Arsenal and China - Sinners or Sinned Against?

Unpicking the debris from a tweet that could cost Arsenal millions

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The last few days has seen Arsenal Football Club distracted by matters off the football field.

No, not the alleged tapping up of Mikel Arteta...lol! The Club has found itself having to make statements to try and contain the conflagration which might engulf the club with an inferno not of its own making. The topic being China. The Republic of China jealously protects its national interests in the world, whether it be about human rights, Climate change and Global warming or mass censorship of the media. Its stance often evokes strong emotions with many people. The Chinese economy is the second largest in the world and it is said that when China sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. So it can obtain leverage by using economic measures. In my view this current Chinese leadership has become very sensitive about its national interests. This is why Arsenal Football Club now finds itself between a rock and a hard place about China. So I thought that I would add my own perspective and personal comment which do not portray the views of Online Gooner. (Ed’s note – our platform exists to relay opinions from across the spectrum of Arsenal fan opinion. The only policy is that we do not publish abusive content. Readers can make their own minds about the views on China)

In May 2009 as FTK or Fabregas the King writing then for Arsenal Insider I wrote the following
“It now seems that the battle for Arsenal between Russia and the United States will be overshadowed by the intervention of China. Aided and abetted by one Stephen Perry.
So a simple question that I throw out to Insiders? Who is Stephen Perry?
(I sourced the following from newspaper articles mainly the Daily Telegraph I seem to recall.)
Stephen Perry and his father before him has been involved in establishing trade links with China for several decades. Stephen Perry was the driving force in opening up trade with the mighty Chinese economy, for as a visionary he understood what advantages lay in gaining access to such a huge market. Stephen was Chairman of the 48 Group Club. This club was working to enable billions of pounds of investment opportunities in areas as diverse as Sport and commodities. Stephen’s father and his Chinese counterparts became known as Icebreakers for breaking down these vast glacial barriers to trade with the West.”

I went on...
“Stephen Perry, is managing director of an Anglo-Chinese trading group London Export Corporation. It is alleged that Mr Perry has been trying to buy shares in Arsenal as a means of maintaining stewardship of the club by many stakeholders. These attempts coming as the battle for Arsenal rages between the 28.3 percent US Denver sports enterprise Shareholder Mr Stan Kroenke and the 25 percent shareholder Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire steel and gas magnate. The attempt allegedly at the invitation of the Carr family was to purchase 8 percent. However the deal fell through after Stan Kroenke secured the option to buy. Stephen Perry was said to believe by a close source that control of Arsenal Football Club by one shareholder was a bad model, and his preference was for four shareholders and a rights issue.”

In March 2017 Rocky the King wrote in an article for Online Gooner about the expanding Chinese Super league given support by the Leader of China, Xi Jinping
“China has a population of 1.3 billion and it's President Xi Jinping has announced his plan to make China the leading force in world football by 2050 and win a World Cup in 15 years. Massive investments have begun in the grassroot infrastructure with plans to lay one football pitch for every 10,000 citizens around the continent...
What about Arsenal's links with China? Arsenal first played a pre season friendly in Beijing in 1995. In 2003 the club launched its Shanghai supporters club in China. Arsenal followed this up by tours in 2011 and 2012 and has recently announced as part of the 2017 pre season tour, a match against Bayern Munich on July 19th in Shanghai and Chelsea on July 22nd in Beijing. Arsenal have introduced soccer schools with iRENA following a visit in 2015 by Charles Allen and Robert Pires, and the rising popularity of the club has seen it rise to third in social media rankings behind Manchester United and Barcelona. The club announced a content partnership with Total Soccer in 2016 and will provide exclusive player interviews and videos. It seems that Ivan Gazidis remains totally committed to increasing commercial revenues by this ever closer union with China, and with Brexit looming, this strategy could reap even more profits.”

Our Club’s profitability depends upon the expansion of the brand across the world. We need sound finances and profits to buy players and pay their very high wages. Arsenal Football Club must also act in the interests of Arsenal Fans and protect the club from financial ruin. Whether we like it or not we cannot have it both ways. We need investment, we need a multinational fan base, but morally at what cost? We respect our fellow Chinese Gooners and we must acknowledge that in supporting our great club, there is more that unites Chinese Gooners with London Gooners than that which divides us. I want to express our friendship with all Gooners the world over.

