Sunday, April 06, 2008

Should the Games be boycotted?

Or is it right to, in the words of David Miliband, "retreat into a world of realpolitik"?

It's been a long time since the country became desensitised to the Supreme Economic Interest Über Alles. However today's comments by Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg urging a boycott of events marking the Bejing Olympic Games will find many nodding in agreement. The logic is that Western countries should take a firm stand against China's appalling human right record and that we should stop turning a blind eye towards systemic abuse.

Don't hold your horses though. Fearful of upsetting the Chinese, the best Pontius Brown/Gordon Pilate has produced so far was a carefully measured 'Any violence in China is to be condemned and I do urge restraint all round'.

Which implies that the Chinese regime firing at unarmed protester (140 killed so far) and the unarmed protesters themselves are to be given the Equal Opportunity treatment. Perhaps when the Foreign Secretary David Miliband talked of his government's commitment to 'the moral imperative to spread democracy' he was thinking of his lookalike Tim Henman carrying the Olympic torch. "We must resist the argument of the left and the right to retreat into a world of realpolitik". Realpolitik...Pot and kettle, anyone?

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