The Curmudgeon


Monday, October 26, 2009

Trust is a Rare and Fragile Thing

Since, as we all know, those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear, the Government is bleating for special treatment over the accusations by seven persons of limited Britishness that it was complicit in their torture by the United States. The Government claims (or "believes", as the Guardian's telepathy correspondent has it) that holding the security services accountable to the public would "be likely to assist those whose purpose is to injure the security of the UK and whose actions in the past have shown that they are willing to kill innocent civilians"; though not quite so many innocent civilians as have been willingly killed in the name of the security of the UK over the past six and a half years. The Government also claims (or "believes", again according to the Guardian's resident psychic) that holding the Foreign Office accountable to the public "could prejudice the United Kingdom's bilateral relationships", since apparently the Government's allies are willing to blackmail the United Kingdom into keeping all their dirty little secrets. If the Foreign Office started snitching on its chums - not only in the US, but in bastions of democracy like Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan - why, who knows where it might lead? After all, "the effective conduct of international relations depends on maintaining trust and confidence between governments" - between the British Government and George W Bush, between the British Government and Silvio Berlusconi, between the British Government and Colonel Gaddafi, between the British Government and Islam Karimov, to take a few purely random examples. It is largely thanks to the trustful and confident relationships between statesmen of such dignity and stature that Britain and the world are situated as they are today. Surely no-one of any consequence would wish to force the British Government to behave as though the United Kingdom were some sort of democracy - riddled with freedom of information and rotten with human rights - and risk leaving all that behind.


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