Thursday, December 14, 2006

Normal service to be resumed shortly but in the meantime, it's all in the timing. It's a perfect day to bury news the government doesn't really want you to think about.

It is, you see, sometimes in the national interest to sell extremely powerful weapons to wealthy, corrupt, religious totalitarian, anti-democratic regimes. The pro-democracy rhetoric is all very pretty but it's emptiness is revealed in all its glory when our government quashes an investigation like this.

According to Goldsmith, Blair and Defence Secretary Des Browne (he really is, apparently) argued that carrying on the investigation would harm intelligence and diplomatic co-operation with Saudi Arabia, in turn damaging the UK's national security. In other words, when it comes to the national interest, the rule of law can go whistle.

Back in 1997, embarrassing though this is to admit, I thought that Labour might be a welcome change from the sleazy Tories. Now, older and possibly a tiny bit wiser, an Orwell quotation (this one surprisingly not from 1984) seems appropriate.
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
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