Daring to criticize your government isn't a heinous crimes in some countries, like the one I am fortunate enough to blog from. It is according to the bastards of Beijing, sorry, our esteemed Olympic hosts and valued trading partners (3). A country where, in 2007, Amnesty International reported that an
... increased number of lawyers and journalists were harassed, detained, and jailed. Thousands of people who pursued their faith outside officially sanctioned churches were subjected to harassment and many to detention and imprisonment. Thousands of people were sentenced to death or executed. Migrants from rural areas were deprived of basic rights. Severe repression of Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region continued, and freedom of expression and religion continued to be severely restricted in Tibet and among Tibetans elsewhere. (4)Unfortunately, the New Zealand government can countenance freedom of expression at home, but isn't interested in promoting it abroad, busting to sign a free trade deal with the Maoist thugs in Beijing. This is nauseating and wrong. To Hell with human rights, just buy our milk and lamb.
The house of Saud is know to resort to such measures as well and they are to be given US$20 billion of guns and missiles by the stinking hypocrites of the Bush regime, who bleat about human rights and democracy. But then, the USA has shown minimal regard for the letter or the spirit of the Geneva Conventions, so why should this be a surprise?
'twas always thus, of course. The world ha always been ruled by rich people who pay lip service to whatever is required of them, be it the doctrines of the church or democratic ideals, and carry on as before. It still turns my stomach, however, to see Phil Goff smugly declare that he didn't talk about human rights during negotiations, because a free trade agreement "does not cover any issues other than the removal of tariff and trade barriers and issues of market access" (5).
That is the trite homily trotted out by the morally inadequate to give a veneer of respectability to filthy actions. If you have to say something like that, you shouldn't be making negotiating a free trade deal at all, because the people you are brokering it with are deplorable, inhuman scum.
The slimy, self-serving hypocrisies uttered by our leaders aren't far removed from the blandishments offered up by the bastards of Beijing - and neither give a fuck about Hu Jia or the other quarter million prisoners of conscience painting Mickey Mouse trinkets and sewing T-shirts for the west.
1 - 'China arrests leading rights activist,' by Jonathan Watts in The guardian, 1st of February, 2007. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,,2250654,00.html)
2 - 'NZ pushes free trade with China forward,' by Sarah Matheson in the Epoch Times, 17th of September, 2007. (http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-9-17/59871.html). It should be noted the source of this statistic is a member of Falun gong, and I have not been able to verify it. On the otherhand, given the size of the PRC, the vileness of the chinese government and the allure of western money, it seems entirely feasible that a quarter of a million slaves would be at work, manufacturing crap on our behalf.
3 - ibid. See also the 2007 Amnesty International memorandum to Beijing, 'Abolishing "Re-education through Labour" and other forms of punitive administrative detention: An opportunity to bring the law into line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights' (http://www.amnesty.org/en/alfresco_asset/73a83241-a2e7-11dc-8d74-6f45f39984e5/asa170162006en.html)
4 - '2007 Annual Report for China,' by Amnesty International. (http://www.amnestyusa.org/annualreport.php?id=ar&yr=2007&c=CHN)
5 - As per #2, above.