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Olympolitics? You Tibet!
logo: Beijing 2008
Pro- and anti-Chinese protestors are expected to line the streets of London this weekend as the Olympic torch is brought to the capital in the (literal) run-up to the Beijing Olympics.
Tibetans have urged Gordon Brown to prevent the torch from passing through the UK: ‘We’re getting daily beatings from the Chinese military over here because they’re so fed up with us asking for human rights,’ a source we were forced to invent because all journalists are banned from Tibet told KTAB News, ‘and all the UK Government is doing about it is saying how sorry they are, and can they have the Olympic Flame pass through London, because it’ll cheer up all the Chinese workers unloading the toxic baby toys in the East End!’
The torch was lit by a parabolic reflector concentrating the rays of the Sun at the Temple of Hera in Greece; had the weather been overcast, officials had planned to start the immortal flame with the white-hot rage of anti-China protestors at the event.
The London route is something of a blatant PR stunt for Transport for London, with the torch being carried by bus, boat and the Docklands Light Railway as well as the more conventionally Olympic runners and cyclists. ‘This is an honour for all employees of TfL,’ explained TfL spokeswoman Claire Timkins, ‘it means that even Barry, the podgy and underpaid driver of the bus on Sunday, is an Olympian too, in his own way.
‘We hope it might inspire him to be less surly come 2012,’ she added.
The torch’s passage through the capital has confused counter-terrorism officers, who have found that they are having to deploy conventional wisdom in reverse. The torch, rather than needing protection from incendiary or explosive devices, is at much greater risk from protestors wielding fire extinguishers or flame-retardant duvets. ‘We did a trial road block last week,’ explained photogenically cheerful bobby Marvin Wilcox, ‘and ended up stopping this bloke with a fertiliser bomb because we thought it might be a bottle of water!’