Our political leaders are constantly assuring us they’re ‘raising human rights’ with places like Saudi Arabia, or China, or wherever, and I today I find myself wondering how this plays out in reality.
Does the PM actually say to someone like the King of Saudi Arabia, ‘Saudia Arabia should stop torturing and beheading gay people?’ Or do our diplomatic officials tell their officials ‘Prime Minister Key will make a brief statement to your leader about the importance of democracy and equality. He is required to make this for domestic political purposes. No response is necessary.’ And then Key or Clark or whoever reads a bit of rhetoric off a card. ‘Although you have made great progress in this area there is work to be done . . .’
Or is it looser than that? Does our PM just say, ‘Your Ambassador assures me that you are committed to democratic reforms and human rights and we congratulate your Majesty on this and fully support your endeavors,’ and turn around and assure the press that they’ve ‘raised human rights’.
I feel like it’s the last, isn’t it?