Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The United States: Rogue State.

There's pretty much no other way to read the details of the CIA's torture program without coming to a very simple conclusion : that the United States is currently harbouring people known to have committed war crimes of every imaginable variety including many of the very worst short of genocide. Inevitably, other countries, including quite probably the UK, were involved also, but the main driving force behind these war crimes seems to have come from the US's incompetent, scared leadership of the time.

If the United States does not investigate these crimes and punish those reponsible it will be little better than Sudan, Syria, Iran, North Korea, the People's Republic of China, and other countries where human rights are regarded by those in power as having little consequence, except that we may at least hope that the torture program is no longer operational.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

China refuses to allow MPs to visit Hong Kong: a modest proposal

Here's how Britain should respond to China's refusal to allow a parliamentary delegation to visit Hong Kong: just as unreasonably as China has acted in blocking a perfectly reasonable attempt to see whether the PRC was sticking to the terms of the 1984 Sino-British agreement.

Let's start by cancelling the student visas given to the children of high-ranking CCP officials like Bo Guagua and Yang Li. After all, the mantra that Britain is "no longer a colonial power" and shouldn't try to interest itself in Hong Kong and Chinese affairs, then this must cut both ways - there is no reason for Chinese officials to be sending their children to the UK to learn in Britain if British officials cannot visit China to investigate affairs there.

As a second move, let's close down all Confucius Institutes  (Chinese state-funded educational centres, normally based in UK universities) that have been set up in the UK. As all good paranoiacs know, these are basically spy command centres, and tools of cultural imperialism. If "western values" that the UK's parliamentarians might spread like democracy are a threat to China, then by the same absurd logic, bodies designed to teach about Chinese cultural values may also be a threat to the UK.

Finally, if compliance with bilateral treaties between our two countries may not be monitored without accusations of "colonialism", then it is not only British officials who must be barred from travelling. There are a whole raft of treaties and exchange programs (e.g., this one) visit the UK: let's scrap the lot.

But of course, we're too reasonable to do any of this.

[Picture: the original modest proposal]