Andrew Allison

Gillian Gibbons – a final thought

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2007 at 8:20 pm

It is good news that Gillian Gibbons has been released from prison and is now flying back to the UK. There is a but in that though.

What Baroness Warsi and Lord Ahmed have done has been done with all the best of intentions, however for the Sudanese president to grant her a pardon, there has to have been a crime in the first place. Ms Gibbons was not guilty of a crime. There was a time when a British Passport meant something. It doesn’t seem to anymore. By negotiating with the regime in Sudan, we have legitimised their judicial process and that is a mistake. We should get back to those times when Britain never negotiated with terrorists or rogue states.

  1. I understand and partially share your feelings on this – but what else could they have done?

  2. WCL: The government should have demanded that the verdict be reversed. I’m sure it was the government who asked these two peers to go out there in the first place.

    If the decision had not been reversed, then she would have spent another week in prison. The Sudanese have a propaganda victory, just like the Iranians did back in the spring.

  3. Too much respect has been shown to the government in Sudan, that is certainly true. I wouldn’t have thought the government would be worth saving from its own people either given the heinous crimes it commits in Darfur.

  4. Ah, God bless the Daily Mail hegemony. Do drop the liberal prefix and cap up your Conservative, Andrew.

  5. Dave: Perhaps I should drop the liberal prefix, if you think liberal means failing to stand up to threats from terrorists and extremists; but I don’t look at it like that.

    More states around the world will now think they can do the same. It makes the world a less safe place. Iran and now Sudan know which buttons to press. All we have to do now is wait for next trumped-up charge from another country who has a grudge.

  6. I think there is one good unintended consequence in that the Sudanese people realise that the UK has Muslim Parliamentarians..

  7. I agree with you on that point, Mutley. Whether they will react to Britain in a different way… I won’t hold my breath.

  8. to refuse to meet with rogue states and terrorists is to invite more actions similar to the recent iranian and sudanese events.


    because these are efforts to reach out and touch the uk at a time when the countries involved have nothing to lose from the actions…it’s not as if the sudan’s relationship with the uk will deteriorate, if no relationship currently exists.

    on the other hand, the sudanese might be reachable either through or around their leadership, and if we do not try to create a dialogue, we lose that chance.

    as i so often suggest, the biggest fear of someone like mr. al-bashir (or bin laden, for that matter) is a functioning and engaged middle class who is not interested in extremism.

    i recently put up a story describing a foreign aid project that has the potential to improve the face of the usa’s foreign policy in rwanda…and it offers an example of what i’m suggesting would make more sense for all involved in places like the sudan, as well.

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