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Britain kow tows to China as athletes are forced to sign no criticism contracts
Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 2/10/2008 | Rob Draper and Daniel King

Posted on 02/10/2008 9:52:20 AM PST by mojito

British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China's appalling human rights record – or face being banned from travelling to Beijing.

The move – which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938 – immediately provoked a storm of protest.

The controversial clause has been inserted into athletes' contracts for the first time and forbids them from making any political comment about countries staging the Olympic Games.

It is contained in a 32-page document that will be presented to all those who reach the qualifying standard and are chosen for the team.

From the moment they sign up, the competitors – likely to include the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips and world record holder Paula Radcliffe – will be effectively gagged from commenting on China's politics, human rights abuses or illegal occupation of Tibet.

Prince Charles has already let it be known that he will not be going to China, even if he is invited by Games organisers.

His views on the Communist dictatorship are well known, after this newspaper revealed how he described China's leaders as “appalling old waxworks” in a journal written after he attended the handover of Hong Kong. The Prince is also a long-time supporter of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader.

Yesterday the British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed to The Mail on Sunday that any athlete who refuses to sign the agreements will not be allowed to travel to Beijing.

Should a competitor agree to the clause but then speak their mind about China, they will be put on the next plane home.

The clause, in section 4 of the contract, simply states: “[Athletes] are not to comment on any politically sensitive issues.”

It then refers competitors to Section 51 of the International Olympic Committee charter, which “provides for no kind of demonstration, or political, religious or racial propaganda in the Olympic sites, venues or other areas”.

The BOA took the decision even though other countries – including the United States, Canada, Finland, and Australia – have pledged that their athletes would be free to speak about any issue concerning China.

To date, only New Zealand and Belgium have banned their athletes from giving political opinions while competing at the Games.

Simon Clegg, the BOA's chief executive, said: “There are all sorts of organisations who would like athletes to use the Olympic Games as a vehicle to publicise their causes.

“I don't believe that is in the interest of the team performance.

“As a team we are ambassadors of the country and we have to conform to an appropriate code of conduct.”

However, human rights campaigner Lord David Alton condemned the move as “making a mockery” of the right to free speech.

The controversial decision to award the Olympics to Beijing means this year's Games have the potential to be the most politically charged since 1936.

Adolf Hitler used the Munich Games that year to glorify his Nazi regime, although his claims of Aryan superiority were undermined by black American athlete Jesse Owens winning four gold medals.

More recently, there was a mass boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

But Colin Moynihan – now BOA chairman Lord Moynihan – defied Margaret Thatcher's calls for British athletes to stay at home and won a silver medal as cox of the men's eight rowing team.

Former Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent has already criticised the Chinese authorities over the training methods used on children, which he regarded as tantamount to abuse.

Young gymnasts told him they were repeatedly beaten during training sessions.

Mr Clegg confirmed that such criticisms would be banned under the team's code of conduct, which will be in force from when athletes are selected in July, until the end of the Games on August 24.

Mr Clegg said: “During the period of the contract, that sort of action would be in dispute with the team-member agreement.

“There are all sorts of sanctions that I can apply. I had to send a team member home in Sydney because they breached our sponsorship agreement and that is the first time it happened.

“I have to act in the interest of the whole British team, not one individual. No athlete is above being part of the team.

“There is a requirement on team members to sign the agreement. If athletes step out of line, action will have to be taken.”

Darren Campbell, Olympic relay gold winner at the 2004 Games in Athens, said the BOA's move would “heap extra pressure on athletes”. But he added: “We are there to represent our country in sporting terms, just as our Army do when they go off to war. It is not supposed to be about politics.”

The BOA is taking a far more stringent stance than authorities in other countries. Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said: “What we will be saying to the athletes is that it's best to concentrate on your competitions.

“But they're entitled to have their opinions and express them. They're free to speak.”

Jouko Purontakanen, secretary general of the Finnish Olympic Committee, said: “We will not be issuing instructions on the matter. The freedom of expression is a basic right that cannot be limited.

“But the starting point is that we will go to Beijing to compete, not to talk politics.”

Political gestures have been made at previous Olympics, most famously in Mexico City in 1968 when black American 200m champion Tommie Smith and bronze medallist John Carlos raised their fists in a black power salute.

Both were suspended from the US Olympic team and barred from the Olympic village.

Forty years on, British athletes face similar sanctions if they highlight the abuse of human rights in China.

