10 April 2012

Syria, Despots and the Hypocrisy of Government

What is going on in Syria (and even across the border in Turkey) is absolutely appalling. The anger, yet impotence I feel watching some of the images that have been on our TV, leave me with a single inescapable conclusion. We, the people who live in Britain and other "western" countries, have some small culpability, because we tolerate this.

We tolerate and have tolerated dictatorships. We want our cheap consumer goods from China and we want to sell them luxury goods, so we turn a blind eye to human rights abuses. We need oil from the Middle East, so whether it is the execution of someone for being gay, or torturing political opponents by boiling them alive, we tolerate it because we are "junkies" hooked on fossil fuels.

It doesn't have to be like this. We could have a government that took a clear ethical line and we could do it ourselves by doing everything we can to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. It's a big ask but what value should we place on freedom and human lives? It should be the highest value for everyone and not just for those of us who were born on this island.

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