ANGER is not always the best motive for writing a newspaper column, but it’s not a bad one either. It was once said of Harry Pollitt, the British Communist Party and trade union leader during the dark pre-war days of the 1930s, that “all his days he was on fire.” Writing about foreign affairs, I sometimes think that as journalists we could do with taking a leaf out of old Harry’s anger book.

Given the sheer scale of global suffering, inequality, injustice and conspiracy, our job as correspondents would benefit from a bit more heat and righteous indignation.

The recent work of the International Consortium of Investigative journalists (ICIJ) on the Panama Papers was a reminder of what such reporting can and should be.

But there are so many stories out there in need of much greater attention. I got angry last week after seeing the haunting image of five-month old Udai Faisal lying in a hospital bed in Yemen.

His skeletal body, limbs like twigs and huge eyes staring out of a sunken face spoke of a young life that during its brief time had only known suffering.

“He didn’t cry and there were no tears, just stiff,” his mother said when Udai passed away.

If you have never heard of Udai Faisal that comes as no surprise. His picture made few front pages. Unlike that tragic picture of another little boy, Alan Kurdi, the Kurdish three-year-old refugee from Syria whose corpse was washed up on a Turkish beach, Udai’s photograph did not go viral on the internet or cause global outrage.

For those of you reading this who might now decide to Google that image of Udai Faisal you will doubtless feel the same mixture of sadness and anger that I did on seeing it.

I got angry too because Udai died of starvation, an avoidable death in Yemen if not for the war that prevents food and medical supplies getting to the estimated 320,000 children at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

According to aid workers another one million children are already suffering from the first stages of the same condition. It’s estimated that over 3,200 civilians have been killed during this war, and nearly 940 of them have been children.

I got even angrier too knowing that the day Udai was born warplanes blasted his village. The spread of hunger that five months later would take his life was also a horrific consequence of airstrikes launched by Saudi Arabia, its allies and backed by the United States. It only riled me more that those Saudi Arabia Air Force Eurofighter, Typhoon and Tornado jets were made in Britain.

As Angus Robertson, leader of the SNP’s Westminster group, has previously pointed out these are “British-built planes with pilots who are trained by British instructors who are dropping British-made bombs and are co-ordinated by the Saudis in the presence of British military advisers.”

For its part Downing Street has played down the UK’s role, but British officials have found themselves struggling to come up with a credible explanation for the "six to ten" personnel the military have working with the Saudi military helping target objectives. Whitehall has consistently said that they're there to train Saudi bomb-aimers but have no access to battle damage assessments. Experts, however, say that without such data no training would be possible.

All this before we consider the fears of human rights and anti-arms trade campaigners that Paveway IV missiles manufactured by Raytheon, the US arms multinational based in Glenrothes, are being used by the Saudis against civilians in Yemen.

Last year Raytheon announced it had won its first international contract for Paveway IV missiles, a deal worth £130m. The contract was the first sale of the weapons outside the UK although no more details of the deal were released as to the buyer.

According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) over the last few years there have been 12 arms firms with links to Saudi Arabia in Scotland including Chemring, whose explosives factory in Ayrshire generated £97.6million from arms sales to Riyadh in 2013.

Directly or indirectly the UK government is making Yemen’s humanitarian crisis worse and contributing to the country’s collapse as a state.

From bitter past experience we know what this means, the inevitable creation of a power vacuum in which assassinations, criminal gangs, car jackings, suicide bombings and Islamist extremist terror groups can take root.

Make no mistake about it, among the ruins and twisted remains of the victims of those airstrikes, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is digging in across Yemen.

This, remember, is the same al-Qaeda that was behind the Charlie Hebdo massacres and numerous bomb plots.

AQAP now has a significant presence across at least a quarter of central Yemen, and control of Makallah Port that generates an estimated $2m a day in revenues.

It also controls about 370 miles of Yemen's coastline and has begun raising taxes to fill coffers already stuffed with $100m in looted bank cash.

Just as the world has become preoccupied with its counterpart Islamic state (IS) group, this is the first time al-Qaeda has controlled and administered territory on this scale. Britain, through its help to Saudi Arabia in pursuing the war in Yemen, has played a part in this process.

For now there is a tentative ceasefire in Yemen, but those that know the country well are far from optimistic it will hold.

Pounded by British-made aircraft often carrying British-made bombs we have helped turn Yemen into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Not surprisingly many Yemenis have already had enough and want out.

Unable to get visas or do this legitimately doubtless these desperate people will do as Syrians or Iraqis have done before them and make their own provision for leaving perhaps by boat and with the help of smugglers. Europe-bound they will join others whose countries have been engulfed by conflict.

All this has a familiar ring to it. The question then will be whether the UK government’s response will also be equally familiar. Whether it will pull up the drawbridge and declare such people unwelcome. Should it do so it will be sending back those seeking sanctuary from a war that we helped furnish Saudi Arabia with the weapons to prosecute.

Britain sold £1.75bn-worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most repressive regimes, in the first six months of last year yet Prime Minister David Cameron’s government continues to stick to the notion – in public at least – that human rights matter.

The rallying call to stop this trade resulted in the reconvening of the Committee on Arms Export Controls and elsewhere legal proceedings against the UK Government on behalf of the Campaign Against Arms Trade are underway. Amnesty International too has called for war crimes investigations. As the saying goes, don’t get angry get even.