Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Supping with the Medievalist Devil

I read with disquiet The Times' energy editor's report ("French give Saudis nuclear option for Hinkley Point plan," Nov 18, ttp://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/utilities/article4270475.ece)
that "Saudi Arabia has made a late attempt to bankroll EDF Energy’s project to build Britain’s first nuclear reactor for a generation" at Hinkley Point in Somerset, instead of the proposed Chinese state investment in the plant.
This came one day after Mr Cameron proudly told the House of Commons that he was "the Prime Minister who has restarted the nuclear programme, by going ahead with Hinkley Point C, after 13 years of a Labour Government who talked and talked about nuclear power but never did anything about it," and in the same statement to MPs rightly utterly condemned "the sickening murder of American aid worker Peter Kassig" by beheading by the Islamic State terrorists.(Hansard, 17 Nov. columns 33 et seq; http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141117/debtext/141117-0001.htm#14111713000002)

But Saudi Arabia has both beheaded  far more  people this year, as part of its judicial execution policy, than ISIS, which is just as medievally barbaric as the Islamic State; and indeed has permissively allowed funds from Saudi Arabia to fund the ISIS terrorists.
Ministers such as the Foreign Office's  Tobias Ellwood have myopically repeated Saudi denials of this,such as in September when he told Labour backbencher Paul Flynn " Saudi Arabia has a comprehensive set of laws in place to prevent terrorist financing, which they vigorously enforce." (Hansard, 9 Sept 2014 : Column 590W).
Indeed the UK has a very close military co-operation arrangement with Saudi Arabia, having nearly 200 personnel involved in Saudi in the collaborative Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications (SANGCOM) Project and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Saudi Armed Forces Projects (MODSAP) according to a written reply to Green Party MP Caroline Lucas (9 Sept: Column 584W)
Mr Cameron also  told  Ms Lucas in Parliament in September  “We would of course take a very different view on many of the domestic rules and regulations in Saudi Arabia.”  (Hansard, 1 Sept. 2014. Column 34).

If new nuclear in the UK comes at the cost of inward investment from either an authoritarian Communist regime in Beijing that ruthlessly oppresses political dissent ,or a misogynistic, medievalist, authoritarian regime in Riyadh, that regularly beheads criminals in public squares and funds terrorist organizations, is that a price our nation really wants to pay for supping with these deadly investors?

The views of EDF energy, who "declined to comment“ to The Times'  energy editor, would be most interesting.

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