Yvonne Ridley: Shameless May and her shared values with the world's dodgiest characters

CommonSpace columnist Yvonne Ridley says the friends the UK is making ahead of its divorce from the EU should have people worried

THE last strand of moral fibre holding together the British government was unpicked in the Westminster Parliament this week with a simple question posed by Alex Salmond.

Normally the cut and thrust of Salmond's barbed questions gives rise to laughter but yesterday there was none - on either side of the House - as he asked Theresa May about her willingness for Britain to trade with one of the most odious dictators on the planet.

It was a simple question, devastatingly put: "Can the prime minister identify for the house what shared values she has in common with president Rodrigo Duterte?" 

 

 

Salmond exposed May's alarming desperation in seeking trade deals after Brexit during Prime Minister's Questions when he criticised her for sending Liam Fox, international trade secretary, to the Philippines in search of business. Defending the move, May said she wanted  a "truly global Britain and we want to ensure prosperity across the whole of this country and jobs for ordinary working families".

As she was speaking during the final PMQs of this parliament, legal documents were being scrutinised by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague which contained serious allegations against the controversial leader of the Philippines. Submitted by lawyer Jude Sabio, counsel of confessed Davao Death Squad assassin Edgar Matobato, the contents may well come back to shame the British government.

Since the Philippines is a signatory to the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, the court can accept jurisdiction, which means lawyer Sabio is well within his rights to ask the ICC prosecutor toinvestigate what he described as the "terrifying, gruesome and disastrous continuing commission of extrajudicial executions or mass murder" in the Philippines.

Article 14 of the Statute provides that "a state party may refer to the prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the court appear to have been committed requesting the prosecutor to investigate the situation for the purpose of determining whether one or more specific persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes".

So what message are the Tories sending out to voters in the UK? That it's perfectly acceptable to sit down and deal with individuals like Duterte? 

So what message are the Tories sending out to voters in the UK? That it's perfectly acceptable to sit down and deal with individuals like Duterte? 

Both Death Squad assassin Edgar Matobato and his supervisor, or "handler", retired policeman Arturo Lascañas - who has himself confessed to killing at least 200 people in Davao City - have given testimony which, in most countries, would have brought about the resignation and prosecution of the leader.

However this is President Duterte, the politician who called US President Barack Obama the "son of a whore" when the leader of the free world criticised the Philippine leader's human rights record. Now that there is a new man in the White House, it seems Theresa May has developed political amnesia over that episode. 

Others remember only too well Duterte's human rights record, so when Liam Fox talked about "shared values" with Duterte as he sought to do some post-Brexit trade deals with the man whose war on drugs has killed 7,000 people, it caused alarm among right-minded people and human rights groups in the west.

Theresa May might well have gone to the Philippines herself but she was too busy in Saudi Arabia at the time flogging weapons to a regime which doesn't recognise the human rights of women. And not once did she challenge the Saudis' abysmal human rights record, including the bombing of schools and hospitals in Yemen. British bombs sold to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have helped kill more than 10,000 civilians and displaced more than three million people.

In the new post-Brexit Britain it is clear the Tories are willing to deal with international pariahs, which is something every voter should consider in the General Election. 

So while May and her Tory government insist the UK will emerge "a stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking nation" as a result of their trade deals it is clear they, like the Saudis and leaders like Duterte have one shared characteristic - they are all utterly shameless.

However, in the new post-Brexit Britain it is clear the Tories are willing to deal with international pariahs, which is something every voter should consider in the General Election. 

Surely our votes are worth far more than giving them to a party which will shred human rights for a fast buck?

Picture courtesy of Number 10

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Comments

MauriceBishop

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 15:20

ALEX Salmond privately lobbied ministers to set up a ‘Scotland Week’ in Iran as part of his drive to build cultural and trade links with the Islamic republic.

The former First Minister, who led an SNP delegation to Tehran in December, also pushed for a trade office to be established in the country as part of a bilateral agreement that would have seen Iran open a similar base in Scotland.
http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14511584.SNP_ministers_dismiss_Alex_S...

