Timing is one of the most important things in politics. Getting it right brings in lot of bouquets, misjudge it and the brickbats are all yours.
David Cameron earned the distinction of being the first Western leader to visit the revolution ravaged countries. The timing was just right for a round of applause, but the arm dealers accompanying him on the business mission was a mistimed move that earned the PM criticism.
Is selling arms to dictators/military rulers a right move? The debate got the better of Cameron, a miffed PM retorted his critics were ‘at odds with reality’.
Here he was talking pure and simple economics; though the arms deal don’t contribute much to the nations account books, in crunch time every bit counts. The trade employs one percent of Britain’s workforce, contribute 1.5% to the exports and needs around £5million in subsidies (The Times ).
The PM in his bid is doing what he could to boost the economy which is heading southwards.
What does him in is the fact that over the years occupants of No.10 Downing Street have been preaching peace and democracy to the world at large and also fuelling the non proponents of democracy with ammunition.
As The Times reports in 2009, 16 of the 53 countries invited for the biennial Defence Security and Equipment International, London almost every third country (16 to be precise) was questionable, for either they were involved in a current conflict or as a matter of practise didn’t respect human rights.
It’s been a legacy that Cameron has inherited and is following it unabashedly.
It should have been in news had he overseen the smaller gains for the larger interest of human rights that he advocates again as a proverbial British practise.
It would require a bigger and bolder step by world’s talking heads to get their acts right and walk the talk.
As of now the economic reasons it seems give them a reason to walk the other way, talking the same things.