.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Welsh patriot

Congratulations to Tom James, who became the second Welsh athlete to win a gold medal in the Beijing Olympic Games yesterday, with an astounding performance as part of Britain's coxless fours' team.

Tom also deserves our congratulations for defying the Chinese authorities' ban on flags from non-Olympic member countries, by proudly posing with the Welsh flag following the presentation ceremony.

Tom is a proud Welshman and I would be astonished if his act was anything more than a demonstration of national pride, however it shows very well how hard it is to stifle freedom of speech in an international festival such as this. It must also give some comfort to Tibet, whose fate is the reason why impromptu gestures like this are banned.

There have been a number of pro-Tibet protests in Beijing including this one, in which Lucy Fairbrother and Iain Thom unfurled a Tibetan flag and banner outside the stadium.

I have never been happy with the decision to hold the Olympic games in China arguing that they would be used as a propaganda vehicle rather than the catalyst for reform that some envisaged. I think that I and many others have been proved right.

N. B. Belated congratulations as well to the remarkable Nicole Cooke, who is a constituent of mine and who topped a remarkable career so far by becoming the first Welsh person to win a gold medal since 1972. It is not that I was ignoring her achievement, just that this is the first post I have published which refers to the Olympics since they started.
I don't know where you got that photo from, every one I have seen he is wrapped in a unionist flag.
Nicole Cooke lives in Lugano, Switzerland.
Though she is from Bridgend and her family still lives there. Sounds like I need a boundary change.
Though she is from Bridgend
- or the Vale of Glamorgan, depending on whether you take parliamentary or local authority boundaries.

By the way, I haven't seen any saltires in Beijing yet ...
The propaganda aim has backfired. The Olympics coming to China have resulted in temporarily stricter controls but overall they have been a force for good, subjecting the Chinese Government to a level of scrutiny not previously present.

The games have also opened alot of Chinese eyes to contrasting viewpoints.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?