It appears that despite a significant level of public anger and anxiety over the 47 executions carried out by Saudi Arabia on 2nd January, that our Government is either too frightened or too detached to make a proper response. According to this mornings Daily Telegraph, Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East and Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a response. Notably not something his boss, Philip Hammond could be bothered to make himself. Ellwood stated:
“I am deeply disturbed by the escalation in tensions in the last 24 hours in the Middle East…The UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty. We have stressed this to the Saudi authorities and also expressed our disappointment at the mass executions…We are deeply concerned to hear of the attack yesterday on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. It is essential that diplomatic missions are properly protected and respected.”
The idea that we are “deeply concerned” about the attack on an embassy, following a beheading of a well known cleric, and yet only “disappointed” following the execution of 47 people shows how deeply embroiled in this mess we really are, and how far from the population at large, our Government is. The lack of response by our Government until after the Saudi and Iranian Governments began to face up to one another shows how little they really do care about the death of these 47 people. What if one or more of these people had been British. Would Tobias Ellwood have made such a cautious statement. Let us hope not. If we are this supine on a matter we are knowingly opposed to, how many people need to be executed until we go beyond being disappointed? let us hope we never find out!