Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Quiet backlash

Had a peruse of the Torygraph and a few other online papers about the current debacle over the Chinese Olympics. For myself, I have no axe to grind one way or another, but other people don't feel the same ambivalence. My only view of the Olympics is irritated impatience at the overhyped media sports coverage, which rather swamps everything else going on in the world.

A quick Google brought out these two articles;
The Huffington Post has an article on "How to protest against the Beijing Olympics"
The Capital Times has an article on "Human rights and the Olympics".
They appear to be very symptomatic of what is going on in te media right now.

Over here on the Island we have a more tolerant attitude to matters Chinese. Even so, a few months ago Wife and I went shopping with friends. Friends were very picky in what they bought, and rejected anything made in China out of hand. I didn't push the matter much, but was interested to hear a similar point of view from quite a few other people as well. When asked, they cited things like the current Chinese regimes support in the Darfur killings, its invasion of Tibet, its Human Rights record. Ergo they were not going to buy anything made in China until the Communist regime was gone.

From a personal standpoint, I was rather disturbed to watch footage of the protests, and reckoned if the blue tracksuited heavies hadn't been there, the whole event might have gone a little more smoothly. The blue tracksuited security detail appeared to have pissed many people off with their heavy handed behaviour, even British Members of Parliament. What were they thinking? That's like barging into someone's house and rearranging their furniture without asking.

I hear the Australians aren't going to allow them a repeat performance when the Olympic torch is paraded over there. The Aussie PM's announcement, in London no less, made the British Prime Minister look a right wally. That seems to be nothing new, the man appears to be a reverse King Midas, a Jonah.

I've got a horrible sinking feeling that these Olympics are going to end up with a colossal 'loss of face' for the Beijing regime, and not a few punch ups, on the Streets and diplomatically speaking. The Chinese do not like to 'lose face', there is nothing that annoys them more. Yet I think this is what will happen. We'll be dealing with the fallout from this for quite a whle.

Over here? Most people just shrug their shoulders and quietly carry on doing what they were doing. Following our individual consciences. Watching the Olympics or not, buying Chinese goods or not. The world will keep turning.

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