Wednesday, April 12, 2006

MARTIN SAMUEL ON KEN PLAYING IT SWEET IN CHINA

He might normally write absolute cobblers about football, but Martin Samuel almost earnt himself an understudy role at Harry's Place with this little number, ripping into Ken over his "Poll Tax riots = Tiananmen Square" moral equivalence moment:
On February 23, 2006, Yu Dongyue, deputy editor of the Liuyang Daily, was released after imprisonment for “counter-revolutionary sabotage and incitement”. His crime was to throw paint at the Tiananmen Square portrait of Mao Zedong. Amnesty International considered him a prisoner of conscience. His first two years were spent alone and on his release it became apparent that Mr Yu had been driven insane. He had scars on his head, physical evidence of extensive abuse, did not recognise lifelong friends and repeated certain words and phrases continually. Others, such as Liu Zhihua, are not due to be released until 2011 for taking part in a demonstration at a factory in Hunan.

So, Ken, not much like the poll tax riots, then. And while Peterloo is ancient history, here are men and women in our lifetime, imprisoned by a regime your mute presence can only endorse. Mr Livingstone, like all mealy-mouthed politicians rendered morally speechless by China’s mammon, insisted he would make his views known to his hosts in private.

Let’s see how this works, shall we?

In 1999, Jiang Zemin. the Chinese Prime Minister, visited Britain. At a private reception, he seized a microphone and belted out a song from a 1944 film, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.

Pressured to reply in kind, John Prescott led the company in a chorus of For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. In 2001, Mr Jiang spent in excess of £350 million building labour camps for dissidents. Still, you do what you can.
I'd not come across that tale before. If it's true, nice.

He continues:
While it would be nice to think that when the doors close Mr Livingstone will begin laying into the Chinese Government with the venom he traditionally reserves for his former employers at Associated Newspapers, don’t hold your breath. He will follow the money, just like Mr Prescott, just like Tony Blair, just like grasping politicians who see not brutality and corruption in modern China, but cash and contracts.

Speaking at a function hosted by David Brewer, the Lord Mayor of London, on January 12 this year, Mr Livingstone said: “If China sees London as its base in the West, then this city’s future will be secure.”

Go on, Ken. Tell it like it is, mate. That is why we love him, you know. He’s such a maverick.
Heh.

Oh, and given that Google Image Search doesn't do the trick, here's the closest I can get to a picture of Mr Samuel.


Improvements welcome in the comments.

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