Tibet. A Dark Olympic Torch.
The Olympic torch comes to the UK – A wonderful beacon? Representing Olympic ideals? Hardly. Instituted by Germany in 1936 to glorify Hitler, in some ways it is still doing its work today.
With a vicious military occupation in Tibet, a country cowed with suspicion, torture, execution and a total absence of freedom to expression – or even procreation – this torch coming to the UK is a scandal. What’s more when the police promise to ensure that there is no disturbance of the ceremony, aren’t our rights threatened as well? Our right to lawful protest.
Some who defend the Olympic torch ceremony say that critics must recognise they Olympics are about Sport, not politics; the so-called Olympic Ideal. I say they are wrong. Dead wrong.
The Olympics have become a massive PR coup for Beijing. Perhaps the oft referred to Olympic ideal would be best demonstrated if they used the games as a reward for countries improving their records on human rights. Surely that would be the most congruous way to spread the Olympic ideal?
Playwright Edward Bond, in 1976, said: “You cannot have your liberty at someone else’s expense. Freedom is invisible."