Sodium Haze: Ecclestone fails again

Friday, 3 June 2011

Ecclestone fails again

For a man who has made a lot of money, F1 impressario Bernie Ecclestone doesn't come across as someone who is terribly bright or aware of the world beyond his rich friends and the glamour of F1.

He had this to say as the FIA gathers to decide whether its appropriate to run a major sporting event in a nation which has stands accused of a litany of past and ongoing human rights abuses.

"Nothing to do with money at all. Nothing, in any shape or form," the 80-year-old said as he arrived in Barcelona. "This has to do with whether people … I don't know, to be honest, with this occasion whether people are concerned with their safety if they go or whether people are concerned with what has happened in the past. What has happened in that whole area, in all those countries, is not good in any way, so we will have to wait and see."

Never occurs to Bernie that there might be an over-riding issue about human rights.

And quite what he means by "all those countries"  and "not good in any way" we can only guess. Does he mean the entire Arab Spring ? Does he mean Saudi troops pouring over the Bahrain border to shoot and beat peaceful protestors? Does he mean doctors who treated the wounded being arrested and beaten up?

Formula 1 should not be in Bahrain at this time. An oppresive regieme who are commiting brutal and criminal violations of human rights should not be allowed the publicity coup they so desire of a grand prix.

A Bahrain grand prix at this time will give implicit support to the governement in its attempts to imply that shooting unarmed protestors, beating up medical staff, ejecting journalists and trying to cover that up is all somehow OK.

It isn't - Formula 1 should be ashamed of itself for even considering going to Bahrain this year. 
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