Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Personal hypocrisy, Brown, China and the Olympics

Like most of the blogosphere I was appalled to see Chinese goons running round the streets of London and even in Downing Street. It was such a newsworthy event it even made the English language newspapers in Riyadh although they didn't mention the reasons for the demonstrations. I am sympathetic to the cause of the Tibetan's and other oppressed people in China, but have worked there on a number of occasions. I believe that parts of the ME are even more oppressive, at least the Chinese want to increase wealth through free trade, especially the country I have just left. I have worked in Asia where some of the most corrupt regimes in the world raped their populations and salted away billons of $'s, leaving the vast majority of the populations in poverty if not down right destitute.

I hate all these regimes and would if I could free the people to get on with improving their lives and wealth, in the same way that I and my ancestors have done I would. I would love to see democracy installed in these countries and I don't mean the excuses of democracy that some on the left seem to accept (Chavez, Castro anyone?) – there's no such thing as "Asian democracy" for example. Democracy is like pregnancy, you can't have a little bit of it. Yes I know about voting systems etc but what I am really driving at is the underlying principles that allow democracy to flourish – rule of law for all, especially politicians, property rights, politicians freely and peacefully giving up power when they lose.

These demos made me think about my own situation, again. So how do I square this with working in these areas? I like to think that by working in, and with, these regimes I am somehow helping to free the shackles. Working in telecoms I build mobile phone network that allow people to communicate, generate wealth and even organise against their rulers. Building ISP networks I am helping to spread freedom by allowing the people access to information so they can find out how corrupt their leaders are and that there is a better way. But in the end it's a fig leaf to salve my conscience, in the end I do it because I get paid a decent fee or salary, more than I would get working in a job in the UK and I just hope there is a spin off that benefits the people.

So I suppose that makes me a hypocrite? But at least I don't look and act like that scared rabbit in Downing Street who wants to bask in the reflected glory of the Olympics but hasn't the balls to tell the Chinese to fuck off and send their goons home, we can police our own streets, thank you. He hasn't even got the courage to emulate those who he writes about and either grab the torch and make a speech condemning oppression whilst holding it high or stay away and make a statement about boycotting the opening ceremony or making a similar empty gesture. If he wasn't going to do this why the fuck did we have those embarrassing pictures of Chinese goons running round London and the "photo op" in Downing Street?

But what's worse, if Brown is still there after the predicted debacle of the May elections we will get pictures of him smiling alongside our medal winners like some mad and deformed Cheshire cat. It makes me want to puke just thinking about it.

2 comments:

John East said...

What do you make of Brown's announcement today that he will only attend the closing ceremony and not the opening ceremony, to "save money".

It sounds like he's bottling yet again, just like his failure to personally ratify the new EU treaty a month or so ago.

Who's going to believe he gives a toss about saving a few quid on a foreign trip?

The Great Simpleton said...

John,

I heard this morning that Downing Street are saying he had no plans to atend the opening ceremony anyway. Being increasingy cynical I ask myself why are they only saying this now?

The only answer I can think of is that are wriggling and squirming and this is the best cop out they can come up with.

I don't believe the because Brown wouldn't miss a chance to for PR if he could help it and being seen at the opening could have been good PR.