In June 2017 Arsenal Football Club produced the following article on its website
“Founded back in 2003, Arsenal Shanghai was the first Arsenal Supporters Club in China to be officially recognised by Arsenal FC. Since then, We have been endeavouring in providing extensive and comprehensive services for Chinese Gooners. We (known as ACN) uphold the belief of 'Gooner for Life' and our mission is to cultivate a proper spirit and culture amongst Chinese Gooners. We also have a London branch where we help our members travelling from China to watch the Arsenal in the UK with their tickets and travelling matters. Our expats in the UK go to every single game home and away to show our support for the Arsenal.”

In October 2019 The Guardian Newspaper wrote
“Human rights organisations have condemned Fifa’s decision to stage a revamped version of the Club World Cup in China. World football’s governing body has confirmed that an expanded version of its showpiece event, featuring 24 teams, will take place there in June and July 2021. The decision was made despite China’s suppression of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and the internment of more than one million Uighur Muslims in the state of Xinjiang.”

Among many organisations Amnesty International was particularly vocal in its forthright condemnation. Eventually the facts will come out. The World will then have to make a choice.

In December 2019 Mesut Ozil, Muslim and Arsenal superstar tweeted about the alleged treatment of the Uighur Muslims.
Following this, Chinese broadcasters blocked coverage of the weekend game between Arsenal and Manchester City. Similar to a blackout imposed upon the season opening games of the NBA following a comment about the Hong Kong protests by its Commissioner Adam Silver. Mesut Ozil’s translated statement is widely available all over the internet, so I do not need to reproduce it here.

The Chinese response was swift and brutal. China sent out a chilling message that it was not amused. China worked from the standpoint of inflicting financial pain upon its critics knowing that this would be swift and effective. It was not wrong.

In December 2019 According again to the Guardian,
“Arsenal Football Club sought to limit any financial damage caused to its business in China, where it has numerous commercial interests including a chain of restaurants, by releasing a statement on Weibo a leading Chinese social media site (where it has 5 million followers) and other platforms, that the club does not associate itself with Ozil’s views. The Club stated that the content published by Ozil is the player’s personal opinion and Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
There are now reports of Chinese Arsenal fans allegedly burning club shirts and protesting about the hurt done to the Chinese people. A chat room about the player is supposed to have been shut down. A Chinese spokesman has come out and roundly condemned the player for being influenced by fake news. The spokesman added that the player should come to China to see for himself how the rates of extremist violence in Xinjiang have fallen since Beijing implemented its programme of reforms.

Politics and Sport have parallels in that the support is often tribal and the passions can result in extreme violence and the very worst of human behaviours. I recall the demonstrations surrounding the Cricket tours to South Africa under the regime of Apartheid. I felt embarrassed about the clumsy Government attempts to prevent Athletes competing in the 1980 Russian Olympics. In short there have been many notable events in history which illustrate how deeply held passions can explode when politics and sport clash.

That is why I can understand the strength of feeling of the Chinese, when tourists are in China they must respect Chinese values and Chinese laws. In much the same way that we would not like others to tell us how to live our lives, we have to understand that our interpretation of religion and democracy cannot be grafted onto other nations be they Atheist, Muslim, Chinese or Buddhist. The diversity of the world’s nations is what makes it so interesting to travel to different countries. Yet Globalisation has made the world smaller especially with the removal of borders by the internet. I am also saddened and conflicted by the events in the former British overseas territory Hong Kong and hope that a peaceful resolution can be found. However I fail to see how Hong Kong’s attempts to secure universal suffrage can succeed whilst it remains part of mainland China. We cannot tell another sovereign nation how to govern its own internal affairs.

In much the same way, who are we to tell another country how it should deal with its perceived internal threats of terrorism? Surely this is the point. China has values, China has its national pride and beliefs. However by using its economic might to express its anger and dismay about criticism directed at itself, unwittingly it might just bring about the economic isolation of China. This would harm Chinese interests more than our own. China is a rich and mighty empire now, but it still depends upon global economic integration. The Chinese entrepreneurs depend upon the rest of the world to buy its manufacturing products. There are vital commodities needed by China for its expanding borders. What if the rest of the world decided that it would no longer trade with China? If mass unemployment came to China as a direct consequence of world retaliation, China would have to change its stance rapidly to prevent civil unrest. Thus economic order must be based upon mutual respect. We must respect China but equally China must respect the rest of the world. China may display arrogance now in its retaliatory behaviour, but in the future the tide may turn like a tsunami and bite back.

