Lord "Straight Up" Goldsmith tells us "no weight has been given to commercial interests or to the national economic interest."
So given that was the reason for his nobbling the SFO investigation, what exactly are those interests? Following his Lordship, and setting all those tedious legal niceties aside (I loved Tim's reference to one-time fave A level text A Man For All Seasons), how will we taxpayers do from ignoring the Saudi arms slush fund?
BAE has reportedly sold 72 Eurofighters to Saudi for £6bn, which is £83m each. That compares to the c£20bn we British taxpayers are paying for our 232 - roughly the same price.
Which is a little odd. If you or I were buying 72 Eurofighters, we'd say to BAE 'now look here', we'd say, 'your stupid taxpayers have already funded all your development costs: they're gone - sunk - so we don't have to contribute to those; we'll just pay you the marginal production costs of 72 extra... what shall we say? £50m apiece?'
You'd almost think the price had been artificially inflated for some reason. Oh yes, I remember now- the price of those Saudi Tornados was inflated by 32%, allegedly to fund 'transactional costs'.
Not that it will make any difference to us taxpayers- we don't actually get any of that Saudi money. It all goes to BAE, just like the dosh we've already shelled out. What's more we now have to underwrite the Saudi financing through the Export Credits Guarantee Department.
So BAE does very well.
But we don't.
Once again, if only we'd bought American. My defence correspondent tells me the F-22 Raptor is much more advanced, plus "it looks pretty cool". And right now, the unit cost for a 100 lot is $117m, or maybe £60m a throw. So that's a quarter less expensive.
Lucky the Saudis didn't think of that.
PS If you want to see how crass a multibillion arms sales pitch actually is, check this out lifted from the official Eurofighter sales site: