rest goes.
Academic research shows that governement subsidies for arms sales is between £0.5 - £1.0 billions annually .
Hand in hand with one another , at least 19 senior MoD officials have taken jobs with arms companies since 1997, while 38 out of 79 personnel secondees to the MoD between 1997 and 2003 came from arms companies .
Yup - war is big business and whether Blair or Brown , Tory or Labour , tools for death and destruction will come before the needs and requirements of the people .