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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, October 29, 2007

'Shared values'

You couldn't make up the fawning drivel from the lips of Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells. According to the BBC, Mr Howells told a conference ahead of a state visit by Saudi leader King Abdullah that the two states could unite around their "shared values".

So which shared values are these, then?

Does the Minister for Wimin, the oh-so-scary, Ruth Kelly agree that women who walk unaccompanied in Jeddah should be arrested on suspicion of being prostitutes?

Does son-of-the-Manse Gordon Brown support a regime that executes people for taking Bibles into the country? Or for refusing to convert to Wahabism?

Perhaps Mr Howell will be sharing his experience as a past Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

Count me out. Saudi Arabia beheading
  • I believe that countries should be democratic, not theocratic.
  • I believe that criminal trials should be open, with adequate defence facilities for the accused.
  • I believe that capital punishment should be abolished, not be the national sport.
  • I believe that women should be treated equally, not as third class citizens.
  • I believe in transparency in public financing, and not in the rulers robbing the population for their own benefit.
  • I don't believe we should be paying them bribes to buy arms to further destabilise the area.

Funny, but Labour used to believe in these things too, as Robin Cook said, Our foreign policy must have an ethical dimension and must support the demands of other peoples for the democratic rights on which we insist for ourselves. The Labour Government will put human rights at the heart of our foreign policy and will publish an annual report on our work in promoting human rights abroad.


Anonymous said...

Oh how the mighty have fallen...

Anonymous said...

I doubt anyone will argue with the points your are making, Angus, completely valid as they are.

However, for good or bad, politics is at play. For good: I'm pretty sure delicate pressure is being applied to promote democracy and civil rights in SA - it isn't something that can be bludgeoned into them. For bad: well, we have too much (financially) to lose...

Anonymous said...

Nail on head anon 6.58

Unfortunatley we dont live in an ideal world but a world where international relations are of paramount importance.