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.