The Curmudgeon


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Private Criticism

Willem den Haag, the Minister of Wogs, Frogs and Huns in a government which gave a big rah-rah to the imposition of prison sentences for offences such as writing silly things on Facebook, has registered mild disapproval at the Bahraini monarchy's "disproportionate" sentencing of twenty medical personnel for treating injured protestors. The sentences were "worrying developments that could undermine the Bahraini government's moves towards dialogue and the reform needed for long-term stability", in contrast to the more unacceptable behaviour of régimes to which Britain does not sell weapons. The British ambassador to Bahrain, who arrived a few months after the application of a British-made urban sharpshooter programme to the situation, has paid tribute to the warmth of the Crown Prince's welcoming hand; while the prince has declared the relationship very special indeed: "a model for relations between allied countries". Naturally, such diplomatic niceties are merely a front to disguise the British government's private criticism and deep moral concern: sales of spares for armoured personnel carriers have been officially banned, and three British trainers were withdrawn at the end of February when it became clear their work was done, while any other sales of military equipment have to be laundered through the Bahraini air force. The fact that the Bahraini monarchy seems to have withstood the pressure so far is nothing less than a tribute to its indefatigability.


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