So what do you think – should we tell Madame Liu Yandong to piss off, take herself and her running communist dogs back to China? After all, as Amnesty International has pointed out, China is numero uno in the world for executions; at least 190,000 people are in ‘administrative detention’, which most of the time means consignment to forced labour camps; human rights activists are harassed, torture is endemic and the Tibet situation is getting nastier-looking all the time. How can we think of trade links or student exchanges here in the north, or setting up a billion-euro deal with them for stud-farm training in the south? After all, people should come before profit – there’s even a political party called that in the south.
But hold on. We trade with the US, don’t we? They’re the only country in the world ever to have used nuclear weapons - something over 300,000 innocent Japanese people died as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not to mention what’s happening at the moment in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes, the American market is important for our tourism industry, to take one example; but people before profit, right?
Let’s develop instead our trade and tourist links with our nearest neighbour, Britain. Although now that I think of it – haven’t they got some 5,000 of their troops garrisoned in Ireland? And doesn’t Westminster insist that they’re better at governing us than we would be if they let us? Not to mention that Britain is going to spend between £15 billion and £20 billion (Greenpeace says it’ll be more like £34 billion) updating her nuclear weapons, which are of course designed to obliterate entire cities? How can we think of trading with a country that occupies part of ours and is prepared to threaten slaughter that would make the Omagh bomb look like a pin-prick?
Here's the thing with international relations, though. If you’re big enough, you can do what you like with your own people and/or the populations of other countries, and no one will say “Boo!” providing there’s money to be made. It’s only when you do violence on a relatively tiny scale and there’s no money/advantage to be made, that people get onto their very high ethical horse and start finger-wagging and talking human rights.
Come back, Madame Liu Yandong, we were only codding about telling you to piss off with your running dogs. It’s just our Western sense of humour – we don’t really mean a word of it. Sure you’re no worse than all the rest of them and maybe better than some.