The BBC Today programme and the morning's TV news dutifully led with Frank Gardner reporting on David Cameron's visit to the Gulf states.
The Prime Minister is doing a three-day tour to the Gulf and Middle East, which has been carefully presented as a balancing act between his proclaimed concern for human rights and justice in the region and the necessity of selling 60 Typhoon fighter jets to anyone who would be prepared to buy them.
The human rights record of many of the Gulf states, in particular Saudi Arabia, is quite appalling and Britain's military presence in Bahrain has been accompanied by a two-year brutal crackdown on democracy activists, as well as widespread imprisonment of those who have demanded adherence to the original independence constitution.
Last month the Saudi ambassador to London made an extraordinary outburst, claiming his country was insulted by the House of Commons foreign affairs committee's proposal to investigate relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia, the most powerful country in the Gulf Co-operation Council, sent its forces into Bahrain to protect the king against a popular uprising just last year.
The ambassador went on to claim that the foreign affairs committee had been manipulated by the Bahraini opposition and was unwittingly becoming a tool of Iran's policies in the region.
Britain's immediate relations with these regimes have always been seen as more important than any consideration of the future or wider politics of the region.
Just as the government claims to be supporting the Arab spring, the reality is that it has been manoeuvring, along with the US, to promote the Gulf Co-operation Council and its huge military might in the Persian Gulf, which could be used in any war against Iran.
Saudi Arabia has among the world's largest oil reserves. It has very strict controls on public protests and the press, poor labour conditions for its hundreds of thousands of migrant workers and engages in systematic discrimination against women and Shia minority citizens.
Indeed it was only after a great deal of embarrassing pressure was brought to bear that Saudi Arabia finally sent two women as part of its Olympic team to Britain this year. The alternative was that the country would have been banned for violating the Olympic Charter.
Saudi Arabia was ranked 161 out of 167 in the Economist intelligence unit democracy index in 2011, and has been listed as a "country of concern" by our own Foreign Office regarding its human rights record.
Despite this, the Ministry of Defence is happy to accept payment from the Saudis for an armed forces project which employs military and civilian personnel in both Britain and Saudi Arabia.
This close relationship is not new. It was Thatcher who originally negotiated with the Saudis to secure the massive al-Yamamah arms deal, which was murky from the outset.
This was Britain's biggest ever arms deal and from the outset it was dogged by suspicions of corruption and bribery, particularly over the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.
The Serious Fraud Office became concerned and investigated the allegations. As it neared the conclusion of its probe in 2006, then prime minister Tony Blair intervened, halted the investigation and assured the Saudi regime that it had nothing to fear from these investigations, and delivery of the first two Eurofighter Typhoons duly went ahead in 2009.
Cameron's latest visit to the Gulf is but a continuation of the policy that was espoused by Thatcher and Blair.
The government claims that 52,000 British jobs depend on the defence industry and that it brings in £5.4 billion a year. At the same time it proclaims that we have very strict controls over arms expenditure, so all is well.
The reality is that Cameron's trip - along with Nato co-operation with Gulf Co-operation countries - is about boosting the forces of their "allies" in the region, including opposition forces in Syria, and building up towards a war with Iran.
Many Western governments correctly point out the human rights abuses in Iran, but these criticisms are never balanced by equivalent criticisms of Saudi Arabia or Bahrain.
The dangers of war with Iran become ever closer as we learn that Cameron is using his visit to try to gain yet another British base within the region that could be used as part of an attack on Iran.
The continued naval patrols, alongside those of the US, in the Straits of Hormuz ratchet up the tension all the time.
This December the Non-Proliferation Treaty Nuclear Weapons-Free Middle East conference will be held in Helsinki and provides a genuine forum for all the countries in the region to come together to help promote peace.
However, this cannot be achieved unless there is pressure on Israel over the treatment of Palestinian people and over its possession of nuclear weapons outside any international control, inspection or verification.
Israel is not a signatory to any of the nuclear weapons treaties concerning either non-proliferation or testing and is therefore not subject to any inspection.
Cameron's visit comes on top of Britain's long-term record of piling arms into one of the most dangerous areas of the world.
We ought to be promoting dialogue and peace, rather than propping up regimes that have shown no inclination whatsoever to allow even minimal levels of free speech, democratic rights for women or decent working conditions for the tens of thousands of mainly south Asian migrant workers who effectively make these economies successful.
The argument about arms sales is not a new one. Clearly there are jobs that, at the moment, depend upon the production of fighter aircraft, weapons and weaponry systems.
But it is not good enough just to defend the arms industry and then complain about human rights abuses that we help to bring about by these sales.
We have to develop a serious policy of using Britain's incredible skills to manufacture civilian aircraft, ships and sustainable energy systems, rather than weapons of destruction.
Cameron seems to have learned nothing from the Arab spring which was, and is, an uprising of oppressed people denied economic opportunities.
Many of the regimes that fell quite happily took part in Bush's "war on terror," allowing rendition flights through their countries.
Cameron's visit merely underlines a foreign policy that is based on the self-interest of very large corporations, with less than a token respect or concern for human rights.
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