Thursday, 3 April 2008

Merkel Will Not Attend Olympic Opening Ceremony

The German chancellor has declared that it would be "inappropriate" for her to attend the Beijing Olympics.

I'm pretty annoyed at myself for not picking up on this story earlier but even more annoyed by how little it has been covered by the UK press.

I am increasingly disturbed that we, as a country, have not made a clear signal to the Chinese that we do not support the public relations exercise they will stage this summer to publicise their brutal, undemocratic regime. The leaders of most of the EU states have now stated their intention to boycott the opening ceremony with the only notable exception (other than Gordon Brown) being Nicholas Sarkozy who has publicly said that he has "not ruled out the possibility".

I can only conclude that the reasoning behind Brown's intention to attend is an unwillingness to cool diplomatic relations with China in view of the valuable trade links the country has extended to the UK and the US.

So, effectively, our government have chosen to effectively advocate a regime with a known, proven human rights violation profile over a potential loss of commerce.

Nothing I have written above will be revelatory to anyone who has even a very basic grasp of the situation but it should be shocking. Please protest the Beijing Summer Olympics in any way you can.


minifig said...

Actually I think that Brown's failed to make a stand over the Olympics because of the London 2012 games and the potential knicker-twisting that would ensue from the Olympic committee if Brown made a stand.

Germany and France trade a great deal with China after all.

I'm not saying this makes it any different. I mean, really it's worse to be ignoring human rights, violence and brutality over a few sports than it is over cash, but I think that's probably where it's come from.

And finally, cynic that I am, it's pretty clear that Merkel, Sarkozy et al are all 'making a stand' for as political reasons as Brown is failing to do so. None of them would be prepared to make any action that would actively make a difference to Chinese trade because they're too scared to lose it. Merkel and Sarkozy have been handed a wonderful situation where they can make a futile, pointless gesture and get brownie points for it without it making a blind bit of difference over anything. Brown's just the other side of it being a bit of a pain in the arse and has acted accordingly.

They're all bastards I tells ye.

Voices From The Below said...

Good points both, but even if Merkel and Sarkozy are acting cynically I'd still rather than that Brown's moneylust (as I have now termed it, having only just heard the argument that his qualms may be related to 2012). So there.