A Rapscallion’s Diary: October 2022
I am a hypocrite. I nod in agreement with Greta Thunberg about global warming but drive an old diesel car and often fail to wash out plastic margarine containers for recycling and even worse have bought single use cups of coffee at Starbucks’ take-aways. I like to think I have principles but most of the time I kid myself that I live to my own high moral standards.
The subject of double standards and hypocrisy in particular prodded my mind due to the football World Cup in Qatar. Apart from the bribery and corruption scandal of how the middle East country got the gig there’s the issue of human rights in a nation ruled by one family has exercised minds.
In Qatar women have to get the permission of a male guardian, spouse, or relative to travel, take a job, have reproductive health care – even when they are divorced – and they have to cover their hair – while domestic violence is not illegal.
Being gay is a crime punishable by death, while the harsh treatment of overseas workers has been well documented. It is illegal to criticise the country’s ruling Al Thani family, to form a political party or a trade union with journalists routinely arrested and imprisoned for doing their job.
Should I boycott the competition and not watch the games despite being a football fan? No. I will watch the matches on TV – even though I despise totalitarian nations like Qatar – but a true critic of the country would switch off the TV or radio as soon as FIFA is mentioned. So much for my principles – only one notch higher up on the moral high ground than David Beckham and Gary Neville.
Then there are liberal minded friends and family who go on holiday to places like Qatar, Dubai, Turkey and Egypt and turn a blind eye to the dismal human rights there in order to soak up the sun. I do feel slightly more holier that thou compared to them as I holiday in Wales. They should be made to stay in one those Middle Eastern country’s prisons and tortured daily by being forced to watch the Keith Chegwin quiz show Naked Jungle, allow drunks to choose their pronouns and in some extreme cases stoned to death with heavy rocks. Harsh and unfair I know but we would be spared their cliched holiday snaps posted on social media.
So just like my failed efforts to stand with Greta Thunberg on global warming so I will compromise my principles and watch the World Cup and pretend I don’t know about the dark side of Qatar – but accept I’m a hypocrite.
Harry Mottram

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk and follow him on FaceBook, Twitter as @HarryThe Spiv, Instagram, YouTube and God knows where else!