Disagreement

There’s some protest going on at the moment about the Beijing olympics.

While I see the the point, I’m a bit surprised – China’s dreadful human rights record, and their illegal occupation of Tibet, were well known at the time Beijing were given the 2008 olympics, and they’re not doing much now that they haven’t done all along. They’re still in Tibet and there’s no sign of them leaving, and they’re treating the Tibetan people badly – but no worse than they treat their own people all the time. So my question is not “why protest?”, but “why protest right now?”.

I suppose the passing of the olympic flame offers a chance of publicity for the protests – but there have been plenty of other publicity opportunities that have been missed. And ultimately I can’t see China taking much notice – maybe a major boycott of the games, a bit better supported than the Moscow one in 1980, would make them sit up and pay attention for a while, but even that wouldn’t change anything substantial.

And of course it’s a bit surprising that we don’t see the same amount of protest about another country’s illegal occupation of its neighbours, coupled with equally bad human rights abuses.

Don’t know when you’ll next hear from me – as you know I’m internet-less at home, and I’m not going to have access to the work web cafe for the next few days. I’ll update you when I can – meanwhile, those of you waiting to thrash me at Scrabulous, please be patient!

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