What Seb Coe wasn’t asked
Do you agree there have been nonsenses? That was Evan Davies’ opening gambit this morning when he interviewed Lord Coe, the head of the London Olympic organising committee responsible for the games (LOCOG). It was a promissing start, but unfortunately the interview didn’t quite have the legs (have a listen below). After some probing over whether or not a person would be allowed into the stadium wearing Nike trainers (Answer: probably) there was a sense that the interview lacked the Today programme’s hall-mark interrogative syle.
listen to ‘Coe upbeat about Olympics’ on Audioboo
Amnesty has been asking some of our own questions of Lord Coe over the last few weeks; specifically by writing on our own building as you can see.
Amnesty is hosting an art installation here at our offices in East London until the end of July, to highlight the link between Dow, the Olympics and Bhopal. Read this comment piece in the Inde by Samar Jodha, the artist, for background.
It seems that Coe, aka the “Lord of the Rings” is sticking to his guns on the Dow front and is unlikely to back down. That does seem an error to me, when you consider the thousands of people who have already taken action (over 7,000 e mails to him personally, and counting) and the fact that disquiet over the sponsorship deal has gone global (see the Washington Post and the Times of India). You might think this was one deal which simply didn’t seem worth the cost - just for a decorative wrap. As Peter Frankental, our Economic Relations expert said yesterday;
“Surely LOCOG should recommend that future Olympic hosts consider the human rights record of a sponsor, so that this sort of shameful association does not happen again. That would be a fitting legacy for the London Games.
“We live in hope that Seb Coe will retract statements he has made defending Dow, and apologise to the Bhopal victims and survivors for the hurt caused by this association. It seems to me the least he can do.”
The news that you couldn’t wear a Pepsi t-shirt into the stadium, because Coca-Cola was the sponsor, and that it was only a possibility that branded shoes other than those made by Adidas would be allowed in, triggered the #Justdoit hashtag trend today. Whilst it is important to recognise that other Olympic hashtags are available (see #DontDowIt) when it comes to making a simple recommendation about the sponsor procurement guidelines to future host countries, I recommend #justdoit
In fact, #Imlovinit
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.