Mesut Ozil’s tweet was steeped in religious rhetoric and provocative statements which I find deeply worrying. I do not believe that our players should be allowed to tweet upon such controversial matters. If they were to put as much passion and energy into their games as opposed to their tweets then perhaps our club might be higher up the table. It is often said that there are three things that you should never talk about in the workplace, politics, religion and money. So what is freedom of speech? Do we have the right to offend others? In Britain we now have laws governing what can or cannot be said. Discrimination is judged by the standards perceived by the beholder. If we choose to enter into this political arena then they are risks. China has every right to retaliate if it feels that its interests are best served, in much the same way that we can choose to boycott all things Chinese if we object to their response.

We must tread carefully when it comes to insulting nations too. There are two sides to every story and we cannot in the West claim to hold the moral high ground. Equally as manufacturing providers China must acknowledge that it trades in the global economy with the consent of the West. If the western consumers exercise their freedom of choice not to trade with China then who would be the loser? Arsenal enforced a ban on national flags at the Emirates Stadium soon after it opened. I applauded these efforts to prevent sectarian violence erupting in a cauldron of already febrile emotions. I did not however applaud its whistle blower SMS policy for supposed anti-social behaviour. I felt that this policy was being enforced within the ground in a highly selective manner and in my view it was meant to suppress fair comment or vocal banter. Arsenal fans have the right to express their anger in much the same way as they do through boycotting the club, showing empty seats and not renewing season tickets.

In the end however money talks. Nations who need China’s wealth and patronage will ignore the alleged human rights violations. Hypocrisy is writ large in Global trading partnerships. However my warning to China is that History teaches us that Empires rise and fall, it would be a great mistake for Xi Jinping to interpret the West’s current willingness to tolerate the excesses of the Chinese state for weakness.

So what are your thoughts? Should the players talk with their skills on the field and leave these other controversial topics for others to manage? Do they have the right to use the social media platforms and as agents of their club make statements which may result in alienating a section of the Global Gooner fan base? Can we ever separate morals and politics from sport when we refer to campaigns about kicking out racism and homophobia?

Twitter@GoonerRocky #RockyTheKing

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  1. ArsenalMagna

    Dec 21, 2019, 10:32 #115919

    "Shame on anyone who thinks that making a few quid is more important than standing up to any regime that abuses any of its citizens". That is incredibly bigoted and limited a view. I recognise that there's a case for disassociating oneself from a party whose behaviour one disapproves of, even if the consequences are only negative. However, football is built on a huge number of associations with dubious partners, which are overlooked by the mass of fans. 11 million + Arsenal fans will be adversely affected, not anyone else. China can do what it wants - 'standing up' to them is not the same as disconnecting from them. Ozil's action will not produce any positive practical consequences but plenty of bad ones for Arsenal. Whether or not we like it, money is the lifeblood of football now and this could only hurt Arsenal in that sense.

  2. Big Andy

    Dec 21, 2019, 03:21 #115918

    Good luck, Arteta. You’ll need it.

  3. itsRonagain2

    Dec 20, 2019, 23:52 #115917

    Good luck Mikel. Gunners fans are an eclectic lot and perhaps think about the game and what’s considered good for Arsenal FC than do others for their clubs. This translates sometimes into too much cerebral discussion at the expense of unbridled noisy passion. Make no mistake though you ll get a fair crack of the whip from Gunners fans so go for it’ll it. You’re there now. The doubt and the many critiques of the appointment are not personal at all. Do yr job fella and make us proud of our great club again as we ve been rocked and reeling for too many years. We all want you to do well.

  4. Pauljames

    Dec 20, 2019, 19:13 #115916

    I thought he was extremely impressive at his press conference, and he strikes me as the type who will take no bullshit. Of course time will tell but the contrast with the stammering , rather awkward introduction of Dick could not have been greater.

  5. John F

    Dec 20, 2019, 17:51 #115915

    Forgot to add a dog named Kronkee will continuously piss on it.

  6. John F

    Dec 20, 2019, 17:44 #115914

    He also said, "we have to have the right culture here if we don't then the tree will shake". There won't be a lot of leaves left on that tree and us Gardeners know the time to hard prune most trees is in the winter. I think this rare Arsenal tree may have to have a huge amount of dead woodcut from it.

