So, the Bahrain Grand Prix has been reinstated. With a grasping toad like Bernie Ecclestone in charge, it's not exactly a surprise. What is somewhat surprising is that this august body thinks that any of us buy the line of horseshit they peddle to back up the announcement.
The FIA says the decision "reflects the spirit of reconciliation in Bahrain.". Really? Fully one quarter of the staff of the Bahrain International Circuit have been detained, some of them giving accounts of beatings and torture. 28 of them have been suspended or sacked and five are still imprisoned. Some have even left their own country because of the fear of arrest and torture.
The FIA cannot pretend that it does not know about the situation in Bahrain. Since the original race was postponed, it has worsened considerably, with, according to Human Rights Watch in New York, "large-scale arbitrary arrests, protracted incommunicado detention, and credible allegations of torture". This warning was delivered directly to FIA. They say that they detect a spirit of reconciliation. They're lying through their grasping teeth. If I know what's going on, they do too.
There were protests in Shia villages yesterday following the funeral of Zainab Ali Altajer. This unfortunate woman appears to have died from the effects of a blast bomb. When the protesters attempted to reach the main road, they were beaten back by use of rubber bullets and tear gas. The majority Shia population of Bahrain are brutally oppressed by the Sunni minority. FIA knows this.
Mark Webber said on his Twitter account, "When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport.". I agree. Mark, if you really believe that, and you have a conscience, then you and your fellow drivers and team members know what to do. Defy FIA and simply refuse to race. It's really that simple. Damon Hill claims that F1 will now forever "have the blight of association with repressive methods to achieve order." I think he's right. With that in mind, what legacy do you want to leave? You and your contemporaries have the power to rescue the reputation of F1.
Mr Ecclestone and the committee which unanimously made this decision, it's too late to rescue your reputation. You are a greedy tyrant and will forever be seen as such. Don't bother doing the decent thing. Let decent people do it for you.