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Reflecting on the Torch

By Joe Canberran - 28 April 2008 15

It’s been a few days since the Olympic Torch graced Canberra and I, like most others I would assume, had put the whole thing to the back of my mind with the knowledge that issues of sport, symbolism and politics would once rise again in the media spotlight come the kick off of the games.

Then I had a look over on the Concat and discovered some commentary on Canberra leg of the relay I thought worth sharing with the rest of you.

The first is a good comparison of differing world views with links to the China Daily and to RiotACT for the various viewpoints. Included is a youtube video mashup of local and national media of our leg which has got some rather heated and one eyed responses to it.

The second is a interesting analysis of how uninformed, lazy or patronising our media is, showing examples where news coverage of protests in Canberra focus on Tibet v China when there are numerous other factions out with a grievance against Kev’s red mates; the South Vietnamese being the example shown on the Concat. In discussions with a friend in the police force the pre-relay intel was more interested in the movements and potential actions of East Turkistan activists then of the Free Tibet movement.

As a final note it seems odd to me that the Western Democracies, self appointed spokesperson there of being one J. Stanhope, expound the benefits of our system of governance when speaking to the massed Chinese “supporters”. If a system, our system, of numbers makes right was exported globally does he not get that we would all be out voted by China?

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Reflecting on the Torch
georgetee 7:47 am 01 Jun 08

its funny to see how quickly it all died off again

Crikey 2:17 pm 29 Apr 08

I believe the way he waved his arm was both abusive and threatening.

Skidbladnir 1:25 pm 29 Apr 08

While existing as a former sports competitor and engaging in a political comment (as in one relating to social relationships involving authority or power).

Also, see link

Mr Evil 1:01 pm 29 Apr 08

But you shouldn’t mix politics and sport – Rob “Bighead” De Castella said so!

Skidbladnir 12:55 pm 29 Apr 08

Athletes and Olympic fanboys can support and identify with whatever the torch represents to them, we will support and identify it with whatever the torch represents to us.

Which is currently that an entire CBD can be shut down by its Government and associated police forces for a day so that one foreign power can bus in thousands of their own people to intimidate (through sheer bulk of numbers and direct abuse) the locals with a legitimate right to protest, and other tourists and people with a legitimate reason for protest.

The fact that they were acting as a cheer squad for a burning stick is peripheral.

If any athlete or Olympic fanboy suddenly want me to unquestioningly obey a demand for spontaneous outpouring of harmonious love on the Chinese government for the burning stick parade, they can eat a dick.

Go sell your brand of crazy elsewhere.

Ingeegoodbee 12:31 pm 29 Apr 08

Special G, I’m pretty sure I heard some discussion on the radio last week that pointed out that the Sydney Olympics was the first time the torch visited anywhere other than Greece and the host country … so the longevity of the torch relay practice – introduced by the Nazi governmnet for the Berlin Olympics – as a practice is in question.

Special G 12:13 pm 29 Apr 08

You’re kidding aren’t you. I just watched the video. what a load of crap. A bloke with his arm out the window.

The Olympic torch has been paraded around the world for the past 70 odd years and no one has ever said its another country parading through our streets before. How about you people start supporting Australian athletes and what the torch represents to them.

Jonathon Reynolds 1:26 am 29 Apr 08

At a meeting I attended last night I was tipped off about some youtube footage that the individual I was talking to took of one of the the Chinese Torch Minders attempting to provoke the Tibetan supporters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ab1KJsG9c0
During the Australian leg of the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay a Beijing Olympic Official in a Torch Escort Vehicle was seen provoking Human Rights and Tibet supporters with face and hand gestures. Some of this has been caught on video.

ant 9:16 pm 28 Apr 08

Stateline did a great job, as always. Just showed as much footage as possible of the Chinese swearing, screaming, monstering others, pushing them around and hitting them on the head with their flags and sticks, real bully behaviour.

stray 8:15 pm 28 Apr 08

From Canberra’s Stateline crew – aired 25 Apr 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgPNURxVLaY

Adds weight to the ongoing discussion last week about the mob mentality of the event.

Let me know if there is any dramas with the link, otherwise search youtube for Stateline.

(Nothing to add talking about Stanhope, the man gets enough press.)

Mr Evil 4:48 pm 28 Apr 08

Crikey said :

I was disappointed with Stanhope’s hypocrisy on human rights.

He uses every opportunity – Australia Day, citizenship ceremonies etc – to criticise and talk-down Australia over our human rights ‘blemishes’ but when he has the opportunity to talk about China’s record on the world stage he said nothing.

I watched most of the relay on the television and pretty well only saw imported Chinese embassy-backed pro-Chinese robots with their red China flags. Where were the Canberra public?

As far as I am concerned, Stanhope has lost all credibility when it comes to human rights. If he had any to start with.

Especially when he was playing the ‘big man’ on China’s human rights record when it came to refusing to let the ACT Police assist the Chinese Police in gathering evidence against the killer of that Chinese UC student in Belconnen, because he was concerned the Chinese would use the death penalty against the murderer.

And as to the behavior of the Chinese Red Army cheer squad/students in Canberra last week – they have nothing at all to be proud of.

Thumper 4:36 pm 28 Apr 08

I would suggest JB’s slant on the issue is rather sensible and thought provoking.

What appears to have happened from this distance is the full weight of the Australian’s Government’s power was deployed against its own people to ensure a foreign power could parade through our own nation’s capital.

Thumper 4:31 pm 28 Apr 08

Stanhope never wasted a second if he thought he could drag out a human rights issue and use it against the Howard government. Now Rudd is in power he has shown that it was all political bluster.

Indeed, at almost every opportunity he would savage Australia’s human rights record, but when the chance came, on an international stage, he was conspicuously quiet.

So yes, one could use the word hypocrisy.

RandomGit 4:13 pm 28 Apr 08

Yes, interesting how the socialist raconteurs fall silent when one of their own is in the spotlight. Even one as monstrous as the CCP.

Crikey 10:52 am 28 Apr 08

I was disappointed with Stanhope’s hypocrisy on human rights.

He uses every opportunity – Australia Day, citizenship ceremonies etc – to criticise and talk-down Australia over our human rights ‘blemishes’ but when he has the opportunity to talk about China’s record on the world stage he said nothing.

I watched most of the relay on the television and pretty well only saw imported Chinese embassy-backed pro-Chinese robots with their red China flags. Where were the Canberra public?

As far as I am concerned, Stanhope has lost all credibility when it comes to human rights. If he had any to start with.

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