The execution today  by the People’s Republic of China of a man with apparently obvious mental illness for drug trafficking should be met by the UK with a diplomatic response.  Summoning the Chinese ambassador  to the Foreign and Commonwealth office is not enough, and in my view we should mark this human-rights outrage with the expulsion of a small number of junior diplomats.

Of course they will reciprocate, but that reciprocation is a small price to pay to establish beyond doubt that the UK has no truck with the dreadful and unnecessary execution of this apparently very sick man.

JONAH SYNDROME UPDATE:  It has just been confirmed that Gordon Brown spoke directly to Hu Jintao about Mr. Shaikh’s case.  Will he never learn?