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Yesterday “The Journey of Harmony” took place in London. This was the name given to the relay running of the Olympic Flame by the Chinese Government. It was routed from Wembley Stadium, through several parts of our fair city to the O2 arena, in Greenwich. It was not a harmonious journey.

There were various protests for the length of the run. These were on behalf of the people of Tibet. There were counter demonstrations on behalf of the Beijing Olympics. As I wrote in a previous posting I support these democratic protests and I support the Olympics. There is a better leverage on China if we participate than if we were to withdraw in protest. What we mustn’t do is allow ourselves to be used as if we agree with the Chinese Government’s repressive actions against Tibet.

I also think its obvious that we should be debating a new, different form of Olympics in the future. The 2012 venue is in London, and it is going to be a vast show, as is this year’s mammoth event in China. The Olympics has become an impossibly large pumped up and self-important circus.

Why don’t we examine the possibility of making this event truly global whilst pricking this big balloon?

We could hold the swimming in Australia, the boxing in the USA, the football in Russia, the weight lifting in Japan, the yachting in Brazil, the cycling in England, the rowing in Germany, and so on. That way no one gets to spend too much money, we could even mutually support, say, the athletics in a poorer African country. No one country gets to pretend that they are superior to any other because they are hosting the whole thing but everyone gets to participate.

We could easily switch sports venues between countries every four years without any of the chosen countries bankrupting themselves with empty nationalistic ego driven grandiose political gestures. Our television networks could link the events into an Olympic whole and it would bring down the component parts to a more human and natural scale. It might just bring the Olympics to the people of the world for everyone to enjoy.

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