Dead Men Left

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tony Blair does not actually give a rat's arse about human rights and democracy

I couldn't put it any more succinctly, sorry. Blair delivered a stomach-churning speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet a few days ago, in which he declared the sacred role of the West in delivering democracy to the savage areas of the world. Here is the White Man's Burden resting heavy on his shoulders:

But I am saying that, patiently and plainly, Europe and America should be working together to bring the democratic human and political rights we take for granted to the world denied them.

Over the cloying scents of five exquisitely-prepared courses, the banqueting nobility and the great and the good might just, if they strained, have caught the whiff of DU and burnt flesh behind Blair's words. But ignore, for a minute, Iraq; just a day later, Blair's utter hypocrisy was exposed once more.

Four Egyptian asylum seekers were ruled in July to have been unlawfully detained in the UK under the anti-terrorism laws. The High Court judges ruled that there was a sufficient danger of them being tortured or killed if deported to Egypt that they should be granted leave to remain in Britain without detention. The civil liberties organisaion, Statewatch, has revelead that their unlawful detention was the result of the Prime Minister's own intervention in the case. Blair personally wished to remove these men to Egypt, despite knowing the very high risk of serious human rights breaches if they were. The Guardian reports that

When Mr Blair was warned by the home secretary in a private letter that there was "ample evidence from a range of sources of serious human rights abuses in Egypt", and that there was "little scope for pushing deportations any further", he replied: "This is crazy. Why can't we press on?"

Consider this in the light of Blair's speech: would the process of bringing "democratic human and political rights" to Egypt be assisted, or weakened, by the Prime Minister's willingness to overlook the Mubarak regime's use of torture and execution? Blair was, is, and will doubtless remain a disgusting hypocrite; but our war criminal Prime Minister has revealed further depths.