elsevier politics

Reply from Elsevier

I wrote to Elsevier to ask them about their involvement with the arms trade. Their response is below (and as PDF here, 600 KB). They only answered the first of my three questions (with a ‘no’).


Frankly, just because something is legal doesn’t make it legitimate and anyway I find hard to believe that adequate checks are carried out at DSEi, especially given that we know it has, just for a first example, repeatedly haboured the brokering of illegal sales of landmines. I’ll be writing back to Elsevier, and in a few days I’ll post it that here too.

2 replies on “Reply from Elsevier”

Well, let’s ignore the moral argument for a moment. Not only have there been illegal landmine sales (landmines under the counter – a dangerous business…), but it appears that Scotland Yard thought the exhibition was full of unlicensed exhibitors.

The Government subsequently ignored police concerns over security and insisted no action be taken against companies breaking the law…

… Sadly, this is according to the Daily Mirror.

“In a document leaked to the Daily Mirror, Chief Inspector Stephen Lee of the Metropolitan Police Firearms Enquiry Teams warned a Home Office official: ‘The integrity of the police force cannot be put in such an invidious position and as it stands, I will be asking Firearms Enquiry Team officers to enforce the law, either through prosecution or demanding the removal of the exhibits’.”

But it still may well be true! At least, worth checking out. Here’s the original Mirror article –

I was told the Home Office intervened to avoid embarassment for the offending countries. No idea if that’s true, but thought it good to spread malicious rumour.

(Christ – never thought I’d be pasting Mirror articles…!)

I know you’ve read it once already, but:

“we fully respect the rights of people to hold views on these matters that are odds with our own”

That’s big of ’em. Wonder whether the matters in question are just the general legitimacy of DSEi as a whole, or specifically the legality or rigorousness – i.e. you can disagree that we’re being rigorous if you like, and that’s just dandy by us, ‘cos we’re gonna keep saying it until … ?

Wonder if you could ask them exactly what checks they do on exhibitors?

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