IT is premature to speculate over the final outcome to the attempt to force a detailed examination of the allegations that BAe Systems paid bribes to Saudi officials to cement the company's Â£43 billion Al-Yamamah arms deal to Saudi Arabia in 1985.
Britain's Establishment is adept at offering the hint of open scrutiny before slamming the door shut. But, however it turns out, the determination of Corner House Research and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade to shine a light on this murky episode shows a creditable refusal to be fobbed off by official indifference.
The government's suspicious behaviour last year, when it halted the Serious Fraud Office investigation, certainly encouraged speculation of a cover-up.
The announcement by hapless Attorney General Lord Goldsmith - although it was certainly not his decision - that the investigation threatened Britain's national security was an example of classic new Labour duplicity.
National security was not threatened. The only issues at stake were personal embarrassment for BAe bosses and the possible loss of future corporate profits if the Saudis put an end to arms deals with Britain.
And that was certainly on the cards. The acquisitive Saudi royal family is not averse to taking backhanders, but it does not want this fact to emerge from an overseas investigation of its major arms supplier.
On receipt of Riyadh's ultimatum, then prime minister Tony Blair called off the SFO dogs.
But, instead of being honest with Parliament and the people, he ordered the Attorney General to fall back on the last resort of a scoundrel - plead national security.
No-one believed this nonsense, but the government, as usual, spoke with one voice, asserting the unbelievable.
No wonder that Lord Justice Moses says that the pressure groups' challenge to the government's behaviour "cries out for a hearing."
Successive governments have had an unwholesomely close relationship with the arms manufacturers, treating them in a completely different manner from the rest of industry.
While key sectors have been allowed to collapse, causing hundreds of thousands of skilled, well-paid jobs to disappear and devastating entire regions, government has thrown huge amounts of money at the merchants of death and extended export credit guarantees to a variety of dodgy regimes to facilitate overseas contracts.
There might be a pragmatic case to be made if this approach safeguarded jobs and made a significant contribution to Britain's exports, but, in fact, military jobs and export share are declining.
No purpose would be served in just closing the arms industry, since this would simply swell unemployment and break up existing research and development teams.
In any case, this country, like any other, has to be capable of self-defence and far better that its means of so doing are built here.
But Britain's economy is fatally skewed towards military production rather than to production for peace.
The government has to make a decisive turn away from what is, in every sense, a dead-end approach.
It must give a lead to industry to switch investment to alternative projects that tackle renewable energy and environmental protection, as has been proposed by the Scottish TUC and Scottish CND for example.
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