Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hand on Your Gun - Lowkey - Dedicated to Philip May husband of Theresa May

Philip May and the War in Syria

Since then, May’s husband has been fingered as the likely suspect that led her to approve the U.K.’s participation in the strikes without seeking parliamentary approval.

Philip May has been noted time and again as a close political adviser to his wife, with the prime minister referring to him as her “rock” and confidant.

However, particularly in matters of war, Mr. May has a glaring conflict of interest through his work at one of the world’s largest and most powerful financial institutions, the Capital Group, which controls a stunning $1.4 trillion in assets. May has worked at the firm since 2005 and handles client relations for the group.

The Capital Group has a significant stake in top weapons manufacturers in the U.S. and U.K. For instance, it is the largest shareholder in British arms manufacturer BAE Systems, a company with numerous ties to the U.K. political establishment, particularly to Theresa May’s party, the Conservative (or “Tory”) Party. 

The Capital Group is also the second-largest shareholder of Lockheed Martin, the U.S. arms firm with powerful connections to the U.S. political establishment.

During last Saturday’s strikes, more than $9 million of BAE-manufactured missiles were fired while the 19 Lockheed-manufactured missiles used in the attack cost upwards of $33 million. After the Syria strikes, the stocks of both companies surged, rising nearly $10 a share.

The strike may also have helped both companies sell more weapons. For instance, Lockheed Martin enjoyed significant PR after the strike, owing to the debut of its new Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, or JASSMs, which were produced as part of a U.S. taxpayer-funded $4.6 billion defense program. noted that, even before the strikes, Lockheed Martin executives were preparing for a jump in JASSM orders. However, many of the glowing reviews published about the JASSM failed to mention that the missile – development of which began in 1995 – had long been plagued with problems, including decades of poor performance and reliability issues. Yet, revisions based on the JASSM’s post-strike reviews ensure that the missile’s troubled history will soon give way to lucrative new orders for the top U.S. weapons manufacturer.

Given the jump in profits for BAE and Lockheed – and thus the Capital Group – it is highly likely that Philip May is, at the very least, more than pleased with the outcome of the U.K.’s involvement in the Syria strikes and his wife’s change of heart in supporting the attack.


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