Not my views of course but an indication of the spin the gauleiters of Formula One racing are putting on the situation in Bahrain.
Bahrain had been set to host a round of the Formula One world championship in March. This was postponed in February. However the powers that be of F1 have now voted unanimously to reinstate the race, letting it take place towards the end of he season
Jean Todt (not related to Fritz of that ilk), the president of FIA (the world governing body of motor sport) has blamed the media for providing misleading press (particularly the British press – He must be a friend of Sepp Blatter…) reports on the situation in Bahrain.
Speaking from FIA La La Land Todt said "The information we have is that at this moment the situation is very peaceful in Bahrain. You should go there and have a look… I don't think we should anticipate problems. If you were in a more optimistic frame of mind, when we arrive everything is nice, sunny, no wind, friendly, you will say we were right."
In an effort to lend credence to his argument Todt then produced the report which was the basis of the FIA's decision in Barcelona. It was a simplistic, seven-page report put together by the FIA commissioner Carlos Gracia, who listed his various meetings with leading Bahrain officials over two days. Gracia concludes his report: "It is my view that there is no indication of any problems or reason why the Bahrain Grand Prix should not return to the 2011 calendar."
The Bahrain pays $40m for the privilege of holding the race. Hoever Todt, like the commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, said the decision to go back to Bahrain was not based on money.
Interestingly Todt’s son is a business partner of Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who has a 30% stake in Nicholas Todt's ART grand prix team.
Last night Todt's remarks were ridiculed by the Avaaz human rights campaign, whose director, Alex Wilks, said: "Claims that calm has been restored and life is back to normal in Bahrain are completely untrue. In the last week the police have continued to use tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to break up peaceful marches, killing and injuring tens of people. ,,”
Congratulations to Formula One. It’s leaders are clearly more venal and grasping than their counterparts at FIFA The are certainly a bunch of callous scumbags who care more for money than human rights. Sadly they are just one of many scumbags in that respect.
Ican think of 47 very good reasons. Yesterday the BBC reported that 47 doctors and other medical staff appeared at a military tribunal in Manama (the Bahraini capital) yesterday to face charges related to protests earlier in the year.
According the Human Rights Watch the charges they face include
- bringing weapons into hospital,
- stealing blood so that protesters could feign serious injury,
- applying medications to simulate symptoms of nerve gas,
- refusing to treat injured or ill people who were not Shia
- and generally "serving the agenda of the protesters".
I doubt that Todt et al give a damn about this travesty.