Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the first world war armistice. Dignitaries, politicians and the general public gathered to pay their respects. They made speeches to honour the 16 million lives lost, and they took part in a wide variety of events to commemorate the end of World War I. Many politicians used this opportunity to talk about the fragility of peace, and to increase awareness about the rise in, and dangers of, self-centered nationalism, xenophobia, and the growing global levels of sociopathic behaviour.
And yet, in the very same week the British government are securing deals with Saudi Arabia to sell 48 Typhoon fighter planes. Indeed, since 2015 Britain has sold billions of pounds of weapons that have been used by Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen. Could anything be worse? Well yes, it could. The UK has a list of 30 countries which, through its own analysis, have committed the greatest number of human rights atrocities, and yet, the UK government is still happy to sell arms to 66% of them.
So, in a nutshell, how am I supposed to reconcile the difference between acts of peace, and facts of war? How are educators supposed to teach children anything about ethics and morality when the bottom line, since time immemorial, clearly demonstrates that money and power will always outtrump the value of peace and humanity.
The British government is putting blood on my hands, and my ignorance to the level of this hypocrisy has made me more than just an innocent bystander. Today, I am ashamed of myself.