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Western hypocrisy

Double standards over Ukraine

Boris Johnson with Mohammed bin Salman last week. Stefan Rousseau/Getty

Any “civilised person” is of course disgusted, as I am, by Vladimir Putin’s “lawless and barbaric invasion of Ukraine”, says Peter Hitchens in The Mail on Sunday. But that doesn’t mean we should stop thinking and “cease to recognise any faults in ourselves” – in particular, our hypocrisy. Former PM Gordon Brown has called, “without embarrassment”, for a war crimes tribunal against Vladimir Putin. Brown, of course, was Chancellor when his government took part in the “brutal and lawless invasion” of Iraq.

It’s the same with Saudi Arabia, a country where we send our royal family to pay homage and our politicians to “pathetically beg help”. Last week, Boris Johnson travelled to the Middle Eastern state to “abase” himself before its rulers, asking for an oil deal. This is the same country that “is still hosing away the blood of more than 80 people murdered [last week] in sectarian, lawless executions”. And it’s the same country that, with our help and equipment, “has for years been conducting a filthy, aggressive war in Yemen which is at least as vile as the one now being carried out by the Kremlin in Ukraine”. You have to ask yourself why we care so much less about this than about Ukraine. “But you know the answers.”