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The London protests

But for pressure of work I would have gone up to town to cry 'shame' at the Olympic quislings and so forth yesterday, and rather regret that I could not. So, a big round of virtual applause to those who braved the intemperate weather.

Generally speaking, marches, demonstrations and so forth are dismal failures in terms of the outward aim - to change the policies of one's own government or that of another. However, the marchers, banner wavers also have themselves as a psychological target, and Countryside Alliance, CND, stop the war types etc will all have felt a nice rosy glow of self-righteousness and taken away a sense that they had at least done something.

Where the Tibet protests succeeded was not in persuading the 'People's Republic' of China to decolonise Tibet (and come to that East Turkestan), which they are not likely to do any time soon, alas, but to ensure that Tibet's struggle and the vile human rights record of the 'People's Republic' of China becomes global news, and penetrates even the consciousnesses of the boneheaded retired athletes and ''ims and 'ers off the telly' who judged that getting their faces in the papers (that they might plug memoirs, diet supplements, television programmes or whatever) was more important than exhibiting even the most elementary sense of decency. So, Trevor MacDonald, Konnie Huq and the rest of you - avaunt.

That the preservation of law and order was part delegated to a series of Chinese secret policemen / special forces types (they certainly weren't athletes, were they?) is also profoundly shocking.

Meanwhile, make haste to the Number Ten site, and attempt to play the embedded video of the Dour One doing an embarrassed nod at the torch. And fancy, just fancy, a message flashes up saying 'sorry, this video is no longer available'.

And since I am having lots of fun with wonder that is hindsight, enjoy this from Livingstone's site:

"On Sunday 6th April the Olympic flame will be carried across London as part of the global Olympic Torch Relay. Large crowds are expected to cheer on the 80 torchbearers, including Paralympians, Olympic athletes and celebrities as they carry the torch through ten London boroughs from Wembley to Greenwich".

One final (?) afterthought: it is a desperate shame that Peter Hain is no longer in the government, as it would have been delightful watching him trying to square collective ministerial responsibility with his known stances on 'normal sport in an abnormal society'.

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Blogger Ed said... 8:10 am

the preservation of law and order was part delegated to a series of Chinese secret policemen

Really? That is unacceptable in my book unless they were trained to the minimum English standards beforehand. Do you have a link to a relevant article Mr C?

It never ceases to amaze me that the very set of people who claim the moral high-ground on Human Rights and civil liberties (the left) are the ones quickest to abandon it for their brand of realpolitik when it suits them.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:12 am

The Countryside Alliance is just a bunch of cruel thugs, in no way can they be compared to other groups.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:13 am

The tracksuited 'guardians' of the flame were quite happy to wade in when anyone got too close to the torch, weren't they?  

Blogger Ed said... 8:36 am

I haven't seen any of the footage.  

Anonymous David Allen said... 12:22 pm

Well said, C. Hunter (who was on the protest) has a good post on this subject today. http://hunterandshooter.blogspot.com/2008/04/china-china-china-out-out-out-free.html
How hilarious that #10 have pulled the Gordon video! That should be good for a Diary Piece or 2.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:26 pm

David - I see you are now known to the readers of the Gray (sic) Lady, and come to that, the Herald Tribune. Stout work, sir.  

Anonymous verity said... 1:22 pm

It is indeed shocking that the Chinese secret service appears to have been accorded extra-territorial rights in Britain to shove British citizens around.

It's profounding disturbing in fact this this was clearly granted by the British authorities, and I think this decision should be investigated.

Trevor MacDonald would turn up to the opening of a refrigerator door,so his presence is irrelevant, as are those of the other "celebrities" I've never heard of.

Most puzzling is why they didn't find a face-saving way of not running the torch through London. They clearly knew there was going to be trouble. It's very disturbing to see British demonstrators, in Britain, being manhandled by Chinese "secret service" individuals, though.

On the upside, it is cheering to see the Olympics experience coming apart at the seams. I am looking forward with pleasure to the wheels finally coming off the whole thing in 2012. Yesterday was the beginning of the end. I think we can safely leave it to Tessa Jowell to unwittingly deliver the coup de gràce in four years' time. The heart leaps.  

Anonymous verity said... 5:02 pm

I see the mild-mannered folk over at Guido's seem to have some subtle reservations about this Olympic torch/police/Chinese goon squad event.  

Blogger gitanodemurcia said... 12:12 am

Dude ever noticed or mentioned the similarity between tibet and palestine? knowing you I am sure you have. VIVA FREE ALICANTE!!!  

Anonymous verity said... 12:50 am

Dude, No.

Have you?

Other than to cobble a fanciful little platform for yourself?

The Palestinians have been going for around 40 years. The Chinese have been going for around 5,000 years and invented so many things that our societies use today. Umbrellas, for a start. Compasses. Kites. Chopsticks (arguably not their best idea, but they stayed with it).

Ed - do you have proof that the Chinese were allowed to act to control British citizens on British streets?  

Blogger Curly said... 12:00 pm

It as a Black day for Gordon Brown and the UK govt.

Who authorised the use of Chinese security personnel in London?  

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