The trouble with David Cameron is he’s TOO liberal. “I support the Arab Spring,” he said, referring to the uprising that’s overthrown tyrants and terrified the Saudi Arabian dictatorship. Then, on the same day, he tried to sell a pile of Eurofighter Typhoon jets to the Saudis, the enemies of the people he supports.
Few of us would have the grace and humility to support a movement, then sell fighter jets to their most bitter opponents, but Cameron’s so full of Christian virtue he must believe the best weapon he has is to shower the Saudi royal family with love. Then, when they feel wanted, they’ll let everyone have the vote, and say sorry for all the people they’ve upset by stoning them to death, and turn over a new leaf.
This must be the real reason it took so long to deport Abu Hamza. Theresa May was trying to get rid of him, but Cameron said: “ I find his ideas appalling, which is why I suggest we win him round by selling him a tank.”
Some people warn that weapons sold to Saudis could be used to attack civilians, as they were used to bomb protesters against the tyranny in Yemen. But apparently that’s not possible because they’v e given “assurances”. And if there's one thing history teaches us about dictators, it’s that they always stick by an assurance.
The only puzzle is that the Iranians try to give assurances that they’re not building a nuclear weapon, but those doesn’t seem to count in the same way. Maybe they don’t put it on headed notepaper like the Saudis, or perhaps Cameron is strict and insists dictators must show two forms of ID and a utility bill from the last three months before their assurance is accepted, and Ahmadinejad tries to use a Blockbuster video card so the talks break down.
Soon Cameron will apply his approach to other areas. He’ll announce “I support the war against drugs”, then meet a crack dealer to sell him a fighter jet. “I support a cut in Britain’s contribution to Europe,” he’ll insist, “so we’re offering every EU commissioner a Tornado bomber of their choice.”
This sensitive policy of smothering enemies with affection is illustrated by the way the government maintains an Arms Export Promotion Unit of 150 people, funded by public money, whose job is to help arms companies secure deals such as the one to the Saudis. Here we are in a time of austerity and cuts, but the government still finds resources for these desperate people, some of whom have gone several weeks without selling a single landmine.
Other societies may insist that arms companies should stand on their own two feet, but providing for those who’ve fallen on hard times, such as BAE Systems, is what a civilised society is all about. How he’s managed to win the Conservative Party round to this policy of liberal welfare, and government intervention to save jobs, is remarkable. But if he has a fault, it seems that he cares too much.