Last night Edward McMillan-Scott, Conservative MEP and the European Parliament vice-president, predicted a public outcry over the BOA's move.

He said: “Foreign Secretary David Miliband is off to China soon. But before he gets on the plane, he and the rest of the Government should tell the BOA to take this clause out of the agreement.”

Potentially the contract means that a British athlete who witnesses someone being mistreated on the way to a stadium is forbidden from even speaking to their colleagues about it.

Competitors emailing home or writing blogs will also have to exercise self-censorship – or face having their Olympic dreams ruined.

Lord Alton said: “It is extraordinary to bar athletes from expressing an opinion about China's human-rights record. About the only justification for participating in the Beijing Games is that it offers an opportunity to encourage more awareness about human rights.

“Imposing compulsory vows of silence is an affront to our athletes, and in China it will be viewed as acquiescence.

“Each year 8,000 executions take place in China, political and religious opinion is repressed, journalists are jailed and the internet and overseas broadcasts are heavily censored.

“For our athletes to be told that they may not make any comment makes a mockery of our own country's belief in free speech.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: 2008olympics; beijingolympics; censorship; china; cravenbootlicking; freespeech; olympics; redchina; tibet; ukteam
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The British can't seem to stop humiliating themselves. What a sorry spectacle for a once proud people.
1 posted on 02/10/2008 9:52:24 AM PST by mojito
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To: JACKRUSSELL

China Ping!


2 posted on 02/10/2008 9:53:10 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: mojito

Anyone remember 1968?

First you win the gold medal, then you protest. Either they strip you of the medal, or they don’t. Either way, it works.


3 posted on 02/10/2008 9:57:31 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: mojito

It’s time to inform countries that agree to host the Olympics that, as a condition of being given that honor, they will not be allowed to deny entry to any athletes who have been approved by the IOC (on pain of having the Olympics in their country cancelled.)


4 posted on 02/10/2008 9:59:31 AM PST by sourcery (Electile Disfunction: The inability to get excited about any of the available candidates)
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To: mojito

If the Chinese treat their people so wonderfully, why do they need a compact to stop free speech?


5 posted on 02/10/2008 10:04:46 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Global warming is to Revelations as the theory of evolution is to Genesis.)
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To: mojito
The British are still proud, and rightfully so. Don't ever make the gross mistake of counting them out.

Prince Charles has already let it be known that he will not be going to China, even if he is invited by Games organisers.

On the other hand, though, if I could count anyone out it would be dear ol' Charlie, although he finally managed to do one thing right in his life - even if he did it for the Dalai Lama.

6 posted on 02/10/2008 10:10:26 AM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: xJones

Actually, he didn’t get this right. Regardless of what he thought of the Chinese, he should have kept his mouth shut. He is the heir to the throne and he is already far too vocal on political issues as a future constitutional monarch....


7 posted on 02/10/2008 10:17:31 AM PST by thundrey
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To: mojito

Ain’t interdependence and globalism grand, along with the new religion of multiculturalism.


8 posted on 02/10/2008 10:19:05 AM PST by Will88 ( The Worst Case Scenario: McCain with a Dhimm majority in the House and Senate)
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To: mojito

>>[b]Yesterday the British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed to The Mail on Sunday that any athlete who refuses to sign the agreements will not be allowed to travel to Beijing. [/b]

They’ve been on a downward spiral. We have our own problems here BUT I expect more from them.

WHO’S MORE COMMIE? BOA or China?

The bRit Olympic Association FORCES their athletes to sign OR China who FORCES people to follow their govt?

No difference here. They’re both dictatorial. Poor Brits.


9 posted on 02/10/2008 10:24:50 AM PST by max americana
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion
If the Chinese treat their people so wonderfully, why do they need a compact to stop free speech?

That is really weird. China is not only the world's most populated country, it's also considered the world's most polluted. Their major cities' air quality is wonderful - if you bring your own oxygen tanks along. The water quality is such that tourists drink Chinese beer, etc. - anything but Chinese water. Remember that the Chinese exports such as dog food additives have killed American dogs. Plus remember all the recalls because of the lead-based paint on kiddie toys.

My fondest dream would be having Al Gore and Ralph Nadar attending the 2008 Olympics in China.

10 posted on 02/10/2008 10:29:16 AM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: thundrey
Regardless of what he thought of the Chinese, he should have kept his mouth shut.

