Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 17 January 2008

Insultingly small compensation offered for covert nerve gas tests

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is offering a paltry £3mio compensation to be shared between 360 people who took part in tests of nerve gas agents during the 1950s and 1960s at Porton Down, or roughly £8,300 each. The scandal is not that nerve gas tests were conducted, although some might disagree about that (I'm not one of them), but that participants say they were told they were taking part in cold remedy tests. Now I suppose that being killed by nerve gas would certainly take one's mind off something so ubiquitous as a cold, but I hardly think it falls under the category of 'fair dealing'!

To add insult to injury it appears that the MoD is declining to pay out any compensation even to the 90 per cent of participants who have already signed until all the others have signed too. Cases like this absolutely call for an American-style class-action suit to force the MoD and the Government to take responsibility for their actions. This happened a long time ago, but governments of all political parties are equally responsible for this shocking policy and for the cover-ups and prevarications with which they have dealt with the aftermath!

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