Reclaim Our Foreign Policy

by Zoe Pollock

Johann Hari has harsh words for the governments that have aided and abetted Mubarak:

In Cairo, there is an area called the City of the Dead. It is a large ancient graveyard filled with tombs. One million families with nowhere else to go have had to break them open and live in the graves. It’s a symbol of the living death the dictators we arm and fund have inflicted on the Middle East. While the people live in coffins, Mubarak’s family buy palaces here in London: I just went to see the five-storey Georgian mansion they own round the corner from Harrods here in London.

It doesn’t have to be like this. We could make our governments as moral as we, the British people, are in our everyday lives. We could stop them trampling on the weak and fattening thugs. But to achieve it, we have to democratize our own societies and claim control of our own foreign policy. We would have to monitor and argue and campaign over it, and let our governments know there is a serious price for behaving viciously abroad. The Egyptian people have shown this week they will risk everything to stop being abused. What will we risk to stop our governments being abusers?