View from the House: What happened to ethical foreign policy?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 October 2018


The murder of Jamal Khashoggi – which the Saudi government now admits did take place – bears a striking resemblance to another extra-judicial murder.

The attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, which resulted in the death of Dawn Strugess, was as brazen example of a government meting out revenge on foreign soil as we are ever likely to see.

The government was rightly swift in its condemnation of the attack. Its response to this most recent example of state-sponsored murder has been noticeably more equivocal, however.

Despite the use of amputation as a punishment, exclusion of women from most areas of public life and execution by stoning, which if anything puts Putin’s authoritarian Russia in the shade in the international demagoguery league, Saudi Arabia is our geopolitical ally and economic partner.

With this latest act and the on-going savagery of their involvement in Yemen, we must ask: what happened to ethical foreign policy?

A great many constituents have written to me out of concern that it is British-made bombs are falling indiscriminately in Yemen, hitting not just military targets but school buses, weddings and food markets too.

It is a war being fought not for a lasting peace in Yemen but for the furtherance of their own regional power and influence vis a vis their great rival, Iran. With this latest act of contempt for international law, is it not time for governments including our own to distance themselves from this anachronistic theocracy?

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