The British government’s most senior Foreign Office official has admitted human rights are no longer a “top priority” for the government and that dwindling resources are to be channeled into the Conservatives’ “prosperity agenda.”
With many at home and abroad unconvinced that ethics were ever a consideration for warmongering Britain, the startling admission has sparked outrage from human rights organisations.
Questioned on how his department was prioritising resources, Permanent Secretary to the Foreign Office, Sir Simon McDonald, told MPs (Members of Parliament) that human rights “no longer had the profile” within his department that they had in the past.
“Although it is one of the things we follow, it is not one of our top priorities,” he said, admitting human rights are secondary to the need to promote British companies abroad.
“When much of the Middle East is in flames and a refugee crisis is engulfing Europe, Sir Simon’s comments are as astonishing as they are alarming,” said Amnesty International’s Allan Hogarth. U.K. director of Human Rights Watch said the shocking comments will be part of a wider inquiry into Britain’s policies on human rights abuses.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said human rights were still, “an integral part of the Foreign Office’s work.” She added that the U.K. plays a leading role in the Human Rights Council and is committed to promoting and protecting universal human rights across the world.
With the British government’s long history of colonial atrocities, catastrophic foreign policy, facilitation of forced labour abroad and a flourishing arms trade with “countries of concern” ─ most Brits will be relieved their government has stopped pretending.
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