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Defence industry needs PR rethink

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defenceBritain’s defence industry held its annual public relations exercise on Tuesday at London’s swanky Atrium Restaurant in Westminster.

The “charm” offensive –- held under the auspices of trade body the Defence Industries Council (DIC) –- began with executives from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and QinetiQ, among others, telling assorted media that the defence industry needs more investment (not less) even during a recession.

The head of Rolls-Royce’s defence and aerospace business went so far as to say that Britain’s armaments sector could “lead us out of recession”, thanks to the jobs it creates and the exports it fuels.

The industry may well employ 300,000 people in Britain and generate an annual turnover of £35 billion but to say it needs more investments — it gets around £38 billion a year from the government — at a time when unemployment is at its highest level for 13 years smacks of greed.

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