Today, David Cameron is in Kazakhstan with a 33 strong business delegation. There are two words that spring to mind: oil and arms.
I always suspect ulterior motives for these trade visits. Only a few months ago, Cameron was swanning around the Persian Gulf flogging arms to the region’s absolute rulers. Now here he is in Kazakhstan doing the same thing under the aegis of ‘trade’. In the case of both visits, oil and gas was part of the attraction.
Cameron’s visit to Kazakhstan was arranged by none other than Tony Blair. The Guardian’s Nicholas Watt writes:
The Kazakh foreign minister praised the prime minister and Tony Blair, who is advising the president, for helping to improve the republic’s image on the world stage.
Ah, so it’s part of some PR stunt, is that right?
Erlan Idrissov said: “We are very honoured and privileged to have such attention on the part of two prime ministers [towards] Kazakhstan – Tony Blair and David Cameron. We cherish and enjoy the support of developed countries on our part for development … We are grateful that Mr Tony Blair and his colleagues are providing invaluable advice.”
Hmm, that must be very nice for you. Kazakhstan’s record on human rights is appalling. At home, Cameron’s coalition government wants to abolish human rights legislation so that we may become a sweatshop economy that is supported and protected by the repressive apparatuses of the state.
The business leaders accompanying the prime minister, including representatives from Shell, BG and Petrofac, are due to close deals worth £700m. Downing Street has its eye on future deals estimated by officials to be worth £85bn over the coming years.
Kerching! It’s boom time for our corporate overlords.
At the end of the article, Watt writes:
Britain is also to encourage trade by piloting a special visa service, called the Business Bridge, in the new capital of Astana for selected companies. Britain still processes visas from the old capital, Almaty, which is 60 miles away.
The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in power for over 20 years. Something that wannabe dictators like Cameron can only dream of.
Blair is one of the most dangerous men on the planet and Cameron is his true heir. Should Cameron lose the next General Election, there’s always a job waiting for him at The Office of Tony Blair as well as a nice cushy number with JP Morgan. Jobs for the boys, eh?