(Image: AP/Andy Wong)

Crikey readers were divided on Bernard Keane’s call for Australia to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, and for good reason: there are high costs to weigh on each side of the argument. Elsewhere, readers didn’t hold back on the issue of Scott Morrison’s particular brand of religiosity, and continued to hew into the government’s bizarre “milkshake consent” video (with suggestions on how to do it better).

On boycotting the Olympics

Max Jensen writes: No, we shouldn’t boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Our athletes have worked for years to attend these Olympics, and for some, it will be their last chance. Let the politicians, their families, their staff and keepers boycott the Olympics by not watching or attending if that makes them feel righteous.

Chris Noel writes: Bernard Keane is wrong to call for a boycott of the Winter Olympics. The attempted and actual boycotts of the ’76 and ’80 Olympics failed, so why go down this path again? The Olympics is not just about China anyway, it’s a world gathering in a country whose behaviour some of us don’t like very much at the moment.

So Bernard’s solution of punishing our own athletes, who are mostly non-professional and who will lose intangible things like hopes and dreams to supposedly “hurt” China, does nothing except punish our own people. This is like sacrificing our lambs to upset or appease an angry master. You want to do something meaningful that would be a real sacrifice to show China we are upset with what it does? Then cut off iron ore supplies. That would be a real sacrifice and a real action.

Margie Wills writes: Yes, Australia should boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, for all the reasons outlined by Bernard Keane. Many sports-mad Australians, as well as businesses with dealings in China, will moan but I think it’s a matter of principle. But Australia needs to clean up its own human rights abuses against refugees or it will always be open to claims of hypocrisy.

Bob McDowell writes: Boycott? Yes! I’ve said it a dozen times to various media. How can the world at large see the obvious parallels with the Berlin 1936 extravaganza and yet fail to disendorse the CCP’s giant marketing exercise? To apathetically drift closer to the February 2022 date whilst sitting on our hands is morally unprincipled with respect to the misery and injustice inflicted upon their own citizens, and a cowardly response to the treatment they continue to mete out to us. Suppose they gave a party and nobody came? This is the only way for the world at large to exhibit mass protest, which even the CCP propaganda machine would be unable to conceal from the 1.5 billion populace. One of Churchill’s many quotes, “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last”, is apposite.

On the PM’s religiosity

Wendy Cooper writes: I grew up in a Pentecostal cult. Now when I read articles like those in recent editions of Crikey it makes my skin crawl. It’s completely outrageous that we have an over-representation in our federal cabinet of Pentecostals whose world view is so narrow and excludes anyone other than white, heterosexual members whose goal is to be wealthy at the expense of… what? Who?

When their religious values collide with politics on the management of real people (example: refugees, aged, disability sector), politics wins every time. It’s obscene and it’s time for them to be voted out. Another four years of this government will destroy any sense of community we have and send us reeling back to the 1950s of white (heterosexual) Australia.

Michael Rogers writes: In my opinion, Morrison’s faith does put him at odds with the rest of the country because he is the elected leader of this country and as such is bound to make decisions based on policy direction of his party and impartial advice from the state apparatus.

However, his “miracle” statement about his party’s win in the last federal election and now relating that to his “soar like an eagle” statement during a recent speech to a congregation of Pentecostals implies that the decision-making process of this person is highly likely to be trammelled by his religious beliefs. This belief in “miracles” and divine inspiration could explain the dismissal of the science of climate change and could go a long way to explaining his disregard for women: it is all the will of God; God will direct us.

On that milkshake video

Mark Bayley writes: Milkshakes, tacos, repressed religious hypocrites and experts… oh and millions of taxpayer dollars to ensure a palatable message to young people. Would I want my children to see these videos? Probably, if only to affirm how banal they are and use them as a springboard to have a conversation at home. Around the dinner table works well for us.

Did anyone think to consult these young people as to what might be a “good” and clear message? How would they want it to look? Perhaps a national award for Year 10-12 schoolchildren to design an ad using media relevant to them? Get the young people engaged with the issues and outcomes to encourage that cultural shift.

Has something in our pages got you fired up? Let us know by writing to [email protected]. Please include your full name to be considered for publication in Crikey’s Your Say section.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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