A while back I did some work in Russia, well off the beaten track. I had a conversation with some Russians I knew well about what caused the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequently of the USSR. The response I got was that from the day America put a man on the moon the fall of the Berlin Wall was inevitable. It was not that America had got there first - the USSR wasn't all that far behind, and had had lots of other firsts in the space race, and Russians have plenty to boast of in their spac programme. Rather it was that their government had lied to them. The USSR media at first did not report this momentous occasion in the history of humanity, and subsequently denied it. It was years before it was officially acknowledged to have happened. In the meantime there were rumours in the USSR, but people who repeated these rumours - who told the truth - got sent to the gulags. When the people of the USSR learnt that they had been lied to, they lost respect for their government and system, the people began to expose its flaws, and began to demand change. Glasnost and perestroika happened. A state cannot tell a lie like this to its people and not feel the consequences. China is doing much the same. In Greece, London and Paris thousands of ordinary people have voiced their concern at China by demonstrating. Today the Free Tibet banners on San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge make great television, and I hope the people of San Francisco will make their protest known tomorrow. These are defining events in the way China is perceived. That the Chinese state is not broadcasting these images is a lie from that state to its own people. Of course the opposition to the torch and the Free Tibet protests against China will soon come to be known by some of the people of China. In this age of the internet even with China's google-assisted censorship the story will slip out. Maybe not quickly, and maybe lots won't believe it. But it will get out. The Chinese autocracy have taken a step to far. They can murder their own people on Tianaman Square, persecute the people of Tibet, deny civil liberties to millions and still remain in power. But a lie has the potential to topple them.