Nothing exposes the hypocrisy and lies of politicians more than a ‘trade mission’ jaunt to somewhere with a track record of oppression, torture, mass murder and corruption.
In the world of ‘realpolitik’ the reasons given for regime change in places like Iraq, Libya and Syria suddenly sound as hollow as the inside of Prince William’s brain when the west’s top politicians pimp for contracts in places like Saudi or China.
George Osborne, that fearless defender of democracy and ‘free trade’ is already boasting about Chinese investment in British nuclear power plants worth £18 billion and another £800 million plan to redevelop Manchester airport. That’s the Manchester airport in his own already super-wealthy Tatton constituency.
Osborne is joined on this five day arse licking tour of the Far East with his old Bullingdon chum, Boris Johnson who is no doubt attempting to persuade those charming Orientals to help out with his plans to turn London into some kind of DisneyLand theme park.
Amnesty’s summary of China’s human rights record for 2013 states :
The authorities maintained a stranglehold on political activists, human rights defenders and online activists, subjecting many to harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance. At least 130 people were detained or otherwise restricted to stifle criticism and prevent protests ahead of the leadership transition initiated at the18th Chinese Communist Party Congress in November.
Access to justice remained elusive for many, resulting in millions of people petitioning the government to complain of injustices and seek redress outside the formal legal system. Muslims, Buddhists and Christians, who practised their religion outside officially sanctioned channels, and Falun Gong practitioners, were tortured, harassed, arbitrarily detained, imprisoned and faced other serious restrictions on their right to freedom of religion. Local governments continued to rely on land sales to fund stimulus projects that resulted in the forced eviction of thousands of people from their homes or land throughout the country. The authorities reported that they would further tighten the judicial process in death penalty cases; however thousands were executed.
But we can overlook such abuses when there are multi-billion pound contracts at stake. If it takes a state visit and a slap up dinner with the Queen for one of these monsters to sign on the dotted line, then so be it. Suddenly the west’s fanatical love of liberty, freedom and the rights of the ordinary citizen to protest become mealy mouthed exercises in spin and sophistry.
“Hey, it’s not an ideal world and our pals in the city are going through a lean patch. We have to make these tough decisions to bring jobs and help build the recovery.”
Money talks, bullshit walks. The same propaganda being used to demonise Assad is the same as that targeted at Saddam, Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad, Arafat, Chavez, the Sandinistas, Kim-Jong-Il, Brezhnev, Castro, Allende, Mao and anyone else who dare to oppose the US’s corporate and cultural imperialism. Regime change is never a two way street and International laws and treaties can be flouted if it suits the west’s interests. NATO, the IMF, even the cuddly UN are merely tools of western capitalism.
The ‘national’ interest is always the same; the interests of the rich and all conspiracies, whether real or imagined are fuelled by the twin engines of capitalism; greed and (male) ego. Old Etonian twits they may be but Osborne and Johnson are far from daft. They understand that they have two years tops to enrich themselves and their mates even further before either a Labour victory or a leftish coalition replaces them in government. These contracts need to be huge and unbreakable and therefore all this ‘do gooder’ talk about human rights is simply the liberal chatter of idealists and do Britain downers.
Meanwhile the politicians and the media can heap praise on a brave Pakistani schoolgirl and wring every last drop of propaganda from her tragic tale to show that the war in Afghanistan is a good war, a righteous war being fought to give young girls like Mlala an education. That’s why over 400 young British soldiers have been sacrificed to this ideal whilst behind the scenes talks begin with the Taliban. Like all guerrilla wars, this conflict will end in compromise or capitulation yet presented as a noble and moral endeavour.
Aaah! Heresy! Our Brave Boys are dying out there for YOU buster, to preserve your liberty, to save you from jihadists and suicide bombers and it has fuck all to do with a last gap dash for oil. As we approach the centenary of the 1st world war, never has that cynical piece of Latin – ‘dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’ seemed more apt. The Old Lie is the New Lie, the Same Lie that sustains all wars.
The Chinese have billions are potential consumers, China has cheap labour and massive capacity, China also has a vast nuclear arsenal and a huge army. Rights, shmights! Red or blue, the only colour that really matters is green.