It would be hard to imagine a more humdrum and banal place than 176 Horn Lane in Acton, west London.I walked past the BMW garage yesterday, where they supply the cars that are used in hit and runs and bank robbery getaways.
Sandwiched between two blocks of flats, the modest office is home to both Elgone Driving Academy and a tiny, unconnected, pharmaceutical company that supplies the drugs used in lethal injections.
See how that works?
Mr Alavi declined to give an interview, claiming he had "no idea" why Carson McWilliams, the warden of the Arizona State Prison Complex, had ordered the three drugs: the anaesthetics sodium thiopental and pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride, which is used in a diluted form to treat people with potassium deficiency.Wrong answer, Mr Alavi. He should have said 'these are legitimate drugs for export, with legitimate uses, and it's not up to me to decide what the customer should do with them, now go away and stop bothering me!'.
But when there's publicity and a chance to see his name in print, the BBC only seems to have one go-to guy:
But Clive Stafford Smith, the Director of Reprieve UK which supports prisoners on Death Row in the US, dismissed Mr Alavi's claim of ignorance over the intended use of the drugs and said that the combination of the three substances could have only one purpose.*shrug*
So what? If he'd sold Guantanamo Bay a few transformers, a car battery and some bulldog clips, would this odious little creep be whining about 'selling implements of torture'?
Actually, he probably would...
Clive Stafford Smith is threatening legal action against Dream Pharma and also called on pharmaceutical companies worldwide to sign an agreement to explicitly prevent the use of their drugs in executions.I'm not sure exactly what 'legal action' he could take (if export restrictions have been broken, it's for the government to address), and the BBC don't see fit to enlighten their readers, since they've done the important thing, which is pointing a finger at a businessman and insinuated he's done something bad, immoral and possibly illegal...
"It seems to me that the pharmaceutical companies need to get together and agree to some Hippocratic Oath whereby they only sell their drugs for positive purposes and not to execute people," he says.And it 'seems to me' that the world would be better off all round if you'd decided to be a sewer maintenance man, Clive. At least then, you'd be doing something useful with your life...
Naturally, the Beeb wanted a quote from a government source about Clive's little spittle-flecked rant. I wonder if they were happy with the one they got?Ouch!
A spokesman for the Business Secretary said that Vince Cable "has already made clear his personal and the government's moral opposition to the death penalty.
"He has already taken decisive action by placing a control order on the export of sodium thiopental and the department is currently considering a request to place controls on two other pharmaceuticals that are currently used in the execution process in the US.
"Any decision on this request to place export controls on potassium chloride and pancuronium bromide will be based on fact and assessed against the likely effectiveness of any export control against the impact on legitimate trade."
That's pretty much as close to a 'We're adults, discussing important grown-up business, don't bother us, run along, sonny!' (couched in civil-servant speak) as you are ever likely to see...