December 21st, 2008

Aye-Aye

independent nuclear deterrent. not

This story kind of started strong today on the BBC and Sky and then rather surprisingly tailed off, but the Government has sold its shares in the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston to an American company. I'll grant you, the AWE was mostly American-run already, but actually selling it - to a California-based firm - seems a step too far. Now our independent nuclear deterrent is not actually in our own hands any more.
But the importance of this sale lies in what it signposts - there are suggestions of a `fire sale' of government assets to fund the unimaginable amounts of money the government has used to bail out the banks. The Indy gives us a useful list of other family silver the government is considering selling off, including the Ordnance Survey, the Met Office, the Covent Garden Authority and the Tote. I can't see any of these being regarded as quite as valuable as the AWE, to be honest.
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