Monday, 25 February 2019

The Fragile Situation, Indeed

Being nasty does not in itself make people a threat to Britain. And in any case, the regime in Saudi Arabia is one of the two nastiest in the world, as well as being the ideological and financial powerhouse behind attacks on British streets. 

Yet its grip on British politics is so tight that it is hardly ever mentioned by anyone who is allowed a hearing. Those who do mention it, and who are denied a hearing, now include the Leader of the Opposition. And no, that is not Chuka Umunna, whatever the gatekeepers might think, or wish to have the rest of us think. 

Today, at Saudi Arabia's insistence, Britain has proscribed a governing party of a strategically vital country. That party and its supporters have never attacked Britain, because they have never had any cause to attack Britain. Well, they have cause now. If you declare people to be your enemies, then you may expect them to behave as such. 

Why have we done this? Well, the Conservative Party has been stung by the suggestion of defectors to the Independent Group that it is lurching away from the centre ground as defined by Tony Blair. It has been on to Blair, to ask him how it might reburnish its image. Blair has been paid $12 million by Saudi Arabia. And this is what he has recommended.

Blair's knowledge of Lebanese affairs is likely to be scanty. Ask him about Michel Aoun, or about Rafic Hariri. But he knows that Labour MPs finally lost patience with him when he supported the bombardment of Lebanon in 2006. And who won that one? Blair knows only two things about Hezbollah. But that is one of them. And the other is how well its Saudi enemies pay.

This does still have to be approved by Parliament. Before then, I hope that Hezbollah issues a statement along the following lines: "We have never considered the United Kingdom to be our enemy, or indeed given it very much thought at all. Hitherto, it has been irrelevant to us. We still cannot see how we are relevant to it. But if it chooses to declare us its enemy, then, however reluctantly, that is what we shall prove to be."

And while this business is flushing out the Dishonourable Members for Riyadh and Kiryat Arba, then someone needs to stand up and demand that, alongside banning a governing party in Lebanon, the British State also resume its historical approach to Kahanism by banning an impending governing party in Israel, Netanyahu's putative coalition partner, Otzma Yehudit. If not, why not?

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