Without justice there can be no peace in Bahrain, and that won't change as long as the UK is happy to promote and provide political cover for an illegitimate government that is inflicting untold misery on its own citizens. Only by ending the political and military support that is strengthening the regime can the UK ensure that it is promoting human rights and acting the best interests of the people of Bahrain.
Upon leaving the meeting and re-entering the real world we were treated to a sub-standard packed lunch and a shuttle bus back to the train station. What is clear is that Carr and the rest of the board has bought into their own propaganda and a dystopian world-view in which strengthening tyrants is a way to bring peace and stability, and where the human consequences of war have nothing whatsoever to do with those who provide the weapons.
The future for Bahrain is uncertain. However, one certainty amidst the chaos, is that change is Bahrain will remain a mirage so long as the king is bolstered by so much international support. Let's not beat about the bush, the British government is publicly supporting a oppressive and undemocratic government in Bahrain.
Bahrain has become trapped in an endless circuit of protest-clampdown-further protest-further clampdown. The way out was apparently missed by the authorities long ago and instead we've had police officers acquitted of murder and torture charges (or given lenient sentences), and protesters - including children - given very long prison sentences.
I don't think this can be said loudly enough because it should be big news. The UK government has decided to pay compensation to over 5,000 people it tortured and kept in concentration camps in Kenya 60 years ago. It has, however, refused to accept legal responsibility for the crimes committed, or to use the word 'sorry'.
Beneath the royal weddings, Formula One races and other events that bore many normal people (myself included), the Anglo-Bahraini relationship is purely material. Bahrain has at least ten years of oil reserves left, and produces 40,000 barrels a day, representing a serious resource pool for British energy needs.