Voula Papachristou
Voula Papachristou

How unfortunate it is that Greek athlete Voula Papachristou has been barred from the Olympics after making an allegedly racist joke on Twitter and apparently posting material by a member of the controversial (to put it mildly) Golden Dawn Party.

She is said to be "bitter and upset" at the decision to kick her out of the team and she has every right to be given who else will be taking part in the games.

Take the North Korean ladies football team for example. They have every right to be offended because of a stupid flag mix up (especially one that associates them with the bourgeois puppet regime of Lee Myung-bak, pawn of the US imperialists) - but which political party do the lovely ladies from North Korea support I wonder?

The crimes of Golden Dawn members (even if we assume Papachristou is a supporter, which is by no means certain) appear to stop at low to medium level thuggery and don't come anywhere near those perpetrated by the Workers Party of Korea.

Similarly there will be no minute's silence at the Olympics to mark 40 years since the murder of 11 athletes at the Munich Olympics, seemingly because some people might object. Why could that be I wonder?

Surely the representatives of such vibrant and tolerant bodies like the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Iran are all in favour of remembering the innocent victims of such a heinous crime? I'm sure the fact that the victims were Israeli and the killers Palestinian has nothing to do with the matter at all - after all we would not want racism at the Olympics would we?

We don't know the political allegiances of every member of every Olympic team but it's not beyond the possibility that some of the Olympians coming from the less democratic parts of the world are fully supportive of tyrannical, oppressive, evil and perhaps even racist regimes.

Which brings us back to Papachristou and her "racist" "joke", the content of which essentially was that the large number of African immigrants coming to Greece is great news because it means that West Nile mosquitoes can have "home food".

The quality of this so called joke was probably best summed up by Papachristou herself after the storm erupted, when she described it as "unfortunate and tasteless". But racist?

Nowhere does it suggest that one race is better or worse than any other. The only point it makes is that African immigrants are from Africa and so are West Nile mosquitoes. The joke could possibly be stretched to indicate a demeaning and possibly even racist view of African migrants on the part of Papachristou but the work of Dr Goebbels it certainly is not.

The Olympics, we keep hearing, is supposed to be about people coming together and putting their differences aside. It's supposed to be a tent so huge and inviting that even loners like North Korea feel welcome.

Yet while those who may be adoring fans of murderers like the Kim family or Black September, but don't broadcast the fact on Twitter, are allowed in, Papachristou is excluded thanks to a publicised moment of poor taste.

Presumably even if Papachristou was a fully paid up member of Golden Dawn she could have still participated in the Olympics as long as she did not tweet her silly comments. Her crime seems to be not so much racism as a breach of a kind of political version of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".