Principles or Pragmatism?

  oresome 18:56 15 Dec 2006

I refer to the dropping of the SFO investigation into possible corruption regarding a BAE Systems arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Would you stick to your principles and risk souring relations and business contracts or accept that compromises have to be made?

Perhaps you believe national security overides all other considerations and is relevant to this case.

  Al94 19:01 15 Dec 2006

Principles, current government, you are joking - right?

  amonra 19:10 15 Dec 2006

Corruption has always been rife in the middle east. You cant get any business done unless a few "favours" change hands. It's a way of life, so grin and bear it ( and stick a few percent on the final invoice)

  Forum Editor 19:27 15 Dec 2006

at our peril, and attempting to delve into a Saudi Prince's bank accounts looking for illicit payments made to secure an arms contract must qualify as about the most brainless action ever undertaken.

Had I been Prime Minister I would have stopped the investigation immediately, and I'm pleased to see that it was done. Anyone who has ever had any dealings with the Arab oil states knows full well how business is done there, and if you want a vast contract to be awarded to a British company you take a deep breath and do as the Romans do.

The alternative was to see billions of pounds-worth of business go to France.

  rezeeg 19:49 15 Dec 2006

Accept it as a fact of life, but wish we weren't so hypocritical when other countries beat us to contracts using these means.

  anskyber 19:56 15 Dec 2006

It's the way the world spins. I do not like it but faced with the same question there is no other practical answer.

There are far too many reasons to adopt a very pragmatic outlook on this issue. It makes a great deal more sense to me than the less savoury alliance with Chile during the Falklands War.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:23 15 Dec 2006

So it would be better to lose 9000 jobs?


  Jak_1 20:33 15 Dec 2006

The last thing we want to do is sour relationships with Saudi. To save jobs and the contract the right thing has been done IMHO. people here in the North West are over the moon at the decision, their jobs are now much more secure!

  J B 20:45 15 Dec 2006

When you talk about defence contracts and the like, any sane person would know that in order to get business done, it is a case of you scratch my back, I will scratch yours.

I have seen this type of thing before, while unsavory it is sometimes nesessary, though it doesn't make it right. In the long run, it will be forgotten about and jobs will be safe. J.B.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:22 15 Dec 2006

that when you refer to 'Saudi Arabia' you are in fact talking about a country that is privately owned by and operated for the benefit of just one family. If you are wondering which family then take a closer look at what they decided to call the country.

And lets be perfectly honest, if they didnt have all that oil then no-one would care squat about them apart from (maybe) amnesty international.


  Jim Thing 21:25 15 Dec 2006

Certainly the government would be criminally negligent if it failed to protect British high-technology jobs by whatever means is available. But wouldn't it would have been much better all round if someone had had enough commercial savvy to have stamped on the idea of an investigation before it ever got off the ground? Were they really so unworldly as to imagine that UK PLC's biggest customer would simply nod and smile sweetly whilst we were busy hauling the way he does business into the light of day?

It's perfectly obvious that the probe was stopped because the Saudis said "Drop it or else...". The government's pathetic excuse fools nobody and has a strong whiff of the No.10 Spin Office about it.

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