So who is getting excited about the approaching Jubilee celebrations?
No I am not either. Although the extra day off is nice. Now I’m not saying we should not be commemorating a long reign of 60 years – although in tough times the expenditure seems a bit insensitive.
But we should be concerned about the banquet that is planned to take place in the magnificent St. Georges Hall at Windsor Castle. This is the major event for the great and the good. It will be grand gathering of royals and heads of state from across the world. What is worrying is that Hamad al-Khalifa, King of Bahrain seems to be on the guest list. We all know that Bahrain has been in the news lately because the civil unrest there almost stopped this year’s Grand Prix.
There has been a catalogue of complaints about Human rights abuses since the unrest began in 2011 as part of the ‘Arab Spring’.
We should be using our diplomatic influence to pressurize such abuses to end.
Do we rally want to see the King taking his place at the table of our monarch at an event that will be witnessed by the world?
Opposition Foreign Office spokesman Dennis McShane is quoted in the Guardian – "Many in Britain will regret that the foreign secretary, who approves all invitations sent in the Queen's name as head of state, has decided to include a representative of the Bahraini regime which has done such terrible things to its own people since the Arab awakening a year ago."
What message is this sending about our commitment to or interest in Human Rights?
And what other ‘honoured’ guests with questionable histories will be welcomed. And do we want them welcomed in our name?
Fighting for your rights