Apr 252008

I had a read of this piece because of the author’s name.

Christian Kerr is not a journalist which I normally associate with the Oz and Murdoch media in general. I’ve listened to him numerous times on Late Night Live and read his bits in Crikey. Despite his past as a conservative advisor, I find his perspective to be both analytical and generally accurate. He sums up, in his opinion piece, the impression I gained from watching the television news last night. China clearly did a lot of organising of pro-government supporters to get the presence it achieved in Canberra yesterday. By the busload.
Ought such happenings be allowed? In a democratic nation such as Australia, to disallow such organisation (although how one would go about disallowing it, I don’t know) is anathema to our very existence. Yet, the highly organised Chinese presence in Canberra yesterday went to work in order to achieve exactly that. Disallowing the right of any group or individual which wasn’t pro-china by weight of numbers, aggressive mob tactics and in at least five cases resulting in arrest, violence.
I’m sure that running along the Canberra avenues, dressed in commemorative t-shirts and holding an oversized cigarette lighter for the television camera appeals to the likes of DeCastella and Thorpe. I don’t get it, and perhaps that’s due to my jaundice about the so-called unity of non-partisan feelings which the Olympic movement is meant to engender. Frankly, I think it’s a load of manure. Partisan ideologies were deliberately brought into the Olympic movement in 1936 and have remained ever since. The Olympics was never intended to be about nationalistic pride, in fact, the original aim was the exact opposite. A cessation of nationalistic conflict between nation and city-states in order that lives be preserved and pride replaced by athletic prowess. In too many ways, we’ve turned 180 degrees since 776BC. The activities of Chinese government sponsored suppression of the right to free speech in this country yesterday proved that.

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