This image from the Guardian is typical of what fills the papers this morning. The Police doing what they enjoy most, charging through the streets 'protecting' a target from attack. The Olympic Torch was taken on a 31 mile run through London streets as part of the lead up to the Games in China. Naturally those who are concerned about Chinese brutality in Tibet were going to be there protesting, as indeed were many Chinese students. The students probably under orders, the protesters from choice!
Whether the police action was heavy handed, as it so often is in such circumstances, or not you can decide, but was it right for the Torch to be taken this far when so many organised protesters were waiting? Was it right to give the Chinese such support? I don't think so. The Communist government, Communist in name only, are abusing Muslims in the north of China, Christians throughout China and anyone who dares to oppose the regime. Just because they are a large powerful nation does not give Gordon Brown the right to bow to their pressure and give them implicit support! When it was clear the Torch display would become a farce it should have been halted and a back up plan brought in. The Chinese consideration ought to have been pushed aside for the sake of the UK's image. This morning the image is one of farce!
One name stands out for me in this whole escapade. Dame Kelly Holmes. This women was given support by the while nation as she achieved Olympic gold, yet here she was yesterday, a smug grin on her face, carrying the torch through the streets. The grin was seen when answering questions about the tortured, imprisoned and indeed killed, Tibetans. 'I believe sport and politics should not be mixed she lied.' While what she really meant was, 'I don't care about the dead and imprisoned as long as I can run the race.' The disgraceful attitude of many athletes who attempt to separate sport from politics show they put their selfishness above the suffering of others. But business with China goes ahead I hear you say, indeed, so let's temporarily halt this, and make China sit up! But that would be too much for our economy would it not?
The UK is such a civilised country, always willing to stand up for the downtrodden and help those in need. As long as it does not cost us too much money or stops us enjoying our little pleasures. What will we sacrifice for the sake of others?