I’m sorry, but there has to be a line right?
The argument that has always been used when some decry trading with authoritarian regimes has been ‘if we only traded with countries we agree with, we wouldn’t trade with many at all’.
That’s fair and there is some legitimacy in that argument. China is a Communist Government that stifles free speech and has a poor human rights record, but our mountain of dairy we ship to them means we have little moral high ground to lecture other nations, BUT, there has to be a line drawn somewhere right?
Surely Saudi Arabia is that line? Their decision to execute and then crucify a human being is about as barbaric as it gets. ISIS are alone in this level of barbarism. We can not and should not seek a free trade deal with a country that crucifies human beings – add on top of that the bribe Murray McCully gave a Saudi businessman to try and restart those free trade deals, and the entire situation reeks of pus.
Yes we trade with nations we disagree with on human rights, and yes there is some hypocrisy in choosing which human rights violation is worse than another, but come on – crucifixion of a kid who’s been in prison since he was 17 for the ‘crime’ of demanding more freedoms?
There are times when we need to put trade to one side and just say ‘no, we can not in good conscience turn a blind eye to what you are doing to your own citizens’ and Saudi Arabia, for their demented view on women, their medieval position on justice and their constant funding of the very extremism that helps support ISIS is a nation we should have nothing to do with.
This shouldn’t be about money, it needs to be about values.