  7. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Dec 20, 2019, 16:54 #115913

    Thank you Don, for putting into words what I have been struggling to say over the past few days. Don could I just add the following: "To all defenders at Arsenal if you have run through one of your own players to clear the ball - then please do so"

  8. itsRonagain2

    Dec 20, 2019, 16:34 #115912

    I want Don, SKG and Cyril in as the 'dream team' . Exactly right lads. All well stated! Arteta - DNA my arse.

  9. CORNISH GOONER

    Dec 20, 2019, 16:28 #115911

    I really don't know what to think about the Lego Man appointment. If he is as good as Pep's endorsement, then it could be a masterstroke. But realistically, as Don has just stated, "it's the defence stupid!". And the alleged pre-appointment tantrums from the old guard - that's our "super stars" who won't buy into hard work & yearn for Champions League isn't promising. But any manager who has already made it big would have nothing to gain & everything to lose in reputation by signing on for our Stan. So really it was a no other choice type of appointment. Eddie Howe some might say - seriously?

  10. Don Howe

    Dec 20, 2019, 16:10 #115910

    “My first task will be to get to know the players better and get them playing the kind of fast flowing attacking football that Arsenal Supporters around the world want to see” No mate, your first task is to get a good defensive coach who knows what he is doing, back him to the hilt and use every means necessary including proper and intelligent explanation, incentive, intimidation, endless repetition, cruelty, persistence and anything else that you can to shut the door on attackers. In the defence, in the midfield. Stop the other team scoring. THEN you can do your fancy Dan stuff.

  11. Pauljames

    Dec 20, 2019, 15:09 #115909

    Good luck Mikel...I am keeping everything crossed that this works out!

  12. Cyril

    Dec 20, 2019, 14:58 #115908

    DH- I’m with you on that. I’m not sure about this Arsenal DNA argument. Frank Mclintock had DNA. Arteta played for Arsenal. Seems like another selling tactic to appease the fans. The only DNA at that club is Stan Kroenke - Does Not Attend. Shambles !

  13. Don Howe

    Dec 20, 2019, 14:26 #115907

    What does it matter to us if everyone in China turns off their television sets on the Premier League? I will put it differently. It is in our interests, if we want our game back, for everyone in China to turn off their television sets on the Premier League. The only thing which we get from excessive funding levels is clowns on £300k a week sauntering round the field when they feel like it. I want to see Clubs' wage bills controlled by what gate money and very limited TV money they can acquire. I want to see professional footballers back where they belong. In a house with a mortgage and consequential fear of the displeasure of the manager. All that mega bucks have bought us is sky high season tickets for unwatchable defending and the meaningless drivel which streams on an on from Alsatian lips as well as the unwelcome ownership of an absentee landlord. Suck the money out of the game and all will be well. Pie in the Sky? Well after years of waiting out Wenger I simply can't be bothered to renew next year. As to Arteta, I will give him 3 games. If there are 3 clean sheets I will give him a chance. He looks like a massive turkey to me but I might be wrong.

  14. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Dec 20, 2019, 14:11 #115906

    I somehow think we are getting the wrong ex Everton player - I would be more encouraged if "Big Dunc" was in our technical area and then he could tell our "lightweights" if you don't bust a gut "I'll lift you up in the air like the Everton ball boy - except by the throat" Arsenal don't need more technical coaching they need someone to inject real fear into them if they fail run themselves into the ground and put their pretty faces into harms way. Just ask the burglar who made the terrible mistake of entering DF house uninvited was Duncan is like when he is angry - we stand no chance tomorrow not with "Big Dunc" rousing the Toffeemen.

  15. itsRonagain2

    Dec 20, 2019, 13:02 #115905

    andy - im right with you about the Ozil/ China thing.

  16. itsRonagain2

    Dec 20, 2019, 13:00 #115904

    Hi Marky - i truly hope he does do well mate. He s a good guy i think and has always presented well. So many structural failings in the club though for one new inexperienced man to contend with, or even an experienced one for that matter. Some body said the other day that the club has fragmented its management of the team to barmy levels in the light of the tyranny that Wenger exerted and they dont want to fall into that trap again. I think thats right, but the people they've put in there seem haphazard. Too many cooks in my view. Still, MA must have said hes happy with it. It may comeback to bite him on the arse.

  17. Bard

    Dec 20, 2019, 11:43 #115903

    Some good posts. The Ozil/China debacle is another example of how far our once great club has fallen. Is this an example of the Arsenal way !!!! What is the hold up with Arteta. Reminds me of the Wenger days when it took 6 months to sort out the buying of an 18 yo. As most have noted Arteta is distinctly underwhelming as a choice and reflects how limited the choices were. As I have said before who in their right mind would want to take over the Arsenal sh** show. Coaching is an issue but it needs someone with real cojones to put some steel on their soul. Clearly he is a good coach but will anyone listen .

