Sunday, 3 August 2008

Limits to China's pledge of change

There is a thread which joins the Chinese Communist Party, Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal Party and Tony Blair's Labour Party. They all won an Olympics venue - and thought, just as Adolf Hitler did - that it would be a propaganda triumph.

This BBC story uncovers some of the uncomfortable truth behind Beijing's games. In all three cases the chance of a two weeks or more of international tv coverage has distorted priorities. The only thing the media really picked up on this week as a result of the rock fall at Porteau Cove was "what if it happens during the Olympics?"

From our comfortable distance now the most memorable moment - or perhaps the one most replayed on tv - from Berlin 1936 was Jesse Owens win - the Furher stamping out. I don't know if that was the most played scene on the newsreels then. Probably not in Germany. We all know about Tianamein Square - I suspect most Chinese don't.

I wonder what the "unintended consequences" will be this year, 2010 and 2012. As long as there are reporters like John Sweeney, and real news gatherers like the BBC, there is hope that the modern day poseurs will be shown up yet again.

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