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Martin Jacques —
Martin Jacques is a British journalist and academic... (wikipedia)
Already 2008 has proved a tumultuous year in terms of global perceptions of China, and there are still 59 days to go until the Beijing Olympics. The tragedy of the Sichuan earthquake followed hard on the heels of the riots in Tibet and the demonstrations surrounding the Olympic torch relay.
Stuart Hall was an utterly unique figure. Although he arrived at the age of 19 from Jamaica and spent the rest of his life here, he never felt at home in Britain. This juxtaposition was a crucial source of his strength and originality. Because of his colour and origin, he saw the country differently - not as a native, but as an outsider.
The question is not whether Tibet should be independent but the extent of the autonomy that it is allowed. Tibet has been firmly ensconced as part of the Chinese empire since the Qing dynasty's military intervention in Tibet in the early 18th century.
If the Age of Sport has been all champagne and roses hitherto, then expect our love affair with its newly-acquired prominence to become increasingly tainted by scandals about cheating. Sport is losing its shine and allure.
Globalisation has obliterated distance, not just physically but also, most dangerously, mentally. It creates the illusion of intimacy when, in fact, the mental distances have changed little. It has concertinaed the world without engendering the necessary respect, recognition and tolerance that must accompany it.