Berrnie Ecclestone: Human Rights Activist

I used to like Formula One Racing.

The 1960s…you had to be there. Sunday afternoon and the great European Grand Prixs were broadcast live via Eurovision. It was grainy black and white of course and Ramond Baxter was the commentator. Ex-RAF of course. Very BBC.

Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt.

Then there  was the 1970s….Murray Walker commentating, colour TV, sponsored teams.

Clay Regazzoni, Chris Amon, Jackie Ickx, Ronnie Peterson, Emerson Fittipaldi.

Motor Racing was easily understood. Works teams…Brabham, BRM, Ferrari, Cooper, Lotus and some semi-works teams like Rob Walker and out and out privateers like Bob Anderson, Jo Bonnier and Guy Ligier. Some outstanding drivers like Chris Amon and Jo Siffert worked their way thru from the bottom.

Of course the heartland of European motor racing was France/Monaco, Italy, Germany, Britain, Belgium and Holland…the old imperial nations, with outreach to Latin and North America.

Clearly it was a rich mans sport…for Cavaliers rather than Roundheads…for heirs to fortunes like Peter Revson and Piers Courage. Elitist. Attractive. Romantic. Glamourous.

I don’t know when I turned against Formula One. Probably mid 1970s. James Hunt and his unlovely sponsor, young Tory peer “Lord” Hesketh came across as little more than “hooray Henry’s” of the worst kind. Glamour is one thing…Sexism is another. The privateers were priced out of motor racing.

I find Formula One boring and uninteresting. It’s supporters seem to sign up to a world view that I find repulsive. And Bernie Ecclestone supermodel of Formula One is surely one of the most repulsive men on the Planet…outside of North Korea.

His never ending search to enrich himself has brought the Formula One Circus to China and Bahrain. And the annual Bahrain Grand Prix is always overshadowed by an annual debate as to whether it is acceptable to hold a Grand Prix in a country with a dubious record on human rights.

Bernie Ecclestone is unapologetic and bullish. Today he bluntly states that he doesn’t know what human rights are. All he understands is that countries make laws and people should obey them.

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