Let’s call the whole thing off…

April 21, 2012 6:56 pm

Arguments about the Bahraini Grand Prix have been dominating the news outlets for some time, with coverage intensifying as we draw closer to the actual event. Whilst not condoning the dreadful human rights violations that are rife in the country, it seems like there are numerous reasons for calling off any Grand Prix event, throughout the world, and it’s interesting that this has become so prominent. China doesn’t exactly have the most shining reputation in terms of human rights, but the Grand Prix continues there with no complaints. If you take this to it’s logical extreme, does it seem appropriate to hold the British Grand Prix at a time when we’re facing the highest fuel prices in our history? Doesn’t that seem a little bit wasteful? Doesn’t it seem unfair, in the same way as parading around and ignoring the awful plight of the average Bahraini citizen, that Lewis Hamilton drives around a track several times, burning fuel that the average Brit can scarcely afford? Should the Koreans be hosting the extravagant spectacle, when they have citizens who can’t afford to feed themselves.

The point is, if one extrapolates to the logical extreme, then there should be no sporting events at all, ever. This year, London hosts the 2012 olympics. An entire nation is being expected to ignore the economic doom and gloom, the cascading job market and a tax on hot savoury snacks, and yet wave a flag for themselves whilst on show to the rest of the world. The Bahraini’s have this opportunity now with the world media upon them. The fact is, they can’t lose. Sad as it is, if some anti-government activists are killed during the protests, then their cause would be laid flat to the world and the UK would no doubt find itself intervening, as it has in several other countries. If nothing happens at all, then the protestors still have the world media scrutinising things and they don’t often get the chance to make their voices heard by so many.

The answer as to whether such things should be called off in light of domestic problems of the hosting countries is not a simple one. Neither is it fair or justified for people who participate in these events to be held at the forefront of what are essentially political matters. The decision for these lies with the politicians and David Cameron is not making nearly enough of a stand. Without speaking out candidly against such things, Cameron is accepting the human rights abuses in the country and shifting the responsibility to Bernie Ecclestone is not fooling anyone. Frankly, Cameron should put up or shut up, either outwardly back the cancellation of the events in solidarity, or say absolutely nothing. If Cameron can’t make a stand, then Lewis Hamilton cannot be expected to either.

For a preview of the Bahrain Grand Prix click here
For the latest on Polling positions leading up to the weekend click here


  • Anon

    I’m not sure Cameron can be blamed for not making a decision. Imagine if he did, stepped in and made a decision about the politics and situation going on in another country revolving around sport. People would be up in arms against him for interfering in sport which shouldn’t be his business.

    It is the duty of the F1 committee or the government of Bahrain to make the decision. Either the whole thing should be cancelled, or it should be deemed safe to continue. That decision should be made by the F1 people/Bahrain government in my opinion.

    It is such a shame that these things affect sport which should all be about teamwork, fun and nothing to do with politics. I suppose that is the world we live in. Thanks for the update.

  • mikethemike

    Not blaming Cameron, just think he is remiss for sitting on the fence about this. I disagree that this is about sport and purely the responsibility of the F1 committee. I think it’s a poor showing for the UK as a whole to intervene militarily in conflicts and civil wars in other countries, get bogged down in the human rights of those like Abu Qatada and therefore save him from extradition to Jordan, but when it comes to Bahrain, they seem to be content to turn the other cheek.

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