I stand corrected, and you are right. It's always good to hear from our British cousins.

I'd ask what your opinion is on our upcoming presidential elections, but that would be thread hijacking which is bad netiquette.;)

11 posted on 02/10/2008 10:42:57 AM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: mojito

All countries, either individually or collectively, should tell China, “We will NOT sign any such agreements!”

Then if that country’s athletes aren’t allowed to compete, China will be responsible for destroying the event.


12 posted on 02/10/2008 10:46:50 AM PST by G Larry (HILLARY CARE = DYING IN LINE!)
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To: mojito

Ball-less Brits.

What’s new?


13 posted on 02/10/2008 10:54:44 AM PST by Seruzawa (Atilla the hun... he was a liberal, right?)
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To: mojito

I’m willing to predict that the Olympics are going to be a debacle once everyone from all participating nations arrive on the ground and start behaving “normally,” driving the Red Chinese secret police to overreact and either arrest or beat up some team member or visiting spectator. The ChiComs just can’t help themselves...


14 posted on 02/10/2008 10:57:59 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner ("We must not forget that there is a war on and our troops are in the thick of it!"--Duncan Hunter)
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To: Duchess47; jahp; LilAngel; metmom; EggsAckley; Battle Axe; SweetCaroline; Grizzled Bear; ...
MADE IN CHINA POTTERY STAMP

(Please FReepmail me if you would like to be on or off of the list.)



There is also a thread here: Athletes Face Olympic Ban For Criticising China
15 posted on 02/10/2008 10:58:12 AM PST by JACKRUSSELL
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To: Seruzawa; thundrey
Ball-less Brits.

You obviously don't know anything about history. The British have more balls than any other country in the last 500 years. Read their history, and then apologize to the Brit on this thread.

Most recently, PM Tony Blair, Laborite that he is, was the only foreign leader present for Bush's 9/14/2001 speech before the joint Houses of Congress - the darkest hour in most American's lifetimes. And it was British troops that took and held southern Iraq for years, saving the U.S. troops in northern Iraq, and getting bombed in the process. Read, learn, and think about it, before you make such an idiot comment against our best ally again.

16 posted on 02/10/2008 11:31:46 AM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: mojito

Anyone know what the USOC’s position is on this? I haven’t been able to find anything.


17 posted on 02/10/2008 11:35:15 AM PST by mewzilla (In politics the middle way is none at all. John Adams)
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To: xJones
The British are still proud, and rightfully so. Don't ever make the gross mistake of counting them out.

China — Population: 1,321,851,888 (July 2007 est.)

(And they have the 2nd largest navy in the World.)

18 posted on 02/10/2008 11:36:33 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: xJones

We certainly have a lot of ball-less Americans. I think the Viet Cong got John McCain’s for example. You do wish— don’t you?—that Britains still retained more of their ancient English liberties? (The right to defend yourself, the right to a jury (being lost to the EU), the right to kick Muslims over the cliffs of Dover, etc.)


19 posted on 02/10/2008 11:39:28 AM PST by farmer18th
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To: mewzilla
Anyone know what the USOC’s position is on this? I haven’t been able to find anything.

I think they're printing happy faces on duct tape for our atheletes to wear during press interviews.
20 posted on 02/10/2008 11:47:41 AM PST by farmer18th
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To: thundrey; xJones
>Regardless of what he thought of the Chinese, he should have kept his mouth shut. He is the heir to the throne and he is already far too vocal on political issues as a future constitutional monarch....

Oh Heavens yes! what the f**k is an heir to the throne thinking by speaking out against China??

Next thing that will happen is politicians all over the world might actually start talking about some cruddy old communist country in negative terms, and we certainly can’t have that happening!!

Chirac was right:
Your prince missed an excellent opportunity to keep his mouth shut!! SHEEZ!

21 posted on 02/10/2008 11:48:22 AM PST by bill1952 (I will vote for McCain if he resigns his Senate seat before this election.)
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To: xJones

So you are saying that there aren’t any ball-less Brits any where in Britain? That the Brit Olympic Committee members aren’t ball-less? How about the Archbishop of Canterbury? LOL!


22 posted on 02/10/2008 11:53:26 AM PST by Seruzawa (Atilla the hun... he was a liberal, right?)
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To: mewzilla
Anyone know what the USOC’s position is on this? I haven’t been able to find anything.

