I am Mustafa al Darwish. I am Alexei Navalny. I am Jimmy Lai.
Under the Crown Prince's authority, the totalitarian and barbaric Saudi regime has killed yet again. But this time, an innocent boy, Mustafa al-Darwish. They cut off his head last week, all because he attended a few protests. They tortured him and forced him to confess, which he later recanted. He was only seventeen when this happened, still a minor. But they still cut off his head because he had the temerity to voice an opposing opinion to Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince.
This is the same regime led by Mohammed bin Salmon, who ordered the murder of The Washington Post journalist - Jamal Khashoggi. They routinely execute people for minor infringements and trumped-up charges if anyone dares criticise the Crown Prince.
This is the same regime that the UK sell arms to and our Royal Family visit. It is utterly wrong to legitimatise, even tacitly, to support brutal totalitarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia.
Mustafa al-Darwish was a normal and handsome young man, just beginning his life - and Mohammed bin Salmon ended it - just because Mustafa criticised him.
The leader's primary job is to look after us, to defend us. To keep us safe, keep us healthy, look after us when we are sick, and encourage our education.
That must have been what leaders did back in the early days of humankind's evolution. That was the foundation of leadership. Then, of course, there was hunting and then a certain amount of fighting, defending initially, I suspect and then came the attacking others and the conquest for land. So the desire for power, for more riches, the pillaging of neighbours, self-promotion, greed and ego are nothing new. But, unfortunately, we seem to have become really good at it now, so much so that we fail to recognise the damage caused by this behaviour, despite our many past follies.
We are all, to some degree, hypocrites, of course. We want our cake and eat it. Particularly in the western-style democracies, we have over time become fat, lazy and spoilt. We take so much for granted; it has made us weak. The "Woke" culture of calling out politically incorrect behaviour is turning us into thin-skinned wimps. We are so quick to take offence. We want to white-wash and photoshop our history and are required to apologise for the actions of our ancestors, which is ridiculous.
As civilisation seems to shuffle backwards and forwards in different parts of our world, it is disappointing that lessons, often costly lessons, are forgotten so quickly. Of course, we can look back on the past and see clearly the injustices perpetrated on whole countries, civilisations, tribes and individuals. But surely, standing up and saying, "we were wrong - we wish that hadn't have happened" is, whilst important, not as important as adjusting our behaviour so we are not repeating our past mistakes today.
Part of the issue today is The United Nations has been denigrated and denuded of its power by self-interested parties. The leaders of the world are frightened of speaking hard-truth to power because of possible repercussions. So, by whatever name you want to call them, Chairman, Presidents, but I am referring to the ones who are actually Dictators and Despots, get away with their criminal behaviour, unchecked and unpunished. And it is these people who hold the world back from moving forward together for the betterment of humanity and our planet.
It is so disappointing that still, so many leaders fail to acknowledge that we are all connected and dependant on each other. Instead, they pursue their own, often egotistic and self-interested agendas that fly in the face of common sense. Whereas if we were a little kinder, a little more emotionally intelligent and less greedy, we could move our planet to a far better place and much faster.
When we witness the brutality and human rights abuses taking place and happening in so many counties across the world; (Russia, China, Belarus, Myanmar, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Turkey, The Philippines, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran - to name the most obvious and notorious ones) - it does make the future of humankind look a little bleak. And all because of inadequate and unenlightened leadership.
It is worth contemplating that these tyrants get away with abduction, torture and murder - because we allow them to.
Meanwhile, Alexei Navalny and Jimmy Lai are rotting in jail, and Mustafa al-Darwish was beheaded.
Suffolk - UK - 23rd June 2021