There is something fundamentally callous cruel and simply awe inspiringly hypocritical to listen to Theresa May and Boris Johnstone insisting when asked about the crisis in the Yemen that it is in the “national interest” to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia and sell them armaments despite their record on human rights.
Every year we see the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary flew into Riyadh for talks with Saudi leaders to boost trade and security ties.
Whose security are we talking about?
Certainly not the Yemen –
Isn’t it ironic that Mrs May is keen to explain her Governments actions away by hiding behind a doctrine and foreign policy of everything that is only done is in Britain’s national interest.
Especially when she is so keen to also have a foreign policy which includes leaving the European Union on the pretext that it is the national interest to cut ties – which whatever they tell us will also include military ties or at least loosen them – with the other 27 countries of the EU.
Now I admit that I agree that Britain should have good relations and especially security and business ones with countries around the world which will bring employment and prosperity to these islands.
The problem however is who and which regimes and countries should we encourage and seek to have good relationships with?
Clearly North Korea is not in contention, or Syria, or Iran or Zimbabwe under Mugabe using the very u dears tangle reasoning that they are regimes that encourage terrorism or have an appalling human rights record.
As we have now come to expect from Mrs May and her Government the sound of the denials that the UK is selling its principle at the alter of trade – and especially the arms trade – are increasing expotentially.
Forget about the Saudi human rights abuses and the thousands of dead civilians in the Yemen – think about the millions in arms deals – oh – and the oil.
The argument that we need to develop our relationships with such as Saudi so that we can raise the issue of human rights with them would be sound if it was applied to all countries.
However we don’t being very selective of only those who either have natural resources we want access to or worse still those who can afford to buy area amends from us.
In other woods we are only interested in developing relationships around the world with countries who are valuable to us and bugger human rights, principles and the deaths of thousands or innocent people at their hands.
I suppose this is what could be called “Expediency Foreign Policy”