  18. mad max

    Dec 20, 2019, 11:05 #115902

    Seriously who cares what Mesut ozil has got to say? he needs to do his talking on the pitch, but sadly enough that ain't gonna happen any time soon. lets hope arteta clears out the deadwood and starts picking players on the quality and effort in their performances, we're now paying the price of years of negligence by messrs wenger and gazidis who have allowed a losing mentality to creep in. their both multi millionaires enjoying their ill gotten gains while this once great club is being dragged thru the mud. if I see one more wenger article about the clubs values i'm gonna scream, no ones listening arsene just bugger off into the fifa wilderness

  19. andy1886

    Dec 20, 2019, 09:38 #115901

    Very well put Moscowgooner. I'm not a fan of Ozil and will be quite happy when he goes but he absolutely has the right to make a statement if he believes that this repression is really happening. Shame on anyone who thinks that making a few quid is more important than standing up to any regime that abuses any of its citizens. Rather than acquiesce to Beijing's threats we should have the courage to defend the right of any individual to speak out even if we don't necessarily share their views.

  20. markymark

    Dec 20, 2019, 07:30 #115900

    Ron2 - it might be that Arteta has a great PR machine working for him but you’ve got from Pepe to people as diverse as Alan Stubbs all saying he knows his stuff and is no nonsense. He may well be a pleasant surprise, not light weight at all.

  21. Cyril

    Dec 20, 2019, 02:10 #115899

    Moscow- yes. This article has no place here. Seems opportunist and that would worry !

  22. Moscowgooner

    Dec 20, 2019, 00:51 #115898

    I hate mixing politics with football - but since you started it RockyTheKing I will start giving it straight back to you. 'Who are we to tell a country how to deal with its perceived threats of internal terrorism?' Well the Nazis believed that the Jews were fornenting terrorism, eg by blowing up the Hindenberg airship and assassinating ambassadors. So they went out and gassed six million of them - but then again who are we to tell other countries how to deal with their 'perceived' (delusional?) threats of internal terrorism, eh??? Then again you don't see how Hong Kong's efforts to achieve universal suffrage can succeed - despite the fact that this was the whole basis for the UK handing Hong Kong back to China (I was there). Sorry but this is one long apology for China's vicious repression - and for AFC's acquiescence in it - and you're just one more cringing hand wringing western liberal who believes we can never take the moral high ground ever (WHY?) Look to Koln FC for the way we should behaving. We are now no more than the Man City or the Chekski of North London. No class, no history, no values.

  23. Cyril

    Dec 20, 2019, 00:05 #115897

    I’ve had a beer and I’m emotional. Sorry, most of it makes sense and if some doesn’t then I will come back again and fix it. I just love the Arsenal and I’m frustrated. Love to all!

  24. Cyril

    Dec 19, 2019, 23:41 #115896

    Ron - we are an English club and where in the recent past they don’t get it- we need to explain politely that we would like to have a person who may explain our message. Our club has been controlled by a French/German since 96. And whilst he has done well, the questions after he fails must be about how we pick up these pieces. I am happy to return to us sorting it out in truth. I’d much rather have that the a bunch of slippery fascists controlling our economy , our sovereignty. I just want our team back like the old days. Wenger you did well and then you didn’t. Now do one or shall I explain it to you !!

  25. itsRonagain2

    Dec 19, 2019, 23:06 #115895

    Cyril, it was always going to be Arteta matey. Young, cheap, malleable and not much of a fight needed to get him. All facets that characterise the modern Arse. A fight free zone for 12 yrs. Good luck to him but really, a change of coach alone isn’t going to fix that shite show there. He s Elastoplast mate, being used to mend the clubs broken hull.

  26. Cyril

    Dec 19, 2019, 22:25 #115894

    Marky-No! The slow creep of European Facist federalism project is over. When I was a lad playing footy in the 70’s and 80’s going from my council estate up Archway down to ‘parli’ to play on flat greens (Hampstead Heath) is where I want to see our youngsters replicate. I will never forgive these people for ruining our great lives. Personally, if it can’t be Poch - bring in EDDIE HOWE LAD!!!

