And before anyone asks, yes, this is the kind of thing that I've been banging on and on about for years.
As it happens, I'm really not horrified at all to see the world's leading humanitarians going all kneepad-nymphos with its most appalling tyrants once again. This kind of thing has been going on since forever and, if it's rare for us to directly witness such pornographic entwinings of political tongue and autocratic anus, it certainly doesn't hurt to be reminded of some very basic facts of life.
I can even see a kind of cold-blooded logic in the idea that it may be better to suck up to the Sauds than it would be to let the Kingdom fall in whichever direction it totters... Although of course, it's incredibly naive to imagine that it's this excuse, rather than the far more obvious and commonplace "keeping the same rich folks very rich indeed" motivation that's at the heart of the policy.
Still, let's observe that by far the easiest way for our nation to avoid charges of hypocrisy while still keeping the right cash registers ringing isn't to suddenly denounce and divorce the Saudi despotism, and screw the consequences.
That might be the right thing to do, but it's not the most convenient.
The easiest and most honest tactic would be for statesmen to drop all pretence that their foreign policies are motivated by morality, human rights or love of democracy, and to admit once and for all that they're moved by ignoble expediency at best, and rampant, cynical greed at worst.
This would slash my stock of blogging topics by about eighty percent at a stroke, and I can't say that I'd be sad to see them go. It'd also do us all the immense favour of debullshitising much of our politics, which would be wonderful for pretty much everyone, barring those who benefit from bullshit.
Anyway, as a little pick-me-up, let's end by fondly recalling how the Saudi King was greeted by the Welsh Guards, the last time he visited these shores.