Further greetings from Bahrain


Courtesy of its very own 'man on the ground', Pitpass was able to give an insight into what was really happening in Bahrain long before the sport and its powers that be woke up to reality.

As Bernie Ecclestone insists that the Bahrain Grand Prix will definitely take place in 2012 unless "something terrible" happens, our man gives us an update:

"Bahrain is in a very perilous state. Earlier this year, the FIA surpassed itself when it sent a non Arabic, or English, speaking official to a shopping mall, where he declared Bahrain had no internal problems based on his inspection of several people's grocery bags. This would of course be the same mall that protestors have rampaged through recently, attacking shops and bystanders on several occasions.

The daily commute has become a bit of a grind, mainly due to the fact I have discovered my car does not like been driven through burning hot oil that has been spread across the major highways on a daily basis. Should you make it through then there is a good chance you will face the burning tyre obstacles, with the odd stone or large rock coming your way, this will only add to the pleasure of your drive as you admire the Saudi tanks, wishing you had one of those.

Protests and violence from both sides is much more focused now and the local population has smartened up and learned better tactics to avoid the authorities, which is why when the police catch someone such as Ali Yusuf Al Hassan Ebrahim, who would have turned 16 last month, they decided to crush him into a wall. Of course, had there been any chance of his survival, his parents would have been unable to take him to the hospital, as they would have been arrested on sight, and in any case the doctors and nurses would not be able to treat him without joining their colleagues in prison.

Having discovered this way to remove "obstacles" (sorry opposition) the security authorities went on to crush a 44 year old man in his car. Thousands attended his funeral which only led to more tear gas, more clashes, more violence and more detentions.

In a bid to move attention everything is blamed by the government on Iran, at the moment, if a light bulb blows it is Iran's fault. This is despite the fact that the ruling family has a gas pipeline project between the two countries and several Iran banks continue to operate here.

There are clashes all over Bahrain, people are angry and see no change, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report has not helped. They have lost their jobs, there is no medical care or schooling and day-in, day-out the security forces attack protestors.

If you have time a good read would be to compare the FIA report (pdf) into the Bahrain situation and the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI Report) (pdf), published a few days back. If you were presented with the two documents without their titles, you would, I doubt, realize the reports covered the same country.

This clearly indicates that the FIA failed the Fans, along with the teams and we prepared to put the team's personnel's safety at risk and ignore the real state of Bahrain at that time. The FIA clearly failed; some would say deliberately, in its duties and clearly is in no position to decide as to whether Bahrain is safe or, for that matter, anywhere else for the teams to visit.

The FIA appears to have been fully prepared to put lives at risk and whitewash over the situation on the back of a report that suited its needs. Several of the officials who worked on that report should be called on to stand down, now that the truth about the Bahrain situation has come out.

The Grand Prix is a bit of a flat subject here, it is a sort of scare on the face of Bahrain and stands for the Crown Prince and his family, it is not a big issue if it comes or goes.

The teams and Mr Ecclestone had a meeting and voted to come here, with only Mark Webber speaking up about the situation. Only one man in the whole of Formula One was prepared to speak out or objected to coming here, it is all a bit sad really, but every penny counts when you have just bought your daughter a 45m house and 12m wedding to pay for.

A clear indication of the present morals in Formula One was indicated by Ecclestone last week when he said "It's on the calendar. We'll be there unless something terrible happens to stop us"

Right, so just to recap, you elected to come here last time until the event was cancelled by the Bahrain authorities, otherwise you would have been racing here. "Something terrible" clearly does not include, children being pulled from their classrooms and dragged off to be tortured until they speak out against their parents. Countless people disappearing and dying in police custody, doctors and nurses been sent to prison for treating the injured, systematic torture and abuse of basic human rights, innocent people shot in the street, sportsmen tortured and displayed on television. What actually constitutes "terrible" in the eyes of Formula One… sticking up barbed wire, building ovens?

For the last time, when peoples say ethics, Mr Ecclestone they are not talking about the county to the east of London.

As for logistics, don't you just hate them; otherwise all the teams would happily have been here. Damn those pesky logistics. It of course worth noting that DHL provide most of the Logistics to Formula One and guess where there head office for the Middle East and Africa is, yep you got it here in Bahrain. So DHL can't handle Logistics into its own hub, which doesn't say much.

Before the next race I expect to see Bahrain hit the headlines again and no doubt the FIA will send another representative down to check on the situation. All we can ask is that they send someone who is an expert, respected in his field and can asses the situation in a qualified manner. For me there can be no better qualified candidate and FIA representative than Dale Winton from Super Market Sweep.

Surely if there is anyone who knows how to judge the stability of a country by a shopping basket, Dale is the man. He has the experience; he can do the report in less than 5 minutes and if any man knows the impact of a sausage or frankfurter it's Mr Winton. He is regrettably, probably over qualified to be elected to the FIA, but if we can create a ground swell behind him, who knows, one day maybe the UN will adopt the FIA's Shopping Basket Indicator.
The good news from Bahrain is that it is raining, both the protestors and police are too lazy to come out in this, it should be a quiet day."

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 29/11/2011
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