Nobel Political Prize?

Liu Xiaobo is, undoubtedly, an amazing man. In spite of being put in prison and suffering, he continues to ‘fight’ against a regime that he feels should be more democratic. This ‘fight’ to get basic human rights, move towards a democracy, etc., is not something new but he is the latest high-profile figure to do so.

His attempts to change the way that China treats it’s dissidents, is admirable. He does so by non-violent means in an ever-increasingly violent world and against a reportedly violent authority.

He should, indeed, be lauded and treated as a hero, as should anyone standing up for the rights and safety of ordinary citizens, especially if they do so in a non-violent way. I wish I had his courage.

And it is important that the rest of the world recognises his attempts and, one day, one hopes, his achievements.

Alfred Nobel, in his will, declared that a Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

Now, although Liu Xiaobo deserves some sort of prize, to me he does not quite fit the profile of a person who should win the Nobel Peace Prize. Only the last part could be said to be fitting but the reason it was awarded to him was, apparently, “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”. Again, laudable but not really what the peace prize is for, in my opinion.

The Chinese are outraged and consider that this is a political act. Holding our hands up in horror, I read that it is not the Norwegian government that decides this but, rather, the specially formed Norwegian Nobel Committee. How can the Chinese be so confused?

Maybe they read this!

All the Committee members are or were politicians.

So, not only does it seem that they haven’t picked a person who fits the precise requirements (according to Nobel himself) but, also, they may well have done so, being ex-politicians and all, in full knowledge that this was, in fact, a political act.

A shame really.