Common sense

I don’t want to labour a point, but it appears that after last week’s political analysis of the sporting principle and its relationship to the China 2008 Games, The Resident is read in Taiwan! First Lady, Wu Shu-jen, wife of the country’s Prime Minister felt it necessary to take a stand on the issue of Taiwan’s participation in four years time. “It is clear that Taiwan will take part in the Olympic Games 2008”, she said. “I do not see any reason whatsoever to stop us from competing. Should the People’s Republic take political action to prevent our presence, I am sure the international sporting community would condemn such a move.”

I feel Her Excellency is a touch blue-eyed in this matter. China has never recognised Taiwan, still regarding it as a breakaway rebel island. Allowing its standard to be raised at the opening ceremony would be tantamount to performing a political double volte-face. This will not happen in a world where ‘face’ means everything. Should Taiwan persist, expect a nuclear strike in the near future.

Staying with the Olympics, it has been announced that Lisbon will be ready to stage the 2016 or 2020 Games. I presume the dates are the result of a calculation about when the national debt incurred by holding Euro 2004 in this country is finally paid off. My advice? Spend the contingency funds for such a future vanity on education, the health service and Portugal’s economic infrastructure instead. Anything else would be a folly beyond comprehension.