Both the government and monarchy fail to acknowledge any hypocrisy in Britain’s masquerade as a champion of human rights and democracy while simultaneously playing host to one of the world’s most corrupt and infamous abusers of human rights: the dictator and ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah.
The Saudi King, who arrived in Britain with an entourage of 400 helpers and servants, was feted and pandered to by none other than Queen Elizabeth II herself. He was a guest of honour at the Horse Guards Parade before heading off to a state banquet at Buckingham Palace to savour more of Britain’s red carpet treatment.
In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by public beheading. It is a country where women have very limited rights and are not even permitted to drive; yet I doubt Gordon Brown, the self-professed “defender of the people,” would dare to utter in the presence of the King any statement with the remotest reference to these issues.
Gordon Brown and, might I add, David Cameron’s moral convictions are apparently on temporary leave, at least until the Saudi Royals depart, whereupon we shall no doubt again hear the tempestuous speeches in defence of human rights and the call to bring rogues such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to justice.
The Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable’s decision to boycott the Saudi royal visit was lambasted by the conservatives as “juvenile gesture politics.” Yet wasn’t this the very same action described as “a moral stance” when Gordon Brown refused to attend the African/EU summit in protest of Robert Mugabe’s presence?
The government has gone to great lengths to justify and explain its hypocrisy. We’ve heard how many jobs have been created in Britain, how many expats live and work in Saudi Arabia, how many defence contracts are worth billions, and how we share “common interests and common views”; and therein lies the basis for sacrificing the moral integrity of this country. Britain has become a political prostitute.
Ishmahil Blagrove, Jr.
1st November 2007