SPORT and politics are never easy bedfellows, especially when it comes to the Olympics.
But following the despicable Chinese communist coronavirus cover-up, the disturbing crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong and the country’s inhumane treatment of Uighur Muslims, the thought of us supporting and celebrating the Beijing Winter Games in 2022 makes me feel sick.
The thought of celebrating the 2022 Winter Games in China makes me sick.[/caption]
Why should we support a regime that covered up Covid-19?[/caption]
While a full boycott might be considered unfair on our athletes, it’s a tempting prospect given winter pursuits like curling and the skeleton are hardly where we tend to excel on the medals table.
But at the very least government ministers, MPs, diplomats, public officials and members of the Royal Family should have nothing to do with these tainted Games.
That would mean replicating the stance we took at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which came hot on the heels of the Salisbury Novichok gas attack.
The Sun’s political editor Harry Cole reveals today that is what the government is currently considering, with a senior minister telling him: “Awkward conversations are having to be had about it.”
But in my opinion this shouldn’t be an awkward conversation at all.
The Chinese government’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong is another reason we should boycott.[/caption]
The country’s inhumane treatment of Uighur Muslims is something we should also protest against.[/caption]
China cannot remain part of polite international society if they’re going to act like lawless thugs and put our health at risk.
A softly softly diplomatic approach has been proven to be completely ineffective.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith has called for the IOC to take the Winter Games away from China.[/caption]
Xi Jingping, head of the Chinese Communist Party, needs to be sent a message.[/caption]
And we should go further.
I back former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith’s suggestion that the government should lobby the International Olympic Committee to take the Games away from China.
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As he said: “China is dictatorial, aggressive and intolerant. I don’t see how any self-respecting British citizen could go there to endorse this regime.”
While the IOC is highly unlikely to countenance a transfer out of China, at least it would show as a country that we are not going to stand idly by and allow a totalitarian regime causing untold damage to the world to do so without any real protest.
Britain should be proud to lead the way.