Sent in a personal capacity to the Medway Messenger. I spent most of my youth in Medway and have a real soft spot for it.
For many years I have attended the Dickensian Christmas in Rochester and, despite not being a Christian, I have always enjoyed the carol service in front of the cathedral.
As we sang carols about peace on earth, this year along with most other years that I can remeber, the brass band was from the second largest arms manufacturer in the world, BAE.
Never has it been more important to call for peace. Our involvement in Afghanistan is unravelling, our invasion of Iraq broke international law and BAE's involvement in Tanzania, Czech Republic, South Africa and Romania have led to the Serious Fraud Office applying for leave to proscute. This country continues to be at the forefront of international wars and it is frankly shameful that Medway Council and Rochester Cathedral should support the continued deaths abroad by allowing BAE a platform to perform.
Allowing BAE to be part of a carol service which calls for peace is no longer hypocritical, it is highly offensive.