  27. Made Up Stat

    Dec 19, 2019, 20:27 #115893

    Who cares about what we've cherished, valued and fought for when there's some Beijing bucks to be had?

  28. markymark

    Dec 19, 2019, 19:11 #115892

    Cyril- I don’t think we’d have got Pooch . City are making overtures and there’s always PSG . He needs a 50/50 chance of titles cups etc after winning precisely nothing in his career so far. That’s not a knock by the way but a simple practical way to win something

  29. markymark

    Dec 19, 2019, 19:06 #115891

    Cyril- for goodness sake give him a chance lol! He’s also considered to be one of the greatest prospects in European football with a phone number to a disaffected Sane and Ferdinho . He may well be as you say but twats like Willy Aubameyang needs shutting up quick. I think cuddle time is over for Auba , Ozil , Mustafi, Luiz and probably Socratis . I’d bet that Arteta would be more likely to boot them than a very Wenger like Carlo ( I do like Carlo though ) Anyway it’ll be a ride and maybe the changes albeit in an up and down season could keep you interested

  30. Cyril

    Dec 19, 2019, 16:50 #115890

    Bard, I’m staying well clear of the politics so back to the most important decision for years- the new Boss. I’m not happy with Arteta. It’s Wenger (late years) lite. They would often be seen on the training ground working out tactics and drills etc. We need a solid tactician and respected coach. Poch all day long for me. There is no high moral ground - Spurs turfed him out 3 months after CL final. This is a crucial appointment- 3.5 years of Arteta and possible stasis will now mean nearly 15 years of ‘not much to see there’. He wouldn’t be got rid for at least 2 years of mediocrity. What will the fan base be like then ? Nothing against Arteta but my ST is likely to end. What’s the point. I would hazard a guess Arsenal would be happy for ST’s to continue with more autonomy for customers to sub let out on the agreement that we vet our sub tenants. A hiring of staff to manage issues and complaints that arise from the turnarounds is what I see for the future. Perhaps we will be offered some form of ST Uber platform to allow us to offload on the day to someone local.

  31. Bard

    Dec 19, 2019, 09:38 #115888

    Interesting article Rocky. I dont really care what Ozil thinks about anything, however his comments will hurt the brand and may well speed up his move from Arsenal and if it does, its fantastic news. Alienating the Chinese market seems a daft thing to do if youre as broke as Arsenal are. After speaking to Josh earlier this week in a surprise call I doubt he knows where China is. As you know I have my finger on the pulse on all matters Arsenal. I havent posted for a while because I had trouble finding any pulse at the club. Anyway Josh rang me to ask about Arteta. He wanted to know how good a centre half he was when he played under Don Howe..... He also wanted to know whether his hair is real and if not where could his Dad get a similar wig. Priceless

  32. Pauljames

    Dec 19, 2019, 09:21 #115887

    Wish I could say this “ story “ was a welcome distraction from our on field disasters, but in fact it I find the whole thing ridiculous. I don’t care what Mesut Ozils political views are or what our “ supporters “ in China think either. This episode perfectly illustrates just how far football has disappeared up its own backside , as does Mr Wenger reappearing on the box yesterday spouting familiar nonsense about our so called “ values”. I wish we could go back to the days when it was only a game of football.

  33. markymark

    Dec 19, 2019, 07:32 #115886

    Some interesting counterweight arguments. I was struck by we mustn’t take the moral high ground when We’ve come from a society born of taking the moral high ground “West is Best” The two Communist power houses have skillfully adapted to display a far more acceptable Capitalist face to Western Eyes. We no longer harbour fears of Soviet Gulags or mass starvation under Mao. But ironically ladies wear hair extensions from Russian Prisoners , we might also go to body worlds (grim) and wonder at these people who donated their bodies , Answer Chinese Prisoners or need a transplant and not worry too much if the black market organ is from a dead Uigar. In China surveillance cameras are everywhere, social media is heavily monitored, small things like leaving by your back door could cause a visit by an official. “Why do you leave your house by a route no-one can see you?” It was so much easier when Chinese leaders looked like North Korea Kim. Now they look like smart businessman possibly in a Saville Row suit. One thing that did occur under Thatcher and Regan was a curbing of business dealings with Cold War foes. Strange that these two could be beacons of morality ? Now big business deals with everyone but maybe it always did ? IBM index card systems used for Nazi final solution planning etc. We are caught between Globalisation and Nationalism . Each have their weaknesses . Arsenal are caught up right in the middle courtesy of an extremely clever social media user.