Lord Coe, Dow Chemical and Bhopal

An image from the 1984 Bhopal disaster

The Indy website’s leading story for several days was about a possible Indian boycott of the 2012 Olympics and the anger being directed at Lord Coe for his part in the ensuing dipomatic crisis. I always enjoy watching the snivelling little shitbag Sebastian Coe being given a hard time. He is a sneering, repellent bastard, and as such a perfect figurehead for the 2012 London Olympics, that celebration of small-minded, elitist, commercially-poisoned dick measuring.

Coe is in trouble for signing a £7 million deal with Dow Chemical, already one of the Games’ leading ‘commercial partners’, for them to wrap the Olympic white elephant  Stadium in Dow embossed fabric. This has prompted fury in India as Dow isn’t terribly popular there. And little wonder.

Dow owns Union Carbide, whose subsidiary company Union Carbide India Limited was reponsible for the 1984 Bhopal disaster, one of the worst recorded industrial catastrophes. A leak at a UCIL pesticide plant led to thousands of deaths and a generation of Bhopal residents suffering from horrible deformities and illnesses. A $470 million payout was agreed in 1991 but cases are still ongoing in the Indian courts as the clean-up operation is still running and cases of deformity and chemical-related illness continue to appear with alarming regularity.

Naturally this has made the company persona non grata in India and the $470 million payout was a result of the the Indian government itself taking legal action against UC. The continuing death toll and the suffering that the disaster caused is still a live issue. So when the deal with Dow hit the headlines many Indian athletes and government figures threatened to boycott the 2012 games, and frantic efforts are being made by Lord Coe and that other contemptible tosser Tessa Jowell to prevent a full-scale diplomatic crisis. Considering that India is potentially one of the worlds future economic powerhouses, the decision was not the most inspired. Lord Coe was a fast runner, but he was never the smartest chap. His intelligence stretches as far as knowing where the money is.

Dow is a lovely company. A quick scan of the Independent article throws up this:

“Other criticisms of Dow have included anger over its manufacture of the defoliant Agent Orange, used by the US in Vietnam. In 2010 India’s government blacklisted Dow AgroSciences India for five years for bribing government officials. Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned Dow subsidiary. In 2007 the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Dow AgroSciences India Pvt Ltd of making “improper payments” between 1996 and 2001. Dow paid a civil penalty of $325,000 in 2007 without admitting or denying the allegations”

And a search on Wikipedia throws up rupturing breast implants, pesticides causing male sterility, carginogenic pesticides, carcinogenic Dioxin leaks in American rivers and radioactive explosions in Dow-owned nuclear weapons plants.

One of the more amusing bits from the Indy article is a typically earnest and glib Jowell stating

 “I believe Sebastian Coe and Locog [the organising committee] want to do the right thing. It is not in their interest to have an association with a company with a record that is inconsistent with Olympic values. The unacceptability of Dow hinges on the continuing nature of the crisis for people who live in that area. It is better to have an unwrapped stadium than one wrapped in controversy.”

Dow has a $1 billion sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee.

If Jowell is so concerned about ethics and ‘Olympic values’ then why did she campaign so hard to get the morally bankrupt IOC to bring its exclusively IOC-benefitting glorified cash-cow to Britain? And if Coe wants to ‘do the right thing’ then why did he sign the deal in the first place?

And what the fuck are ‘Olympic values’ anyway?

Of course one shouldn’t be surprised that Coe signed this deal. The man has no conscience. He is a nasty, self-interested sack of shit and his status as national hero is proof positive that the British psyche is deranged. Leaving aside the unproven allegations of him taking advantage of his position to get his snout in the trough, he is a thoroughly unpleasant man. Although not everyone in the Conservative Party is a despicable, self-serving scabrous skunk, most of the MPs and peers are……And Coe is exactly the kind of man who would sign a deal with Dow.

The Olympics has been nothing other than a monstrous, corrupt junket for the British political class to get their greedy self-interested maulers into, but even this is dwarfed by the foul, amoral, institutionally corrupt gaggle of money-obsessed crooks at the IOC, who leave a trail of destruction and white elephant stadiums everywhere they go. The British ‘Olympic legacy’ will be of a similar sort to the legacy one would get to enjoy after having unprotected sex with someone with Syphilis.

NB: I just want to take the opportunity to commend the work of trialbyjeory on WordPress, who has been writing about this story for months before it came to my attention. Two good articles on the subject are here and here. He is rather more even-handed and articulate on the subject than I could ever hope to be.

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