From the article above:

The BOA took the decision even though other countries – including the United States, Canada, Finland, and Australia – have pledged that their athletes would be free to speak about any issue concerning China.

To date, only New Zealand and Belgium have banned their athletes from giving political opinions while competing at the Games.

23 posted on 02/10/2008 11:57:14 AM PST by goldfinch
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To: xJones

All I will say on the issue of the presidential elections is that from what I’ve seen, McCain Oven-Chips is my prefered candidate. He’s a conservative but not an ideologue. That’s the way I like them....


24 posted on 02/10/2008 12:05:33 PM PST by thundrey
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To: Seruzawa
So you are saying that there aren’t any ball-less Brits any where in Britain?

Of course there's ball-less Britians, but there's more ball-less Americans in California and New York than the British ever dreamed of. And the worst part is that our ball-less wonders have more money than the fewer ball-less Brits do. BTW, how many times did you see Breakback Mountain?

As for the A of C, old fuzzy is just the lastest disaster for the Church of England. I much prefer to read the writings of C.S. Lewis, the Oxford Don, LOL!

25 posted on 02/10/2008 12:05:48 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: JACKRUSSELL
Thanks JACK.
No contract here, we will keep criticizing.
26 posted on 02/10/2008 12:16:06 PM PST by sweetiepiezer
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To: Elsie

Where did you get the idea the Chinese have the Second Largest Navy in the World? The Second Largest Navy is either the Royal Navy (in terms of total gross tonnage) or the Marine Nationale (In terms of total number of warships).
The People’s Liberation Army Navy is certainly nowhere near as powerful as either the French or British Navy as they have virtually no power projection capability (thanks to their lack of aircraft carriers and notoriously noisy submarines), and are technologically inferior.
I’d even rate the Spanish and Italian Navies higher than I would the Chinese...


27 posted on 02/10/2008 12:19:26 PM PST by thundrey
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To: Elsie

Where did you get the idea the Chinese have the Second Largest Navy in the World? The Second Largest Navy is either the Royal Navy (in terms of total gross tonnage) or the Marine Nationale (In terms of total number of warships).
The People’s Liberation Army Navy is certainly nowhere near as powerful as either the French or British Navy as they have virtually no power projection capability (thanks to their lack of aircraft carriers and notoriously noisy submarines), and are technologically inferior.
I’d even rate the Spanish and Italian Navies higher than I would the Chinese...


28 posted on 02/10/2008 12:19:34 PM PST by thundrey
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To: mojito

This is strange. Isn’t it the muslims the brits usually grovel to?


29 posted on 02/10/2008 12:28:15 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: ozzymandus
This is strange. Isn’t it the muslims the brits usually grovel to?

I don't know about the Brits, but we sure grovel to the Mexicans. BTW, if you can't speak Spanglish, you better learn to speak it while you're groveling.

30 posted on 02/10/2008 12:48:40 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: thundrey; Slings and Arrows; dighton
Where did you get the idea that there was a debate on this thread? Cheap ignorant comments to be easily spewed out by morons are the order the day.

Actually, this IS a thread made for hijacking. How's the weather where you are, and was your sister ever bitten by a moose (Holy Grail, Monty Python)?:D

31 posted on 02/10/2008 12:56:27 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: xJones

You can grovel all you wish. I won’t. I won’t accept Sharia law like the archbishop, either. Getting pretty nasty about your limey-worship, aren’t you? Are you as thin-skinned as those inbred royals?


32 posted on 02/10/2008 1:13:06 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: ozzymandus
I'll take this inane comment from your FR page:

It's all my fault. I was wrong and you were right. Feel better?

LOL, I bet you have to say that a lot!

33 posted on 02/10/2008 1:28:57 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: xJones

I say it to whiners like you to shut you up. It’s just easier than arguing with an idiot.


34 posted on 02/10/2008 1:31:18 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: ozzymandus

So when will you shut up?:D


35 posted on 02/10/2008 1:39:56 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: xJones
Actually I don't see why this is such an issue.

You want to go to a foreign country to play sports - then play sports and leave the politics to the politicians.

You don't go as a guest to someone's house and complain about how they are raising their kids - tempting as that might be at times.

BTW there are several in this forum who just love to knock the Brits - whatever the subject.

Natives like me learn to ignore them...LOL!

