Friday, March 28, 2008

In (partial) praise of Konnie Huq

When I saw this story in today's Telegraph I was pleasantly surprised. (Konnie Huq may boycott Olympic torch relay)

To the unitiated, Konnie Huq is a television presentor who started out presenting the BBC children's show Blue Peter.

She has since moved onto other things including presenting various programmes on the forthcoming London mayoral election. Despite courting controversey by appearing alongside the existing Mayor on a platform, she is generally developing into a succesful and well known presentor. No doubt her glamourous looks are no hindrance in this area.

I was therefore disappointed when I heard she was to be one of the celebrity carriers of the Olympic flame when it arrives in London next week on route to Beijing.
My reservations over the Olympics due to the situation in Tibet and elsewhere in China have been covered extensively on other posts and I don't intend to repeat them all here. Suffice to say a high profile, glamorous TV presentor from a minority background is just the sort of person anyone would want to present the Olympics in a positive acceptable light.
Another high profile carrier of the torch is veteran newsreader Sir Trevor MacDonald. Both Sir Trevor and Konnie Huq are examples of successful Britons from minority backgrounds. That they should become foot soldiers in the lead up to a showcase Olympics hosted by the Chinese regime who routinely oppresses its own minorities with deadly force where required, is to say the least unfortunate. Coincidentally Sir Trevor was reading the news only last night and covered the story of the Tibetan monks managing to communicate with a Government controlled tour of Tibet by international journalists. So he cannot claim ignorance of the situation.

I am glad that Konnie Huq is having cause for thought. However later news stories have suggested that while she condemns the Chinese for their actions in Tibet she may go ahead anyway despite her reservations.
In this situation actions do speak louder than words hence I changed the title of this post with a provisional "partial". It is good that more people are speaking out but difficult decisions may have to be made by people on the extent they want to be a part of these Olympics. That is a decision to be made by Prime Ministers, Presidents, athletes as well as the millions who will watch the Games on TV.

The words of Miss. Huq at least give cause for hope that these Olympics will not be fully "business as usual" in a China that denies freedom to its citizens.


Rositta said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Tibet and China was on my radar screen a long time ago and my son ( wrote some interesting things about the place three years ago. The thing is the whole blogosphere can get pissed about it it's not going to make an iota of difference. The only thing China will pay attention too is economic, maybe...ciao

Luis said...

Thank you Rositta and for the link to your son's blog where I read about some of his travels in China and Tibet with interest.

I agree the blogosphere is not really going to make a lot of difference here- at least not directly. However at least we can keep the issues alive when the mainstream media looses interest.

Of course if might be a different story if we could converse in serious numbers with Chinese bloggers but at present the great firewall of China limits that possibility.....