We know the UK is in bed with the Saudis, and willing to look the other way on pretty much anything they do if they keep buying British guns and supporting "British interests" (whatever they may be) in the Middle East. But the rot goes deeper than that. It turns out that the UK Ministry of Defence lied to a Cabinet Minister so it could continue selling bombs to the Saudis:
The Ministry of Defence has been accused of “seriously misleading” a cabinet minister in a desperate effort to get export licences for British-made missiles for use by Saudi Arabia in its controversial bombing campaign in Yemen.
The former business secretary Vince Cable has told the Guardian he was given specific assurances by the MoD about oversight of potential targets – which he deemed an essential safeguard to minimise the risk of civilian casualties in the increasingly bloody conflict.
He says he was told that the UK would enhance its oversight to the level given by the Saudis to the US – which would include involvement in decisions about what was being bombed.
It was on this basis, Cable says, that he agreed to sign licences for a consignment of laser-guided Paveway IV missiles, which he had blocked amid concerns about civilian deaths.
While denied by the MoD, Cable's story has been backed by other witnesses. Which raises the question: who does the UK Ministry of Defence work for? The elected government, or a pack of child-murdering foreign despots? And if its the latter, why do they expect the British public to pay for them, or permit them to operate on UK soil?