International briefings

A history lesson on Angola and plea for help to raise the issue of the alleged EU, US and British complicity in supporting an undemocratic government – which takes lands and rights and wealth from natural resources from the people to line its own pockets and create elite areas. I will do some independent research and make some enquires, as they say, but if what was presented is true – then only too happy to pursue, raise issues and turn a spotlight.

Followed by a SaferWorld and Amnesty briefing for a group of relevant Liberal Democrats on the forthcoming review of the Export Control License. Basically Government policy talks a good talk – but reality falls way short. There are a number of areas where arms trading is clearly taking place through back door or circuitous routes and the Government does not seem over-keen to find and shut loopholes. So the review will run from May to September – and given Labour’s stopping of the investigation into BAE – one has to wonder why the policy is good but the practise falls so short.

0 thoughts on “International briefings

  1. Angola appears to be in the process of recovering from a long civil war. Democracy is not healthy there, as is the case in many African nations, although elections are promised in 2008 and there are far worse places. so often falls short because if the government lived up fully to their public statements on human rights, there wouldn’t be many countries left we could trade with. And sometimes it is a matter of the lesser evil. While we should not deny or hide that evil, the worse harm we would do by making an empty rhetorical stand should not be dismissed as ‘not our problem’. If you’re going to make a stand, make an effective one.I’ve been reading just this week about goings on in Egypt. I thought you might be interested in this story on the role of education in conflict zones this the sort of government you think we should support? And yet we have supported them, and worse ones, because our best hope of influencing them is to engage with them.I’d be very interested to know what you think about these – particularly the Palestinian education efforts – and where you would draw the line. I don’t expect you to say anything other than that you would take an absolute and uncompromising moral stance, of course. That’s politics. But hypothetically, how far could someone go down the road of dealing with such governments before it became totally unacceptable to you?

  2. Thank you for the links. Two things. Firstly – I tend to believe that no engagement leads nowhere. Yes – sometimes there may be a period when acts or atrocities are so despicable it is impossible to engage in any way at all – but in principle I don’t believe permanent non-contact leads anywhere at all in the longer term.Secondly – the kind of hatred which the report you cite says is being taught against Jews in schools in Palestine and Syria is repugnant.Many governments of many developing countries do not use aid as we might wish – and in fact I and others are currently pursuing Hilary Benn on tracking our aid money more effectively. 20 – 100% of cost can be added due to corruption (whether in the terms you site or other types of misappropriation) in countries receiving aid.Conditionality of aid is a difficult issue – but of course – the international community would not and should not wish to see its aid used in the teaching of any hatreds.