Anorak

Anorak | When Politicians Play Sport: Wen Jiabao Comes Up Short

When Politicians Play Sport: Wen Jiabao Comes Up Short

by | 4th, August 2008

CHINA’S Henan Business Daily prints the photo of China’s Premier Wen Jiabao jumping up to shoot a basketball. He is the latest politician to toil at the sports-politics interface.

Politicians cannot resist looking sporty. Tony Blair played headers; Gordon Brown hit a tennis ball; even Ted Heath messed about in boats, although who didn’t think that a euphemism?

In China, Jiabao is promoting not only the Olympics but so too sporting prowess – although one basket from five suggests the basket was too small and basket maker 65567980b should be shot.

Shame, indeed, then, that Basketball Man No.1 features only in shirt and slacks and has passed up the chance to dress up as long-haul cabin crew as truly great sportsman must for the world’s greatest sports show.

Jiabao is appearing at China’s Olympic basketball team in the Wukesong Gymnasium, the Olympic basketball venue. The images carries the caption: “The Premier is so handsome.”

One would hasten to call this sycophancy of the worst kind, and there are rumours that John Motson has taken the Chinese schilling.

And what is most interesting is Jiabao’s choice of sport: basketball – a game for tall people? Is there a message that stereotypes are being paid to rest?

But looking at the picture, Anorak wonders how tall Mr Jiabao is. The height of a basketball net is 10ft above the boards. Mr Jiabao appears to be flying but remains some distance from the basket.

One also notices that no tall basketball player in in the vicinity of Mr Jiabao, so minimising the risk of him looking like the China team mascot or a toy action figure.

And the crowd goes wild…



Posted: 4th, August 2008 | In: Back pages, Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink