THERE IS SOMETHING extremely vulgar about Brunei. For long a fiefdom of the British establishment who never shy from fawning over its leader, it has descended in recent years down the path of Sharia – and Sharia for the sake of increasing the dictator's grip on his people and resources.
I was there fifteen years ago. It is a very odd backwater, of kampongs and a 6-star hotel, of gaudy palaces with boats in moats, of a royal family with an obsession for classic cars and absolute power. It is an accident of regional politics and long should have been incorporated into Malaysia, but for old treaties between the British and Sultan's ancestors.
Its Sultan is clearly adored by the British establishment still. Having given lucrative contracts to British oil companies he is now Honorary Admiral of the Royal Navy and has a commission with the RAF, so no doubt will at some point rub shoulders with our own Honorary Colonel in Scotland.
The autocracy and kleptocracy were tolerated for decades because Brunei sits on vast oil and gas reserves, and have made the Sultan of the richest
thieves, sorry, businessmen, on Earth. He has watched the rise of Islamism and crooked strongmen elsewhere in the world and it would appear has concluded he can proceed to murdering people for their private lives – by stoning – without redress. This of course was the mood of the Iranian regime that took power in the 1970s – the idea that wealth and oil mean any act of terrorism or thuggery can be accepted.
Enter Ronald Reagan, whose election so scared Iran that American hostages it had held for a year were handed back just in time for Reagan's inauguration. That did not stop him proceeding to do the honourable thing and seize the theocratic regime's assets in the USA to prevent their use in supporting terrorism and to be held in trust for the Iranian people.
Well, at least until Barack Obama released much of those assets in return for piecrust promises in the form of his “Iran deal”. Nonetheless the West has form in taking such action, to identify a terrorist state for what it is and seize its assets abroad and hold them in trust until the regime, for want of a better phrase, packs in its antics.
Jeremy Corbyn is friends with Hamas and Hezbollah, both of whom routinely murder men who are gay. He has been previously very friendly with Iranian state television. Homosexuality was routinely punished in the Soviet Union and Cuba and it was surprise, surprise, the West that led the way in making clear what happens in one's own life is none of the state's business.
When Sharia is applied by a government to murder its own people for their private lives, behaviours, and beliefs, we are not dealing with simply a harsh legal system. This is without question an exercise in Islamic terrorism.
Intimidating people to change their lives in private, or their beliefs and values – on the threat of murder in the name of Sharia – is Islamic terrorism.
The Sultan, as I've mentioned, owns vast assets here in the UK. Country estates, London hotels, numerous business interests feature among them. Watch the races at Ascot and take tea at the Dorchester and you are sipping a toast to a dictator (and absolute monarchs are simply dictators in drag) who murders his people on a whim.
How very metropolitan and liberal.
We can of course take action. We can use anti-terror legislation to seize these assets and place them in trust against the day this monstrous barbarism is brought to an end. Sovereign wealth funds owned by tyrants are by their nature money laundering scams because they scam the people of that country.
So how can Brexit Britain lead the way? We can start by making sure tyranny doesn't pay here – and start by stripping those utterly stupid honorary commissions from this clown prince.