It’s hard to criticise a country on which our arms dealers are so dependent.
See here what the Conservatives Middle East Council (Chairman, Hugo Swire) thinks of “brand Saudi”
“Firstly, it needs to be said that Saudi Arabia will survive this crisis. Global politics are as they are, and the world will not stop buying Saudi oil, nor will Western nations abandon their decades old defence relationships with the Kingdom. Riyadh will not be any less secure as a result of the crisis, and with oil approaching $100 a barrel Saudi coffers will not be too adversely hit.
….. Whether Saudis want to admit it or not, the allegations of an horrific death of a journalist in a Saudi Consulate have resulted in the Crown Prince’s reputation taking a battering. Private sector companies have fled from the Davos in Desert conference scheduled to take place in late October. Ministers from foreign governments may still turn up, the cost of losing Saudi Arabia is too high. But the Ubers and JP Morgans of the world have calculated that the cost of being currently associated with brand MbS is higher than the cost of losing out on taking a slice of Saudi Arabia’s economy.
Like all brands, brand MbS might be able to resurrect itself, but it will take time. …..”
Here is what the Daily Mail has to say
“Crisis-torn Saudi Arabia has been lavishing hundreds of thousands of pounds on British MPs, the Mail can reveal.
The kingdom – under fire over the suspected state-sponsored murder of a journalist – has been pouring cash into a charm offensive.
In just two years it has tripled the amount of money spent on MPs to pay for luxury hotels, business-class flights and magnificent feasts.
Campaigners say 38 MPs who got freebies over the past five years are ‘accessories’ to a cynical bid to brush up the oil-rich Gulf nation’s tarnished image.
Saudi Arabia’s slick PR offensive comes as it battles international condemnation over the suspected murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Screaming Mr Khashoggi, 59, is said to have been recorded in his country’s consulate in Istanbul apparently being chopped up while alive – as the chief Saudi government hitman listened to music on earphones.
Saudi Arabia is also under intense scrutiny for staging bombing raids across Yemen that have killed thousands of civilians.
In 2016, British parliamentarians accepted £35,062 of junkets, gifts and other benefits from the authoritarian regime. But this year the figure is more than three times higher at £106,418 – and it is only October. The total since 2015 has been put at £208,000.
….. Last night Andrew Smith, from Campaign Against the Arms Trade, said: ‘At the same time as the MPs were enjoying luxury flights and hotels, human rights defenders were being abused and Yemen was being bombed.
‘MPs should be speaking out and taking action, not accepting gifts and hospitality.
‘The Saudi regime has one of the most appalling human rights records in the world, and MPs should not be supporting it. …”