Nicola Sturgeon’s shady Chinese deals give the wrong impression of Scotland
Back in March, Nicola Sturgeon entered into a memorandum of understanding with two huge Chinese companies – SinoFortone and China Railway No 3 Engineering Group (CR3) – with a view to developing a relationship that would leave to a programme of investment into “Scottish priority projects and infrastructure”. Unfortunately she didn’t tell very many people about it (there was an election about). Instead, as The Scotsman tells it, the deal only came to light after details of it were published in the Chinese press.

This led to a perfectly reasonable outcry from the opposition, who rather felt that this is the kind of thing that should come with transparency attached – particularly given that CR3 came with an “unacceptable risk that the company is involved in gross corruption” and has been blacklisted by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund as a result. Transparency International intervened. Amnesty International objected on the basis that “human rights should not be traded for economic gain.” And Labour called it a “backroom deal” that raises (hardly new) questions about the “transparency and competence” of SNP ministers. Which it was.

Either way, the whole thing didn’t last long. It turns out, says the Sunday Times, that the two Chinese companies withdrew from the arrangement back in August – or, as the SNP now puts it (true to form they didn’t mention it at the time), the companies “consider the MOU to be cancelled.” Why? An insider tells the paper that the political fallout from the deal was received “very badly” in China. They didn’t want to be involved in what was fast becoming a “Scottish shambles”.
http://moneyweek.com/merryns-blog/nicola-sturgeons-secret-chinese-deals-...

henry43

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 13:49

Yvonne Ridley : how dare you draw such a parallel without taking into account the events of World War II. You would have NO strands of moral fiber had Europe fallen into the hands of the Germans. How quickly you forget the atrocities that were committed both by Germany and those countries who now make up EU member states. How many Scots soldiers died in WWII? How many UK soldiers died total? And why? Are you so utterly naïve as to believe Chancellor Merkel is the Angel of Mercy and fair play? The French have turned away from confrontation in their 2017 elections with 1/3 not voting or trashing their vote. Does that not sound at all like Pétain and his treasonous Vichy government to you? The greatest issue we face today is not one of economics but of so-called religious ideology, and when the latter issue comes up where do you stand? With Hitler and the Holocaust (no, I don't believe so) but you do sound as if you're watching a spider weave it's web on the seventh attempt and it has given you strength to fight what you perceive as an enemy. What Scotland does now and in the near future is critical to its own survival and identity. England may not be your best friend but it is, as they say. the devil you know. Take great care in choosing your future friends and allies for they may not be all that they seem.

henry43

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 14:22

(Open quote) So while May and her Tory government insist the UK will emerge "a stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking nation" as a result of their trade deals it is clear they, like the Saudis and leaders like Duterte have one shared characteristic - they are all utterly shameless. However, in the new post-Brexit Britain it is clear the Tories are willing to deal with international pariahs, which is something every voter should consider in the General Election. (close quote)
And the Rothschild family who control much (or most) of Europe do not fall into the pariah grouping? In fact one of the earliest and most influential Rothschilds, Nathan, is claimed to have said:
I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.
But the quote doesn't appear to be completely made up by the conspiracy theorists. It's most likely a revised and restyled version of this quote attributed to Nathan's father, the original Mayer Rothschild:
Give me control of a Nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.
But like the longer, more specific quote from Nathan, even this one turns out to be apocryphal. Author G. Edward Griffin did manage to track it down, though. He found that this saying was:
Quoted by Senator Robert L. Owen, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency and one of the sponsors of the Federal Reserve Act, National Economy and the Banking System, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939), p. 99. This quotation could not be verified in a primary reference work. However, when one considers the life and accomplishments of the elder Rothschild, there can be little doubt that this sentiment was, in fact, his outlook and guiding principle. NOTE the date : 1939 The Nazis did steal the R's money etcetera but not the Germans. So, do we have Nazi Germany, Germany or a mix of both when speaking historically. NEWSFLASH : All German military barracks to be searched for Nazi artefacts since several have shown up in current German military barracks and common rooms. Do you really think they (the German principles of 'ownership') have changed so completely in just 70 years? Merkel is indeed the champion of Angels to those with no eyes. WHO restarted the completely bombed out Volkswagen plant in 1945 - yes - the British - with no orders to do so. As I've said, choose your future allies carefully - if you think about it, they don't have much of a history of being allies with anyone.

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