Thursday, 6 February 2014
Why I am boycotting the Winter Olympics....
So why am I feeling so strongly about the Winter Olympics? I can tell you now, that it’s not excitement I feel towards events in Sochi. It's a very British annoyance (if I was to get 'angry', there’s a possibility of some tea-spillage. The thought gives me goose bumps.). Because, to be honest with you, I’m not a big fan of the Russian political environment right now. So here's a (not-so-short) list of the main reasons the 2014 Winter Olympics are annoying me like a wasp buzzing around your picnic on the only sunny day of the year.
1) Human Rights Issues
Basically, Putin has put in a series of laws that seem to undermine the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association in the run up to the Olympics - which are three of the Human Rights laws I hold most dear.
In short, property prices around Sochi have skyrocketed, not to mention the fact that these Olympics seem to be costing a lot of money that seems to go less into the Olympics, and more into the pockets of high-up Russian Officials
3) LGBT Rights Issues
Okay. So right or wrong, this is the issue that gets the most up my nose. The stance of the Russian Government on homosexuals, is that they are allowed to be gay (which is a right, not a privilege), as long as they don’t 'advertise their lifestyle'. You know, in case people suddenly get 'converted' to being gay, and then what would society do?! I also watched a really interesting programme on the Winter Olympics, in which the mayor of Sochi insisted that 'there were no gays in Sochi', before being informed of several Gay Clubs in the capital of Sochi.
What I find the most interesting about the Winter Olympics is that the corruption and blatant Human Rights abuses are as 'out there' as Louis Spence at a Gay Pride convention. Yet nobody seems to really be doing anything. So although one less television tuned into events in Sochi won't really make any difference, maybe it will inspire others to do the same. Because we have to do something...