The Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China has accused the British Government of ignoring the horrific practice of organ harvesting in China, in which “enemies of the state” have “their bodies cut open – some while still alive – for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale”. The Tribunal argued that the British Government “sought to dismiss the allegations without making a judgment based on consideration of known facts and evidence”, thereby enabling it to avoiding finding “an inconvenient truth”.

The likeliest reason for ignoring such horrific practices is the fact that China has an awful lot of money to offer governments who find it convenient to turn a blind eye to inconvenient truths; this explains why they continue to overlook China’s persecution of Christians as part of the ‘Sinicisation’ of non-native religions, and their persecution of Tibetan Buddhists and Muslims of the Xinjiang province.

Commemorations of the notorious suppression of internal dissent in Tiananmen Square in 1989 are themselves being suppressed as the population is subjected to monitoring on social media; and, despite official pledges to respect its system after the British departed in 1997, the Chinese government also menaces the civil rights of Hong Kong residents.

Meanwhile Amnesty International, founded to campaign for the human rights of prisoners of conscience like those having their organs forcibly removed in China, is too busy campaigning to introduce abortion into Northern Ireland to take the time to call out China for killing prisoners of conscience in the most horrible ways. They have ignored what could be the most horrific example of systematic torture and murder since the gulags of Soviet Russia, perhaps rivalled, although on a smaller scale, by the brutalities of China’s lapdog North Korea.

At a time when the British Environment Agency has spent more than £300,000 on a project to lure badgers out of their homes in the banks of a Lincolnshire river by building “purpose-built” setts elsewhere, complete with “lavatory areas, sleeping space and communal space” – setts which the badgers ‘reportedly refused to move into’ because ‘they were too damp’ – perhaps the deeper and more inconvenient truth is that no matter how horrific the treatment of our fellow human beings, if it conflicts with our own vested interests and preoccupations we would rather not get involved. In that sense at least, we are in an even more pitiable state than China’s prisoners of conscience, because in avoiding the promptings of conscience that led to their imprisonment we have become the voluntary prisoners of our own lack of conscience.