The Merchants of Death – lithograph by Mabel Dwight
By TONY SEED
THE DEXTER NDP was brought to power on June 9, 2009 promising “a better deal for Nova Scotia families.” We didn’t have long to wait to see which “families” he had in mind nor the “better deal.”
On July 1st, Mr Dexter attended the opening of the new offices of Lockheed Martin. Now, precisely three months following the election to the day, the new premier is appearing before the military-industrial complex gathered at the DEFSEC Atlantic arms show in Halifax with declarations that “aerospace and defense industry in Nova Scotia is helping to build a more prosperous economy in this province” and promising that “This government is committed to supporting the aerospace and defense industry in Nova Scotia…” He lists the U.S. arms manufacturers – Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and General Dynamics – as “partners” and decisive for his fictitious “prosperous economy.” As always, “a better deal for” the Irving family, which is looking to make the big score from the militarization of shipbuilding, lurks in the background.
Mr Dexter’s obeisance to the forces of war and empire does not represent a volte-face, even though the NDP base is upset and haunted about the seeming turn-around.
Before the election, we analyzed that “a Dexter government will be poised to negate the rights of various sectors of the population of Nova Scotia, as well as around the world, while it will use the state political and judicial power to defend monopoly right, fight for ‘their monopolies’ in the international marketplace under the banner of ‘making Nova Scotia competitive on world markets,’ and facilitate the all-round militarization of the economy and ports.”
At a time of deepening economic crisis, the Nova Scotian government immediately began to abdicate its duty to provide for the immediate needs of the working class and people for social programs to sustain them, the economy and the society. Mr Dexter openly advocates arms production and war as the solution to the objective economic, social and political problems facing the people of Nova Scotia. It is unacceptable and must be condemned.
Tamara Lorincz, who sent me the text of this speech, notes:
“The federal government gave Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and producer of nuclear weapons, cluster bombs and hellfire and PAC missles, $2 billion dollars (our tax dollars) to upgrade the combat systems on the frigates in Nova Scotia, and then the provincial NS government gave Lockheed $1.8 million dollars for a payroll rebate on those jobs. We could have hired nurses, child care staff, teachers and energy auditors instead. Please tell the federal and provincial governments that you do not want your tax dollars to go to weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin.”