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Don’t be surprised that Theresa May is visiting Bahrain – after Brexit, we’re in a Faustian pact over human rights abuse

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In the bleak midwinter, who would begrudge a weary Prime Minister the chance to stock up on the Vitamin D on a battery-recharging mini-break to the sun-kissed Persian Gulf?

Bidding brief farewell to the drudgery of PMQs and that catfight in the Supreme Court, Theresa May has nipped off to Bahrain for a bit of harmless fun with her hosts and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Officially, May will be doing some light finger-wagging at the Bahrainis over human rights, one of those western fads which is as stubbornly slow to catch on in that country as elsewhere in the region. “I think the UK has always had the position, and we continue to have the position,” she says, “that where there are issues raised about human rights … we will rightly raise those.” 

Using my trusty Disingenuous Blethering-English Dictionary, I am able translate that as follows: “Look, mate, we all know these people are brutes, and as a churchgoing vicar’s daughter I really wish I could tell them so. But if you think I’d offend them, when the post-Brexit economy heavily depends on ingratiating ourselves with these oil-rich horrors, you’re a child without a clue how this wicked world works.”

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