“You’ve arrived at a good time” I was hailed whilst I scanned the lunch table licking my lips in anticipation, and I suppose I had! Hello, my name is Todd, recent addition to the CAAT team in the capacity of a rather wet behind the ears media volunteer. So it was with some trepidation and considerable excitement that in only my second week on the job CAAT earned a landmark victory in court. As some of you will know, last week the High Court ruled that the Government acted illegally in preventing the Serious Fraud Office investigating accusations of corruption and bribery levelled at the paragons of morality and transparency that are the Saudi Royal family. The allegations in question concern a string of transactions relating to arms dealers BAE systems. BAE are a company who espouse more moral indifference to their stock trade than a fox hunter with sidelines in battery farming and extraordinary rendition flights. In a stunning and momentous blow against the power of Britain’s ever presidential executive Lord Justice Moses ruled that “no one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice.” The enduring pressure and hard work put in by CAAT and The Corner House had received an epic official justification.
Thus the lunch table was understandably a cheery one and I felt glad to be on the team, and not just because of the gourmet marinated peppers, or that I could take a portion of collective pride by association, (having thus far contributed a negligible amount of blood, sweat and not a single tear myself). But seriously, it was exciting to see what CAAT had achieved, and I really did have a front row seat in that the morning prior to my delicious lunch I had been tasked with trawling through the weeks’ national dailies to see if the Great British press had shared my reverential glee.
To the most part they did, with gravitas and considerable aplomb. Brazen front page headlines from the Times, Telegraph and Guardian all articulately expressed Lord Justice Moses’ scathing comments, with many mentions of landmark rulings and perversions of justice (and a few shiny graphics to boot!). The Financial Times particularly invested considerable column inches in the story from a variety of angles, which I find reassuring. Especially the editorial calling the government to tread carefully on its planned constitutional reform bill, which could lead to ‘national security considerations’ becoming a blanket excuse akin to phoning in sick on a whim for months at a time because of ‘tummy ache’, without even the necessity of getting a doctor’s note.
The red-tops and tabloids were not to miss out either, with strong showings of support for the jurisprudent fruits of the campaign. The Mirror, the Evening Standard and The Morning Star as well as the London freebies all gave the weeks’ stunning revelations due prominence and analysis. CAAT was highly satisfied with the level of coverage and the subsequent wealth of editorial validation it wrought. Warm thanks are expressed to those publications who could see beyond the government’s ‘sheep’s clothing’ defence arguments (Realpolitik, political economy and nationalistic hubris) to the immorally bloated wolf at the heart of these events.
All here at CAAT HQ eagerly await the relief hearing this Thursday to see how events will unfold. Keep your eyes peeled here for updates, but it looks as though this legal boxing match could go all the way to a points decision, and I don’t expect the Government will care too much for mouth guards, or come to think of it horse-shoes either!