Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Red Ken shows his true colours

London's Mayor is on his first visit to China and already he's put his foot in it.... not for criticising the Chinese heaven forbid, but by comparing the Tiananmen Square massacre with the poll tax riot in Trafalgar Square in 1990. Not much difference when you think about it, give or take a few hundred deaths.

Yesterday he was unrepentant, telling reporters: "All countries have done terrible things. The question is what are we going to do in the future. We could stand here and discuss whether China’s human rights record is or isn’t better than anyone else’s."

He went on to say that Trafalgar Square too had seen its share of violence, for example the 1990 poll tax riots."I said that great squares in town centres have an interesting past. I suppose the nearest parallel would be the Peterloo Massacre."

Except that the 11 were killed in the Peterloo massacre and it ultimately led to universal sufferage, and the liberal democracy that we today take for granted. The Chinese authorities by contrast shot hundreds dead at Tiananmen Square and China has retreated from democratic change ever since, but these are only minor details to Ken.

The Mayor's comments tell you a lot about his attitude and the mentality of many on the political left in general, who seem to despise their own country and the West in general more than they despise despotism.