"The wider public interest"..."outweigh[s] the need to maintain the rule of law".It looks like an extraordinary thing for the highest officer of the law in any jurisdiction to say. But the BBC's diplomatic correspondent writes: "Nobody anywhere is...surprised at [the] decision" [to end a corruption investigation into a British-Saudi arms deal].
Well, even if that's true (and not everyone agrees -- see comments below by one activist), please let's have a dispassionate and rigorous analysis of what the attorney general's statement and the Prime Minister's reasoning say about: 1) the British constitutional system and the place of law within it; and 2) how, precisely, "the UK public interest in terms of both national security and our highest priority foreign policy objectives in the Middle East" is served.
(The activist wrote:
Why should anyone want 'integrate' into a country that: goes to war illegally; makes money selling arms to despotic regimes; lets arms traders know they above the law; allows the judiciary to be overruled by the executive; claims that it is not in the 'national interest' to uphold the rule of law and; has a government that brazenly pretends that the 'national interest' is not 'economic' ('national interest' halts arms corruption inquiry, 14 December). Let's face it, we are hooked on oil and will do anything to ensure we keep on getting it, including sell arms to pay for it - and blow the impact on global climate. Only one political party has stood up against all of this but, because of our outdated electoral system, it hasn't a single seat in parliament. Vote Green for sanity and self-respect!")