Mohammed bin Salman

A Saudi prince is visiting the UK this week

Protests are already planned over human rights abuses and the arms trade

The Saudi Crown Prince is coming to the UK for a three day visit. Protests are planned against his human rights record and against the UK's arms trade with Saudi Arabia.

What it means:  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been credited with 'opening up' the country's economy. It wants to attract foreign investors to reduce its complete dependence on the oil industry. Part of that 'opening up' has involved introducing new taxes, and lifting a really controversial ban on women driving, in an attempt to prove how modern it is.

The UK is looking at this new Saudi Arabia as an important ally, the UK has sold it billions of pounds worth of arms, and Theresa May is trying to build new trading relationships. There's a problem though, human rights campaigners say the PM should take a harder line on the country's human rights record, and want to draw attention to its ongoing involvement in a deadly conflict in Yemen.

It's all about how high up the list of priorities a country puts its own values. If people are really concerned about the actions of a particular state, economic sanctions can be imposed to stop that state trading. In this case, despite promising she'll have a stern word, Theresa May is convinced enough that the Saudi prince is reforming things in his own country, and has decided the relationship is too important to pass up on. Not everyone agrees.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?