Even we seasoned political observers at HP can only be awestruck at the government’s cynicism in halting the Serious Fraud Office’s enquiry into alleged bribes of Saudi officials by BAE systems. As The Times reports, Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General even told the House of Lords that continuing the probe would have “negative consequences” for the UK’s public interest.
This blatant political interference in the judicial process sets a new and extremely worrying precedent, even for this government, obsessed as it is with monitoring, cataloguing and controlling the lives of its citizens. Such is the hold the Saudis now have over us that centuries of judicial tradition have been thrown out of the window, so as not to offend the Royal House.
However did it come to this? And what does this mean for future investigations? Perhaps the enquiry into the polonium poisining of Viktor Litvinenko will be similarly quashed soon. After, Putin’s Russia is also – supposedly – our ally in the war on terror. And Russia does have enormous oil and gas reserves……