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Thursday, 11 November 2010
Cameron team wears poppies in China
Yes, that's a great idea. Wear poppies on a trade visit to China in the 150th anniversary year marking the end of the Opium Wars when Britain forced cheap Bengal opium on the Chinese people at the point of a gun.
Prime Minister David Cameron may think he is remembering the dead of World Wars One and Two, but in China the vivid symbols only serve as a reminder of Western arrogance and corruption and the Chinese who died due to the actions of a ruthless invading force. That's like a German delegation visiting Coventry and wearing doodlebug bomb badges emblazoned with "Ballroom Blitz". Is this in-yer-face callousness regarding British cruelty abroad the right way to go about touting for trade? Nah! Wouldn't think so.
I'm quoted in today's Evening Standard, responding to Cameron's breathtaking cheek in lecturing the Chinese on international responsibility. China certainly needs to clean up its act in regard to free speech and rights, and is slowly loosening up, but for us — the country that helped start the illegal Iraq war, approved of rendition and torture of its subjects — to deliver the lecture is nothing short of gobsmacking hypocrisy.
Under the Tory LibDem coalition government, which we did not vote for in our democratic elections, lives are being destroyed and a trajectory set for a return to Victorian levels of poverty. I can see a time coming when we'll envy the Chinese.
As for telling another nation to adjust its economy to help us out of a hole, have America or Britain ever done this to ease the debts of foreign countries? I thought it was all market forces. In fact, this means socialism for our rulers but dog-eat-dog capitalism for everyone else. The Chinese economy is made up of thousands of small factories with tiny profit margins making our crap for us. A revaluation of the yuan will mean whole swathes of production wiped out. If the reverse were needed, would America destroy great chunks of its industry with mass unemployment and civil unrest in order to placate another country in trouble due to a crisis that wasn't of our making? They will be making snowmen in hell before this ever happens.
The ugly reality of Remembrance Sunday by John Wight