The decision to go ahead with yesterday's Bahrain Grand Prix brought shame on the sport of Formula One and on its supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
If the sport's bosses had an ounce of conscience or decency they would have cancelled the race months ago.
Brutal repression of pro-democracy protests should have been enough to render the kingdom unfit to host a showpiece event in one of the world's most high-profile and lucrative sports.
Last week's firebomb scare involving the Force India team should have been enough for the drivers themselves to get cold feet.
And the death of a protester on Saturday, apparently at the hands of riot police, should have been the final straw.
But "should" holds no sway over the wretched Ecclestone - such an amoral profiteer that he seems to have flogged off his moral compass along with the last shreds of his decency.
His refusal to televise Force India's qualifiers after they missed practice over safety concerns would be laughably petty had it not taken place amid bloodshed on the streets of Bahrain.
It is the GP itself which should be suffering a TV blackout, not the only team which has even hinted at dissenting from the "everything's fine" party line being spouted by the sport's top brass.
FIA president Jean Todt's comments could have been scripted by the Bahraini royal family's press office.
They certainly bore no resemblance to reality as he grudgingly confessed to "some controversy" but declared the kingdom "a democratic country" where "protests are allowed."
Todt and Ecclestone have disgraced their sport and proved themselves unfit to run it.
And worse - far worse - they have helped whitewash the reputation of a blood-soaked and repressive regime.
Freedom to enjoy the British countryside is such a simple, basic, obvious right that most people today don't question where it came from.
They might assume it always existed or was dropped into our laps by a benevolent ruling class.
But the truth is very different.
Yesterday's re-enactment of the mass trespass at Kinder Scout was a reminder that the right to ramble had to be fought for - just like every other right enjoyed by ordinary people.
It came not from the landowners' kindness but from the bravery of men and women willing to risk their bodies and their freedom.
They met a ferocious counter-attack from a ruling class unwilling to concede one inch of ground - and they won.
They won so decisively that today it is often forgotten that the fight ever took place at all.
But it's not forgotten in the pages of this paper or in the left or the labour movement.
Nor do we forget that the men and women who led the fight were communists and socialists - just as in so many of the other great battles between the British people and our rulers.
So as spring gives way to summer, if you go out walking then tip a glass to Benny Rothman and the radical ramblers who won you that freedom.
And draw strength from it too. Because it's just one of the rights, alongside health care, education and pensions, that workers fought so hard to win - and that the Con-Dems are doing their level best to destroy.
If we don't defend them now then we face another almighty battle to win them back.
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