Firstly legal is not the same thing as ethical.
If it is indeed acceptable for babies and bullets to mix, why can't we have the information out there in the open? If there's absolutely no problem, why do The Baby Show delete any questions or comments on this topic as soon as they are posted on their Facebook wall?
Why are they deleting anything that doesn't reflect Baby Show in a glowing light? (including recent comments over chosen "experts").
Censoring questions/feedback from the general public is I think a risky PR technique - sure you might put the flame out, or you might incite people to feel more passionately than they did, because you censored them...
Clarion do however have an official statement:
"Why Clarion Events supports the defence and security industryPlease let me clarify at this point that I am not commenting here on whether DSEi helps to perpetuate the illegal arms trade, truthfully - I have no clue.
Clarion Events is the largest independent events organiser in the UK and a highly successful, award winning company.
In 2008, Clarion Events acquired a presence in the defence and security sector, including the world’s largest defence and security exhibition, Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi).
Over the past year, a small minority have tried to convince others that DSEi helps to perpetuate the illegal arms trade. This is not true."
But what I do know is "defence & security sector" might sound like a "safe" title, one that brings to mind some nice men in suits sell appropriate weapons to other nice men in suits to defend and secure their countries. Yet just a few days ago (8th Feb 2011) a Guardian headline read:
"UK sells arms to repressive regimes- official"followed by:
"MPs question British arms supplies to Middle East and North Africaand goes on to say:
Minister admits trade with undemocratic countries with poor human rights record"
"How can Britain, one of the world's leading arms exporters, honour its stated commitment to promote human rights throughout the world?
Vince Cable, the business secretary, has admitted as much. "We do trade with governments that are not democratic and have bad human rights records", he told a crossparty group of senior MPs. "We do business with repressive governments and there's no denying that".and
The MPs were questioning Cable and William Hague, the foreign secretary, about Whitehall's approval of exports, including crowd control ammunition, guns and ammunition to Libya, Bahrain, and Egypt, in the period leading up to the Arab Spring last year"A few days later on 14th Feb another Guardian headline read:
Bahrain receives military equipment from UK despite violent crackdownWhich continues:
"Britain has continued to sell arms to Bahrain despite continuing political unrest in the Gulf state, new official figures disclose.
According to the figures the government approved the sale of military equipment valued at more than £1m in the months following the violent crackdown on demonstrators a year ago. They included licences for gun silencers, weapons sights, rifles, artillery and components for military training aircraft.
Also cleared for export to Bahrain between July and September last year were naval guns and components for detecting and jamming improvised explosive devices. No export licences were refused. "
|Innocent Libyan Casualty|
Ultimately it is of course the UK Government, not Clarion who issue licenses - however Clarion does provide a key event in the "get your guns" calendar and for some that's simply not OK. By running the arms fairs, they are involved - they profit from both the sale of baby items and the sale of weapons. Is it really that crazy to expect parents shouldn't have to wade through politics before attending a baby related event?
Back in 2008 Baby Show faced a backlash against their involvement in the arms trade, and must have pulled some pretty impressive PR out of the bag. The question is with the current popularity of social media - will they manage to sweep this under the carpet forever?