It’s good to be free

In spite of Liam Gallagher being a surly fucker I quite like Oasis and I’ve made a fair few quid teaching students their songs.

Like most well-established bands, they’re getting a bit past their sell-by date in my opinion but hey ho…

I read with interest today that their gigs in China have been cancelled.

Apparently, this is because the band has been deemed ‘unsuitable’ by the Chinese authorities.

It all dates back to 1997 when Noel Gallagher played at a Free Tibet festival – a most laudable cause.

OK, it’s just another bit of ideological nonsense from China but it really highlights the fact that our government can try all it wants to be China’s bitch when it comes to trade but along with that comes some unpalatable baggage.

Namely, that we have to co-operate with an oppressive regime that has scant regard for the human rights both of its own and other nations’ people.

Surely, whilst we can’t ignore China and co-operation is a good thing in general, they need us as much as we need them, and we should insist on some reforms with regard to human rights and Tibet as a condition of further increases in trade.

On a personal level, I try not to have any business dealings with people whose good character is in question.

I wouldn’t agree to give guitar lessons to someone who beat their wife, for example, and I wouldn’t like to think that anyone was dealing with such a person on my behalf, either.

It could be that sticking to our principles with regard to trade with a regime that is clearly oppressive would be expensive, and undoubtedly sometimes such stances are.

But didn’t we spend billions in order to occupy Iraq on a matter of principle?

Maybe not with total assent, and possibly even illegally, but that didn’t seem to matter when our leaders told us it was the right thing to do.

Perhaps we really could do the right thing this time with regard to China?

I bet we fucking don’t.


I’ve been mulling this story over since I blogged about it and I’m not so sure that Oasis were right to agree to play China in the first place.

It’s bit like when Queen played Sun City in SA and apartheid was in full swing.

Should Oasis have taken ‘tainted’ money to play to the friends and relatives of the Chinese Communist Party ‘elite’?

Probably not.

Maybe it’s all for the best.

Fuck ’em.

China and Oasis…


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