Telegraph.co.uk, the website of the Daily Telegraph newspaper has quietly deleted the comments posted by readers in response to an article by the Chinese ambassador to Britain prior to the Beijing Olympics. The article is headed "Chinese ambassador Fu Ying: Western media has demonised China" and sub-titled by the Telegraph "News: Chinese ambassador says Britain 'lacks respect'" (April 13th, 2008).
I was searching for a comment I posted there, because I remembered saying that we needed a period of "just and necessary austerity" and it appears we have since landed in one. (I don't think that any part of the EU should trade with any other country that has labour conditions, human rights or freedoms less than the minimum acceptable within the EU. It's not unprincipled protectionism, it's not unfettered globalisation, it is a policy to ensure the advancement of rights and conditions throughout the world. It should also enable us to become more self-sufficient, without going overboard about it. Anyway, what do I know?)
A Google search for "just and necessary austerity" produced one item, a link to the current article in the Telegraph online sans comments, and a cached impression of the original page, complete with comments including the one I was looking for, which was this:
Why does the Telegraph provide a platform for the corrupt tyranny that holds over a billion people in ignorance and servitude? How can there be a celebration of goodwill with a regime that treats people worse than animals, and who treat animals abominably too? We have mobile libraries, they have mobile execution chambers. Look at the pictures of women being dragged through the streets to their deaths with garottes around their necks, by smirking uniformed assassins who will later shoot them in the back of the heads. Would it have been acceptable for a contingent of Nazi guards to jog through the streets of London guarding their olympic torch on its way to the Berlin olympics of 1936? The Communist Party dictatorship in China has been responsible for deaths in the many millions and continues its absolute denial of freedom and even information to its people. It has decreed that there shall never again be any such thing as a brother or a sister (the one child policy). In the past it decreed that all sparrows be exterminated. It is time that the atrocious tyranny itself was abolished, and until then there should be no phoney celebrations, and no trade either. Let us accept a just and necessary austerity here until tyranny is starved out of business.
I know that some will say this comment falls foul of that "law" that predicts that every debate is likely to deteriorate to such a level that eventually one party will compare their opponents to the Nazis, but in this case I think the comparison is justifiable.
In case the page and comments disappear from Google's cache, here is a picture of them (pdf).