On Theresa May and extremism

Theresa May’s McCarthyist credentials took quite a boost today, as she announced a drive against “entryist” infiltration of the public sector, charities, and businesses. The Home Office definition of “entryism” is, according to the Guardian, “extremist individuals, groups and organisations consciously seeking to gain positions of influence to better enable them to promote their own extremist agendas.” Those devious fuckers, hey?

What’s odd about this definition is, the repeated use of “extremist” aside, it seems a remarkably good definition of exactly why most people do enter the public sector. One presumes that Theresa herself sought to gain a position of influence—it seems unlikely that one becomes Home Secretary by accident, or against one’s will—and one presumes that she did so in order to be able to promote her own bigotry—sorry, agenda. So is she an entryist? Well that will have to turn on whether you consider her an extremist or not, because that seems to be the only thing that picks out an entryist from an ordinary, principled public servant. Fortunately, Theresa herself has provided a definition of extremism: “the vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”

Can we talk about Saudi Arabia, now? Saudi Arabia is not a democracy, it is a theocratic monarchy. In Saudi Arabia, according to Amnesty International, the security services carry out arbitrary arrests, detain people for considerably longer than the country’s laws permit, and generally act outside the rule of even those atrocious laws that are in place. In Saudi Arabia there may be a level of individual liberty for well-behaved Muslim men, but Theresa herself would not be allowed to leave her own house without being covered from head to toe and in the company of her husband or other family member. In Saudi Arabia “freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and the government severely restricts it in practice” (and that’s according to our own best buddies). Taking Theresa’s fundamental British values as given (and here is not the place to quibble about them), it rather seems that Saudi Arabia is opposed to all of them, and therefore under Theresa and the Home Office’s own definitions, is a ripe candidate for the epithet “extremist.”

And this is odd, because Theresa—who is so determined to root out extremism in the public sector—was one of those who, in the recent cabinet dispute about whether or not to continue selling the services of precisely that public sector to precisely that extremist regime, lobbied Cameron to keep the contract in place.

Of all the contortions and contradictions that this and previous governments and ministers have engaged in to suck up to their oil-providing masters in the Gulf, this has to be one of the most revolting. To engage in a witch-hunt against “extremism” in the public sector whilst actively advocating the whoring out of that same public sector to the country which competes with North Korea for the most extremist regime on the planet takes a level of hypocrisy that beggars belief.

To avoid any doubt: Theresa May, by definitions of her own government, has actively promoted that our public services actively engage with extremism. Chances of her duly and unceremoniously turfing herself out on her ear? Fucking zero, of course.

An individual less regretted?

So ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Āl Saʿūd has died.

David Cameron is “saddened,” and has praised his “commitment to peace,” a commitment which apparently requires £80 billion in arms from the UK alone, and the suspension of our justice system.

Prince Charles, who counted ʿAbd Allāh as a personal friend, is flying to Riyadh to pay his condolences.

Whitehall and Westminster Abbey are flying the flag at half-mast, and it has fallen to a UKIP MP to suggest that this might be “an extraordinary misjudgment.”

Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, has said that ʿAbd Allāh—in whose country women could not drive, vote, or leave their own house without being in the company of a male relative—was “a strong advocate of women.”

Is there any real need to rehearse the catalogue of awfulness that is the Saʿūd regime? The public beheadings, the lashings, the torture, the corruption, the hypocrisy? Short of North Korea, I can think of no country run by a more despicable, vile, medieval collection of irredeemable shites.

The obsequious fawning of our establishment over this unlamentable demise exposes—if it really ever was not blindingly obvious—how pathetically paper-thin our own rulers’ morality is: their principles for sale for a few million barrels of oil a day. The late king, in a moment of supreme hypocrisy, sent a representative to the Charlie Hebdo march—whilst his own regime continues the seven-year imprisonment and 1,000 lashes of Raif Badawi. As he was so keen to defend this institution, I can think of no more fitting tribute to this man and his relationship with our own spineless leaders than a Charlie Hebdo-style cartoon of David Cameron sucking ʿAbd Allāh’s oil pineline of a cock. Our leaders were nothing but eager whores to this monumental bastard. I hold little hope that the situation will change with his successor—or, regrettably, with theirs.

Sickening, sickening, sickening.