Cold War attack on the public good

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Isn’t Defence Secretary Philip Hammond’s “warning over security and jobs” (your report, 9 October) a litany for the 
interests of the UK’s “military industrial complex”?

Sadly, the SNP’s defence spokesman reiterated the commitment to spending on high-tech weapons for ­conventional forces.

How quickly after the ending of the Cold War and talk of the peace dividend it is “business as usual” in defence thinking. To what extent is this due to the influence of the arms industry on politicians and governments?

Of course, it is recognised that many jobs, including those of scientists in research and development, depend on defence spending.

Arguably, however, there is no reason why investment in public goods such as houses, hospitals and schools can’t replace “military Keynesianism”.

What militates against this is the military industrial complex and the dependency of regimes such as Saudi Arabia.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk


It was intriguing to note the claims by UK Defence Secretary that the instability created by the independence referendum is threatening Scottish jobs and contracts in the defence sector.

On a previous visit to Scotland the UK Chancellor, George Osborne, claimed that investment in Scotland was being damaged by the referendum.

Embarrassingly for him, even the UK government’s own statistics showed that inward investment had increased at a higher rate than for the UK as a whole (16 per cent for Scotland compared with the UK), to one of the highest levels on record.

Just like his budget and much of his economic forecasts, Mr Osborne’s claims, which contradict the figures used by his own government, unravelled just hours after they were made.

Failing in that line of attack, Mr Hammond is now taking this same argument forward, but in a different sector.

Having failed so miserably in its attack on the threat the referendum poses for inward investors, it is scarcely credible that anything the UK government says can be trusted.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace