The mood at 10 Downing Street was euphoric. It was best news for Theresa May’s beleaguered government since the Northern Ireland-based Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) agreed shore her up after she failed to get her parliamentary majority. The High Court had ruled July 10 that the government is not breaking the law by continuing to sign off the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf is critical to her government’s post-Brexit economic strategy.
The UN and other observers have accused Saudi Arabia of killing large numbers of civilians, including through the bombing of hospitals, schools, and weddings, in its neighboring country, Yemen where it is intervening against Shia Houthi.
The court, rejecting the petition filed by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, ruled: “The open and closed evidence demonstrates that the [British] Secretary of State was rationally entitled to conclude … [that] the [Saudi] Coalition were not deliberately targeting civilians, … Saudi processes and procedures have been put in place to secure respect for the principles of International Humanitarian Law … [and that] the Coalition was investigating incidents of controversy, including those involving civilian casualties.”
Lord Justice Burnett ruled that it had not been established that there was “a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”
Amnesty International labeled the ruling as a “deadly blow” to Yemeni civilians, while Oxfam said there was a “clear moral case to suspend sales.”
The war has entered its third year and as many as 13,000 civilians have been killed or injured. The country is facing a major cholera outbreak with more than 300,000 suspected cases in the last two months. On Monday the International Committee of the Red Cross said the cholera epidemic “continues to spiral out of control” since it erupted in April. More than 21 million people are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, and at least 3 million people have been forced to flee their homes since March 2015.
Sir Michael Fallon, who has served as Secretary of State for Defense and member of the National Security Council since 2014, pronounced, “Our government is not obliged to question the Saudis how they use our British-supplied cluster munitions against whoever, the Houtis or whatever.
The party continues to get merrier, as Sir Michael, adds the UK is also not obliged to tell whether it is training Saudi pilots in the war in Yemen, or just helping them with post-air strike assessments.
“It is all good for Britain!” he declared, and added, “Since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, we have licensed £3.3 billion worth of arms to the Saudis, including £1.1 billion worth of ML4 licenses, which relate to bombs, missiles, and other explosives. What more could we want!”
The former UK Independence Party leader from Nigel Farage, who has also been invited to the soiree, recharges his glass of champaign, and bellows, “Praise the Lord, with Brexit, we don’t need to meet the atrocious standards of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.
“And praise the Lord that Jeremy Corbyn’s is not Prime Minister. He has already said that Labor would ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
“This commie Corbyn wants to starve British industry! Shame!
“And our House isn’t short of fools. This Green’s Caroline Lucas says that the court’s judgment doesn’t give any moral justification for the government’s – what she alleges “unethical actions” when it comes to arms sales!”
Mrs. May is still unable to subdue her foreign secretary Boris Johnson. But Johnson, who has now attached himself to a bottle of whisky and the chandelier, can’t stop celebrating.
He announces, “Tomorrow, I am flying to all those piddling … little poodles sitting on oil drums! And I am taking both their royal highnesses Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice with me.
“Those piddling will be falling over each other to sit between their royal highnesses Eugenie Victoria Helena and Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, granddaughters of Her Majesty, the Queen Elizabeth II.
“It will be a riot! Piddling after the other flanked by our two princesses signing purchase orders!
“They need Brit arms to scare Qatar, and Qatar needs our Brit arms to keep them at bay! Praise the Lord!
“More than 300,000 cases of cholera already! Dear old Liam [Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade] will tire signing export permits!
“Liam, what I find that our pharma industry employs more than 50,000 people. Just these cholera shots should ten to fifteen thousands to their rolls!
“Thank you Arlene, our partnership is bringing more jobs to Britons.
“I am going to tell each of these piddling that it is fine that Trump says his arms are beautiful, but British arms are sexy! Every bomb, every jet, every gun, every bullet that we will send will bear Her Majesty’s Warrant … ‘By Royal Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’.
“Attention everyone, after laying every piddling in sight, I will jet to New Delhi and sell Narindra Modi, a few million pound sterling of beef detectors to catch any Muslim who has eaten beef! I will use my mother’s family’s contacts. I am packing a few cases of duty-free Johnny Walker Black Label for my uncles and cousins,” he boasts gulping two quick shots of whisky as Mrs. May starts scolding him.
“Boris this is enough! Get down from that chandelier! It is government property. Get back to earth before you fall off that chandelier and break a few bones. Boris, we have to do a toast of eternal thanks to our great hero … the outstanding Briton … Thomas Edward Lawrence … the unmatchable Lawrence of Arabia who has blessed us with a never drying spigot of cash.”
Boris lands safely, while others raise their flutes of champaign, he attaches himself to a bottle of Dom Perignon.