Britain, as a nation, have been (in the past) one of the most remarkable countries, on many levels. We have held the largest empire ever to exist in the history books, spanning from 1603 until 1949. Now this might appear very patriotic and, at the same time, offensive but we had one of the largest armies and navies in history too, perhaps not the largest but it’s pretty high up the list.
Now, war is an awful situation for any country to be in. However, with a history like ours and being an island nation, we now don’t have what is known as an ‘Army’, we have a ‘Militia’; when I first got told this I felt very upset and even angry that our politicians could ever allow this to happen. An army’s main purpose is not to fight all the time; they are a defence strategy that any country in this world opts for. Idealistically, yes, I agree that a world without armies, navies or air forces would be perfect. No one would have any excuse to go to war or invade. Idealism is what everyone hopes for or, in the least, wishes, but this is the real world and that is not going to happen… Certainly not in our generation anyway.
Let me let you on a little secret, something that I only discovered only last week; it may touch some people’s hearts but not in an awed sense. The first nuclear test by the USA was performed in July, 1945; followed so closely by the Hiroshima (6th August, 1945) and Nagasaki (9th August, 1945) explosions. So, maybe everyone knows this but that has only just been the start of the nuclear era in the arms race. I would never condone the use of nuclear weapons, and frankly, I am rather ashamed that the UK is a part of the list of countries with nuclear weapons. Yet, pushing this aside, there are a few major reasons as to why even a small ‘Arms Fair’ should take place – and in our university as well.
Let’s say that in the next month, two of the nuclear armed countries suddenly went to war against each other and eventually there were errors made and new allegiances formed between them and the rest of the world. Then suddenly, we are on the edge of another world war. For a country that had a reputation for being some of the best fighters/defenders in the world, if we had nothing to defend ourselves, not even the simplest of weapons, how would you suppose we stop others from threatening us? Peace treaties, of course, are miracles if they work but when they don’t… well the history books can tell us more on that point.
Another point, and this is my major one, is that we once had an extraordinary manufacturing industry and ethic. At one time, this accounted for 26% of the UK’s work force and now it’s only 9% and decreasing. This is pretty low and if we can start building our manufacturing sales back to the levels that we once had so much pride for then that would be a chance to solve our economy. Maybe, developing and building weapons is not the best of starts but when we already have a technology base here on our own soil then why not use it? It’s a start and, possibly, that is all we need to kick start our national work ethic back on track.
Also, if this happens to be a factor then why not have this ‘Arms Fair’ at UWE? If we became the university that allowed innovative minds to share their ideas and come up with a solution to a problem that has been running for 5 years and counting. How awesome would it be to say “I was a part of that Uni?” This is a very strong idea but I hope you see my point. Our university has an excellent reputation in industry; we have relationships with Airbus, GE and other such large companies and businesses. It would be shame to let this opportunity go to waste especially now the economy is just on the edge of a rise.