Nick Clegg is absolutely right to call on the Prime Minister to boycott the Olympics. But it is still right for British athletes to go.
Why the difference?
Well, the Olympics are the pinnacle of athletic achievement. They are only every four years and the athletes themselves have no choice over where the event takes place. I wish that it wasn't in Beijing, but that decision is gone and so an athlete boycott would deprive many comnpetitors of their only chance to participate in a Games.
But what of the politicians? The Olympics isn't an event for them. They attendance can be seen at best as a tax-payer funded jolly and at worst as an endorsement for the activities of the Chinese Government over Tibet, Darfur and human rights abuses.
And don't let Brown claim that he is there to boost UK trade and businesses. As I posted previously, I am fed up of the hypocrisy of this Government demanding new nuclear power stations - 'for reasons of energy security' but happy to see blue chip companies flogged off to dodgy state investment arms.
What about the Royals? I think Zara Phillips should go if chosen to compete, but the sports mad princes should avoid the event. Their mere presence gives implicit support to the regime.
Well done Nick for taking a stand on this.