The Crown Prince and de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, began an official UK visit on Wednesday the 7th of March 2018, where he was greeted to a hostile public but a welcoming government.
The architect of the genocide of 12,000 Yemeni civilians using predominantly British-manufactured aircraft and the man responsible for initiating officially the worst cholera outbreak in history through UN-denounced port blockades was greeted by a large protest outside Downing Street organised by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.
The ruling Conservative party still uphold the man as a ‘visionary reformer’, mostly owing to his decision to finally allow women to drive cars. This defence has been used to justify an additional £4.6bn worth of arms contracts being signed in the past 3 years even as scenes of the weapons in question bombarding hospitals and mosques were broadcast around the world.
In a Press Office release Theresa May stated that ‘the visit will usher in a new era in bilateral relations’ and ‘enhance our co-operation in tackling international challenges such as terrorism, extremism, the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen and other regional issues such as Iraq and Syria’. Tory MP Leo Docherty went one further and said during Prime Minister’s Questions that Saudi Arabia is “a force for tremendous stability” in the Middle East, without caring to explain how he came to this conclusion.
Saudi Arabia is changing and introducing important reforms that Britain values including greater freedoms for women. #CrownPrinceVisit
— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) March 7, 2018
The visit of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman ushers in a new era in our bilateral relations focused on a partnership that delivers wide-ranging benefits for both our countries. #CrownPrinceVisit
— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) March 6, 2018
The listing of Aramco – which will almost certainly be the largest IPO in history when it is floated some time this year – is also still on the table. The UK Financial Conduct Authority are considering allowing Saudi Aramco to join the London market by listing just 5% of its shares – well below the usual 25% free-float requirement – in order to entice the 2 trillion dollar company to London instead of New York. This has enraged the Investment Association, who fail to see why normal rules should be suspended for VIP clients.
The combination of prospective public Saudi oil shares, even more arms cash in a further extension of the outstandingly corrupt Al-Yamamah deal negotiated under Margeret Thatcher and various other investments in Brexit Britain means that getting face time with the Prince is currently the hottest ticket going. First however, he enjoyed some lunch with the Saudi monarchy’s biggest cheerleader: Queen Elizabeth II. The Buckingham Palace Flag flew at half mast when Prince Bin Salman’s uncle died, the notoriously tyrannical Abdullah who oversaw the amplification of torture and murder in line with strict adherence to Wahabbist doctrine.
Contrary to Downing Street’s ‘Saudi revolution’ angle, the political stance of the Saudi leadership means nothing to us. Whether it’s a 14th century-style autocrat like King Abdullah or a ‘reformer’ like Prince MbS, we just love our Saudis all the same.
We love our oil and we love to sell death machines. As long as those two things continue to swap hands with ease then Saudi Arabia will always remain a fantastical progressive wonderland in Westminster in spite of overwhelming and indisputable evidence to the contrary.
Amity Underground | Saudi Arabia