Friday, 6 October 2017

Blacklisting, Indeed

Today's United Nations blacklisting of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen means that the United Kingdom, an active participant both as a supplier of arms and in the control room, is now a state sponsor of terrorism. As with the UN's condemnation of this country over the rights of the disabled, of whom I am one, it is very high time for sanctions to follow.

Since the British arming of the Saudi war in Yemen was last brought to the floor of the House of Commons, when anti-Corbyn Labour MPs ostentatiously abstained, it has been found that British-made cluster bombs were being used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Since as long ago as last December, that has been admitted by absolutely everyone.

Saudi Arabia is not poor. It is fabulously rich. Its British-made cluster bombs, in use in Yemen, are not from the 1980s. On this country's absolutely toxic relationship with what is jointly the most repressive regime in the world, matched only by North Korea, Jeremy Corbyn has been right all along.

This needs to be brought back to the floor of the House of Commons as a matter of the utmost urgency. The rather good Labour Chief Whip ought to publish in advance the list of MPs with leave of absence. For anyone else, abstention this time ought to mean deselection in due season, and universal moral revulsion with immediate effect.

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