back to article Courts slam Blair's 'abject surrender' to Saudi prince

The UK High Court has ruled that a controversial government decision to stop investigating allegations of arms industry bribery in Saudi Arabia violated both British and international law. Despite the judgement, it remains unclear whether the investigation will restart. The judicial review took place as a result of legal action …

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Bronze badge

Oh no it isn't

@John: It is wrong to compare the global arms trade with the Atlantic slave trade. If you think they are the same you deserve to be clapped in irons and shipped out like those unfortunate Africans all those years ago.

The only mistake we made was to start investigating this in the first place. Bribery is a way of doing business throughout the world. If the Saudis took some cash to secure a deal, it is an issue for them. We didn't break any of our own laws in transacting this business.

Our problem is in liking to think we are whiter than white when we clearly are not.

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@Ted Treen

Clear and present danger my arse!, more people die on the roads every year than have been killed in the entire history of so-called 'terrism' in this country. Don't fall for the propaganda, terrism is just an excuse to dismantle the freedoms our forefathers fought and died for.

O RLY?

RLY.

SRSLY?

SRSLY.

NO WAI!

WAI.

Mines the one with lolcat behind bars.

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@Anon. Cow.

I'm not restricting this to the jihadis:- the current judiciary's obsession with the yooman rites of ALL crims, perpetrators, illegals, feral yoof etc. to the total denigration of any rights the rest of us have to a comparatively peaceful existence IS a threat to the rest of us. I agree the other unacceptable threat is McStalin in no. 10 with his total obsession with centralised control freakery.

An independent judiciary SHOULD be the safeguard of our freedoms and liberty, but the current incumbents just ain't cutting the mustard.

It's little more than a bout of willy-waving between two cliques of the liberal elite who see the rest of us as mere fodder for their self-proclaimed intellectual ideas of social engineering.

It can justifiably be described as intellectual masturbation:- giving a warm glow of self-satisfaction to the perpetrator; being of absolutely no use to anyone else; and being rather distasteful to any onlooker(s).

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Anonymous Coward

Show some common sense

If British contractors wish to work abroad, they are required to comply with local customs and conditions or they won't be selected. It's as simple as that. So the pragmatic decision is to comply. Bear in mind that many countries have entirely different cultures and values from ours, and consequently many things which may seem to be wrong to us do not to them.

Anyone remember the 'Arms for Aid' issue some 25 years ago where The Times accused the Prime Minister of Malaysia of accepting a bribe from our Maggie. As a result of The Times refusal to retract, Malaysia completely stopped trading with UK and that trade went elsewhere never to be recovered. Tell me, what was gained? My friends in Malaysia could not understand our stupidity, and The Times reporter who broke the story carried no responsibility for the consequences of his actions.

In the case of BAe and Saudi, if BAe had not complied with the local requirements, then they would not have been selected and the contract would have gone elsewhere such as US, France or even Russia. The aircraft etc. would still have been supplied. The same applies in many countries where any type of contractor wishes to tender for work such as construction, etc., etc.

Do all the righteous posters here expect that we should just roll over and let other countries with less sensitive consciences get all the work overseas in countries with different practices from ours, in which case we would all be a bit poorer to no purpose. Or should we just do the obvious thing, act pragmatically and oil the wheels of successful overseas contracting.

To the Liberal Democrats, I say you have lost my vote. Mr. Blair has my support in this, he was taking care of British interests.

I speak as a well travelled construction engineer, not particularly in favour of war and violence to resolve things, but not a rabid pacifist either. After all, where would we be if we had not stood up to Germany in the second World War and subsequently to Communism?

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Re: Show some common sense

So basically your opinion is "don't rock the boat"?

So if you were in Saudi and they were stoning a woman you'd jump right on in there and twat a rock off her head. 'cause you know, it's the done thing over there, and hell, you want that contract right?

Or maybe you're out in China and some idiot is chanting some crap about human rights. I guess you'd beat that sucker with a stick 'cause that's how it works in China? I mean, getting a slice of that pie is what it's all about yeah? Think how much easier it'd be to get that contract signed when you're laughing over beers with the Chinese about how that guy begged you not to smack him upside the head.

Yes, we would almost certainly have failed to win the contract, but common sense says you make a stand and try to make the world a slightly better place. You don't follow along like a brain dead little lamb - you grow some balls and do the right thing. It's your kind of attitude that is evident in todays youth that would sooner film someone being kicked to death than help them, because it's just so much easier.

Frankly if BAe can't operate at a profit without tax payers money being used to bribe people then it can go to the wall as it deserves.

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Re: Show some common sense

"After all, where would we be if we had not stood up to Germany in the second World War and subsequently to Communism?"

This sentence is mind boggling. A few points:

1. We applaud ourselves for standing up to Germany when they were the aggressors. Now, we are the aggressors. Unless we are hypocrits we should be applauding the Iraqis defending themselves against our attack.

2. What the hell does "stood up to Communism" mean? (Look out, there's a Red behind the cupboard!)!?

3. The "that's how things work, so we have to play by those rules" argument is not very robust. Try applying it to the slave trade.

4. (3) is very closely related to the "everyone else is doing it, so might as well do it too". Try applying this to muggers, car thieves, and other "undesirables" whom the Daily Mail encourages you to fear.

5. The "it's ok, because we're doing it for our own benefit" argument doesn't even deserve critical comment.

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