Bernie has a watching brief on Bahrain F1GP

Ecclestone:We have never been involved in religion or politics

With protests in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, three of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East, and the UN's Human Rights chief now wading in to condemn the violence against protestors the area is fast becoming a troublesome problem for Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's big (little) daddy.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says security forces responded in an "illegal and excessively heavy-handed" manner against peaceful demonstrators.
In a statement issued by her office Friday, she condemned the use of live ammunition against protesters in Libya, the use of electric tasers and batons in Yemen, and the use of military-grade shotguns in Bahrain.
Pillay says "particularly egregious are the targeted attacks on journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders and even, in the case of Bahrain, doctors and medical personnel attending to injured protesters".

(Washington Post)

A recent race at the Bahrain circuit had to be cancelled because medical attendants were too busy elsewhere dealing with less mechanical carnage. Which poses a problem for Ecclestone who is reportedly watching and waiting. There is a time limit on this though. In a week's time he will have to make a decision. The race weekend begins 11th March and the teams need to be there with all of their equipment and drivers a week before that for testing.

This may appear not to amount to a hill of beans, given the political state of play, but whether Bernie likes it or not, a lot of people will be watching to see if there is linkage, tacit support for those "egregious" attacks. There is no doubt that had this been a game of cricket, public opprobrium would have caused an abort. Financially, of course, a cricket tour is a minnow and GP1 is a behemoth. Bernie elects to turn a blind eye to politics and religion: "We've never been involved in religion or politics. We've never made a decision on this. It's not for us to run a country", he says.

Countries like Bahrain need all the international credibility they can get. Given the nationalistic nature of events like the Grand Prix, I cannot help wondering if Bernie is burying his head in all that desert sand.


RMcGeddon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
strapworld said...

Ecclestone's statement ranks alongside those that say 'I was ordered to do it', or Upstairs collecting fares,Nothing to do with me guv,They are really nice to my kids, etc.

Money comes first and foremost to these people. This chap has proved he is small in size and has a brain to match.

I have it on good authority that if they are forced to move it they are going to take it to China and run two Formula One races there this season.

Why China? because they love racing and they wouldn't tolerate any nonsense from malcontents.

Is all this discontent and rioting another sign of global warming..oops, sorry, climate change?

Did you read that the climate change facists are ruining dear old Johnny Ball because he has the cheek to rubbish the flawed science! Obviously the animal rights people have moved their campaign.

RMcGeddon said...

I deleted that first post WW. Heck I don't half rant after a night out lol
In a more measured response I'd just say that promoters like Bernie etc should be briefed better about the poitical and cultural situation in the countries where they do business. I would have thought that this was just common sense when you consider the money that they invest.


China would guarantee a big crowd anyway.