A simple change the IOC could make when awarding future Olympic host status: instead of giving it to countries with a poor human rights record like China on the vague promise of an improvement if they become host, why not require a clear basic level of human rights and democracy as a pre-qualification criteria before you are even entitled to submit a bid to be a host?
The Olympic Charter says:
"The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man,with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity."
The current situation in Tibet is not compatible with "harmonious development", "a peaceful society" or "the preservation of human dignity."
I felt ashamed by the participation of British Ministers and sportspeople in the torch relay yesterday and by the co-option as auxiliaries of our police force into helping what appeared to be a goon squad from the Chinese security services to protect the flame.
Well done to the Free Tibet campaigners for the scale of their mobilisation.
The relay was a farce and we should have told the Chinese where to stick their torch.