Perkins on Tibet

Good morning, Perkins ....

If you say so, Sir

Oh Dear .... I can tell there's something wrong, Perkins ... you'd better get it off your chest.

It's this Tibet business, Sir, ...

Tibet! Goodness me, Perkins! You do worry about such small things!

I wouldn't exactly call Tibet, small, Sir.

But it's thousands of miles away, Perkins, in a country of which we know little, and the British people even less.

Perhaps, but no man is an island and all that ...

Perkins, we do have work to do, you know!

But nobody takes the Tibetans' rights, seriously, Sir.

Well, it depends what you mean by "seriously", Perkins.

But they are an occupied people! The Chinese Han are ethnically-swamping them! If the Americans did that to the Canadians, for example, there'd be all hell let loose ...

Oh come, come, Perkins! You can't compare Canadians to Tibetans! The latter are an underdeveloped, uncivilized race! The Chinese are bringing them into the modern world. They're investing billions in the country.

Yes, to turn Tibet into a part of China, with Han culture ...

But it is part of China, Perkins.

Only because the Chinese seized it by force. What right do they actually have to rule Tibet? Until they started moving millions of Chinese into the country there were practically no Chinese there at all. It was a thousand-year-old and totally different and to the Chinese alien culture.

What right, Perkins? Well, I'm sorry to disillusion you, but their bigger army gave them the right and after all, possession is nine-tenths of the law!

But they are so arrogant. And so-called democracies don't say a word. India has even banned a march by a few hundred exiled Tibetans. The west continues to trade with and enrich China so that it can buy arms to oppress its minorities. It's sickening, Sir.

Only if you have a conscience, Perkins. I'm sorry to see you are still afflicted by conscience.

I don't think you are taking this seriously, Sir.

I am, Perkins; it's just that nothing can be done.

You mean, nothing that doesn't hurt us a bit, don't you Sir?

Well, that goes without saying, Perkins! Do you really think the British consumer is going to accept to have to pay more for his DVD-recorder just to put a bit of pressure on China!!!

I'm sorry, Sir. It stinks. China supports North Korea, and they've just executed 15 people just for trying to flee the country. When North Koreans do get out of the hell of their regime, the Chinese often send them back. And yet we allow them to hold the Olympic Games! To set doves free in a gesture of peace! It is horrible, Sir.

Yes, Perkins. It's called politics.

But it is preposterously hypocritical, Sir. Have you read "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights"?

Not recently, Perkins ...

Well, what about this bit in Article 21?

"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."

Well, what about it, Perkins?

Well, members of the UN are supposed to subscribe to that, aren't they, Sir? But a majority don't, do they? China certainly doesn't, does it?

I'm not sure I can answer three questions at once, Perkins. But I'll give it some thought over the weekend .......

And what are you doing over the weekend, Sir?

As it happens, Perkins, I'm playing golf with the Chinese Ambassador .....