SST editorial on Olympic gag also

I think this gagging of the NZ Olympians is a simmering issue with real potential to explode. The more you try to ban something, the more likely it is it will motivate someone to do it – just because they have been told they can’t. The SST thunders:

The Chinese Olympics are an attempt by an odious political regime to buy global respectability. They are as political as Hitler’s Games in 1936. So it is splendid that the propaganda campaign is now coming unstuck. Steven Spielberg’s resignation as artistic adviser for the opening ceremony and Mia Farrow’s denunciation of “the genocide games” will infuriate the Chinese satraps. Excellent! Dictators shouldn’t be able to buy off the world with a bout of circuses.

How disgraceful it is, then, that New Zealand is being so craven towards Beijing. The government refuses to oppose the gagging clause that requires New Zealand Olympians not to make statements or demonstrate about “political, religious or racial matters”. This is a deplorable attack on the fundamental right of free speech by the New Zealand Olympic Committee. But the government’s backing of the clause is even worse.

Yet totally consistent with their actions on the Electoral Finance Act.

It is ridiculous for Cosgrove to claim that the gagging clause is to protect the athletes, so that “they are not treated as political pawns and can concentrate on their sport”. It is not the athletes who are being treated as political pawns. It is lickspittle governments like Cosgrove’s.

Everyone knows the Clark government will do almost anything to get its free-trade deal with China. The Labour left-wingers who fought so hard against racist sport New Zealand’s insistence on playing rugby with apartheid led to the great African boycott of the 1976 Olympics have long since given up the struggle. Now it’s all about bread and circuses. Shame on them.

Did the SST just call the Government a lickspittle government?  Has Whale Oil been appointed their new editorial writer? Or is the Government seriously out of step with its own supporters on this issue?

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