Is it ethical to boycott Beijing?

Our ethical columnist discusses the Beijing Olympics

Ethan Greenhart

Topics Politics

Dear Ethan,

I am truly bamboozled! I thought boycotting the Olympics was a no-brainer, but then the Dalai Lama said we shouldn’t boycott them. He says we should all go along and enjoy ‘the Olympic spirit’, whatever that is. Who’s right, Ethan – my inner rebel telling me to boycott or the man who is NORMALLY the voice of reason, Mr Dalai Lama?

Jules Hardy


Dear Jules,

I know how you feel. The Dalai Lama used to be my hero, too. I have long admired his steely-cum-giggly determination to preserve Tibet as a spectacular showcase for the green way of life over brutal, teeming, overcrowded, smoggy, Chinese modernity.

When the Lama and his monks ran Tibet there were no banks and big businesses and new-fangled railway lines carrying depressed men in suits to soul-destroying jobs at the top of glinting skyscrapers (why man thinks he has the right to ‘scrape’ the sky, I shall never fathom)… no, there was just arable land and monasteries.

The vast majority of people worked on the arable land, bent over double in honour and supplication to nature (like me on my Kent allotment!), and paid the monks handsomely for the privilege of doing so. It was a pure and seamless system, a bit like an army of ants (ordinary Tibetans) working to preserve and impress the Queen Ant (the monks)! The world could learn so much from ancient Tibet – instead it turns a blind eye as China ruthlessly builds corner-shops, cities, factories, shark-fin-soup takeaways, nightclubs, universities (!!), carphone warehouses, gambling dens, whorehouses and commits various other Grimes Against Humanity on that once-pristine patch of land.

However, the Dalai Lama is wrong with a capital W to say we shouldn’t boycott the Olympics. In fact, this is the worst mistake he has made since he guest-edited French Vogue; it’s possibly worse than when he bought a Land Rover (what were you thinking, Dal??!) and then auctioned it for $80,000 on eBay. In fact, his pro-Olympics outburst has even got me wondering if he really is the current incarnation of the long line of Tulkus Buddhist masters who choose of their own free will to be reborn to this plane in order that they might continue teaching humanity, or if the monks who selected him back in 1937 knocked on the wrong door.

Jules, not only is it ethical to boycott the Olympics, it is essential. And that is why I have set up a Facebook campaign group called ‘Boycott the Nazi, Polluting, Poisonous, Coal-Fuelled, Smoggy Olympics’. Here are 10 reasons why every decent ethical soul should take a stand against these monstrous ‘Games’.

1) The smog in Beijing is so bad that most people can’t see three inches in front of their faces. Any athlete who runs, jumps or throws javelins in such smoky surroundings will die instantly and turn to dust.

2) China is insanely genocidal. Its soldiers massacre thousands of people every day in Darfur in a frenzy of killing that makes the Nazi Holocaust look like the hokey-cokey. China also trades with African dictators without first employing Bono to draw up good governance guidelines. Extraordinary. Just extraordinary.

3) China builds TWO COAL-FIRED POWER STATIONS A WEEK!!!! What madness is this? Digging for coal should be made into an international Grime Against Humanity, and the billions upon billions of Chinese people who work in the coal industry should be hauled before The Hague.

4) China puts spikes and magnets into the trillions of toys it churns out of its smog-producing factories in order to poison Western children, whom it fears and loathes. Any athlete who steps foot in Beijing is implicitly supporting the mass murder of American and European kids by China’s wicked factory-workers.

5) China has massively overpopulated the planet. No country needs 1.6 billion people! Even 1.6 million is far too many. Clearly the wishy-washy one-child policy has not worked, and China must with haste recruit Britain’s own Jonathon Porritt and the Optimum Population Trust to advise it on how to reduce its population by 92.8 per cent in the next seven-and-a-half years.

6) Chinese sports educators are cruel and ruthless. They put newborn babies on to torture racks in order to elongate their limbs for the purpose of throwing hammers later in life, and they stuff other kids with pills that stunt their growth in order to make them into perfect little gymnasts. If you don’t believe me, get a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Beijing and read it NOW – it’s shocking.

7) The Chinese EAT DOGS! (Or is that the Koreans?)

8) The Chinese continually and spitefully undermine decent Western people’s efforts to preserve ancient African cultures. This includes my friend Poppy DeBonviere-Hoare who runs a brilliant charity in Botswana called ‘Cutlasses Against Climate Change’, which educates Africans that it is far better to use physical labour, hoes and, of course, cutlasses to produce cocoa rather than machinery (or as she taught them to call it: ‘the white man’s devil gadgets’!) What did the Chinese do? They came along and built a cigarette factory, and all the cutlass workers frigged off and got jobs there instead! In one fell swoop (or one foul swoop) automaton Chinese businessmen brainwashed poor Africans who don’t know any better, built a smog-producing factory, and robbed my friend Poppy of her purpose in life.

9) China imprisons journalists! And no one should ever be imprisoned for what they think, say or write – unless, of course, they are knowingly and wilfully denying the unquestionable truth about climate change, in which case, as my good friend Mark Lynas says, they will ‘one day have to answer for their crimes’ at ‘future international criminal tribunals’.

10) China shamelessly celebrates ‘the Olympic spirit’. You ask what that is, Jules – well, it is the insane celebration of human hubris which popularises the idea that men are gods perched upon Mount Olympus rather than recognising the reality that we are scum in Gaia’s gutters. In showcasing how ‘wonderful’ men are at running, leaping and punching seven shades of Jesus out of each other, the Beijing Games will further blind us to the fact that we are little more than an Olympian plague on the planet.

So, Jules, waste not a single minute – get over to Facebook now and sign up to my ‘Boycott of the Nazi, Polluting, Poisonous, Coal-Fuelled, Smoggy Olympics’

Ethan Greenhart’s book Can I Recycle my Granny? and 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas is published by Hodder & Stoughton in October (for more details, visit Amazon(UK)). Ethan is here to answer all your questions about ethical living in the twenty-first century. Email him {encode=”” title=”here”}. Read his earlier columns here.

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Topics Politics


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