36 posted on 02/10/2008 1:42:02 PM PST by Churchillspirit
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To: xJones

I love people like you who think having the last word is worth looking like a total ass. :>)


37 posted on 02/10/2008 1:50:17 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: Churchillspirit
BTW there are several in this forum who just love to knock the Brits - whatever the subject.

Just be thankful you're not French. In the Chirac years there were some all time winner threads, including discussions about their enormously expensive 'Charles de Gaulle', the world's biggest lemon of an aircraft carrier. And the U.N debates - well, the least said the easiest mended. Sarko's in charge now, and at least he seems to like us a little bit, which is a rare change.:)

38 posted on 02/10/2008 2:00:13 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: ozzymandus
I love people like you who think having the last word is worth looking like a total ass.

I so happy you love me, because I always took good care of your father.


39 posted on 02/10/2008 2:06:51 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: xJones
Apologize for what? Speaking their minds? Obviously you have never spent any time at any British sites, have you? Americans are regularly ripped, and it would be considered a good day if the only thing that they called us was “ball-less.” You grovel and pander to the British, the rest of us have better things to do with our time.

Oh, by the way my degree is in European History. They may have had a glorious history, but their progeny are whining, miserable nitwits, and totally useless to anyone including themselves.

40 posted on 02/10/2008 3:16:56 PM PST by CremeSaver
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To: All

41 posted on 02/10/2008 3:17:38 PM PST by Cindy
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To: CremeSaver

I am obviously pro-British, and I know from many accounts that the Brits aren’t exactly in love with us any more, to put it mildly. But times change, while the underlying basics are still there. It’s like hating your brother-in-law but you would never shoot the whole family.


42 posted on 02/10/2008 3:42:32 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: xJones

Dad says to thank you. If I had a picture of a German Shepard, I could compliment your Mom.


43 posted on 02/10/2008 4:08:54 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: ozzymandus
Dad says to thank you. If I had a picture of a German Shepard, I could compliment your Mom.

Nothing personal, of course not, I'd rather die first, but you need to have your Dad's eyesight checked. My mom is not a German Shepherd, this is her

on her last birthday. We had the picture made at Glamour Shots.

44 posted on 02/10/2008 4:43:48 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: xJones
I am empathic, xJones, and there was a time when I had real affection for the British also. I have learned the hard way, that to know them better is to love them less, much, much less.
45 posted on 02/10/2008 4:45:23 PM PST by CremeSaver
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To: CremeSaver
I have learned the hard way, that to know them better is to love them less, much, much less.

Unfortunately, I think they feel the same way about us - at least for the present. So what foreign country can we look to admire if we feel so inclined and desperately need allies?

Let's lay down one rule: Anyone that votes for France goes to Devils Island without possibly of parole.

All the Muslim countries hate us worse than they hate the British, and there aren't jobs for us in India because they have all our outsourced jobs now.

Mexico? We might as well love it because we'll never get rid of all their illegal citizens in this country, and we'd be trampled to death trying to illegally immigrate in the opposite direction.

Australia's cool but they've taken gun control to the extreme.

Any Asian country like China or Viet Nam - give me a break.

Israel has too much to handle as it is right now, so the most important ally is and always has been Great Britain

46 posted on 02/10/2008 5:22:13 PM PST by xJones (Mohammed (police be upon him))
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To: mojito

So an entire country is ‘humiliated’ because of the decision taken by an athletic board?...

Does the baseball steroid abuse make America a joke then?.

It is in the Olympic charter that athletes must not indulge in politics. The British decision is merely enforcing this.

Anyway, given various scandals, the vast majority of British people dont respect British athletes as they did in the clean days of Coe, Ovett, Cram, Daley Thompson, Allan Wells...


47 posted on 02/10/2008 7:28:15 PM PST by the scotsman
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To: Seruzawa

F**K YOU.

The British still have balls, even if not at 1914 or 1940 levels, even 1982.

Plenty of British ‘pussies’ fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan btw.


48 posted on 02/10/2008 7:30:27 PM PST by the scotsman
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To: CremeSaver

And what of the vitriol against Britain that exists on this site?...

The dislike is BOTH ways mate.


49 posted on 02/10/2008 7:33:20 PM PST by the scotsman
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To: the scotsman

I thought it was you who likes to get f**cked, dear.


50 posted on 02/10/2008 8:22:52 PM PST by Seruzawa (Atilla the hun... he was a liberal, right?)
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