Goethe’s character sold his soul to the devil for the promise of earthly happiness, forgetting that any bet with Mephistopheles can have only one winner.
Translating this German tale to today’s British reality, our spivocrats Dave and George ought to remember that, while the nation can survive without China’s ill-gotten cash, she can’t survive without her soul – not that they are ever overburdened with such lofty concerns.
“Verweile doch,” they said to Xi in effect, “du bist so schön.” Stay with us, you’re so beautiful – or rather rich (reich). There went the nation’s soul, what was left of it.
I’m not going to burden you with gruesome stories about abuses of human rights in communist China. These are widely known.
Anyway, the term is imprecise. There are no rights there, and, if you regard freedom as an essential aspect of humanity, certainly no human rights.
It’s a slave economy built on the foundation of the most satanic ideology man has devised so far. China is a semi-starving country oppressed by a few murderous billionaires and their servile cronies.
It’s a country where the criminal gang of Party chiefs can order women to abort their children on pain of punishment. It’s a country that can mow down the unaborted children who grow up and dare to voice their disapproval of the regime.
More important, it’s a country that presents a clear-cut strategic menace to the West, of which we’re still part. In today’s world China is as close to being satanic as any major country comes.
Does this mean we should do no business with China at all? In an ideal world, one run by moral dicta rather than pecuniary gain, the answer would be yes. Decent countries ought to boycott evil ones.
But we don’t live in an ideal world, nor have ever lived in one. In the real world, governments have to balance moral imperatives with economic and social needs.
Britain would never have built the greatest trading empire in history if she had insisted on doing business only with virtuous regimes. Such an intransigent stance would have been as fiscally ruinous as it would have been morally admirable.
So by all means, let’s trade with China. But there’s trade and there’s trade.
Buying cheap clothes, I-phones and fake watches is one thing. Making our energy supply dependent on the good will of a totalitarian regime is another.
No responsible country wishing to survive for a while longer will place its strategic interests in foreign hands – especially if these are the kind of blood-stained hands decent people would refuse to shake.
Yet this is precisely what Britain has done by signing the much-vaunted £40-billion contract commissioning China and France to build our next generation of nuclear power stations.
At least France being part of the deal probably means that the resulting facilities will be reasonably safe. While Chinese workmanship is as shoddy as slave labour always is, the French have a good record with nuclear power.
Hence those plants probably won’t do a Chernobyl on us – but they can do something worse. They can give an evil regime (I mean China, not France for the moment, provided Hollande’s tenure doesn’t last) control of our energy supply, a vital strategic resource.
This is yet another instance when morality and pragmatism converge, as do their opposites. It’s immoral to sell our souls to an evil regime. It’s impractical to let it jeopardise our strategic position.
What I found truly nauseating wasn’t the sight of our governing spivs brown-nosing to the Chinese. One expects nothing else from these spivs.
Even the sight of English Roses waving miniature Chinese flags only caused a minor gagging effect, although at least 60 million died in the shadow of that flag, and hundreds of millions have been turned into slaves.
But the sight of the Queen playing lickspittle to this satanic lot was truly unbearable. Her Majesty’s government hasn’t put her in such a humiliating position since Ceaușescu came to town on his pre-execution tour.
I wonder how many Brits realise that our governing spivs are doing the same thing to the country as Faust did to Gretchen. And, like Gretchen, it’s the nation that’ll pay the ultimate price.