Wednesday, 24 August 2016

When Will Politicians Learn?

Saudi forces are attacking their neighbours in Yemen. They've hit civilian targets, such as a cooking oil factory where twenty five workers died in the ensuing fire and they're blockading the port of a country that has to import almost all its food so that children are malnourished and famine is a real possibility.

OK the Saudis don't like having neighbours governed by rebels and if they used their wealth and arms to secure their own borders no one would have any problems with that. Of course western governments like ours have not set a good example when it comes to interfering in the affairs of other countries.

However, we have a law that says arms should not be sold if there's a 'likelihood' of them being used on civilians, a bit weak in itself, yet we sell arms to a regime which is highly dubious at best and respects the human rights of women especially in its own society not a lot. Very tolerant of other religions too I think! How can this regime be trusted? Why would you?

I've long held the view and expressed it before that politicians on the whole have an instinct to do what they think is expedient ahead of that which they know to be right. Selling arms makes money - and that's all. Now you can argue if we don't sell them someone else will, but frankly it's not good enough.

When politicians from all nations learn to do what is right ahead of what is expedient, only then will we have a better world. Only when we set an example can we hope to influence others.

Boris Johnson is a prime example of an opportunist politician and guess who's talking to the Saudi government about this, well that will be helpful then. No comment as yet from the Foreign Office.

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