It is hard to express how utterly disgusted I am by the Serious Fraud Office dropping its investigation into corruption in the deal between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia.
It's quite bad enough that the British government allows arms supply to a vile oppressive regime like Saudi Arabia to start with. The corruption involved justs makes the whole thing stink even more. Now the investigation has been called off because the Saudi government pulled out of negotiations because it didn't want to be exposed and embarrassed.
But I think what gets me most is the bare-faced admission that yes, the investigation has been dropped to preserve relations with the House of Saud. Tony Blair says that letting the matter drop is 'in the national interest', presumably because Saudi Arabia is an 'ally' and because of the dosh involved.
Remember this New Labour regime coming to power promising an 'ethical foreign policy'? This is about as far from that as you could possibly get.
Some useful information which helps expose the true extent of this scandal:
- Dave Osler's blog has an informative article giving some background, including the Thatcher family's involvement.
- A year ago, Solidarity carried a report about conditions for BAE workers in Saudi Arabia.
- More from Solidarity on how the BAE/Saudi contract was used to grease some very dodgy political deals.