London Olympics 2012 -( am I allowed to write that?)
First off, what a few days we have had in London since the opening ceremony!
What an opening ceremony, the first that I have ever watched twice by the way. Let me explain, we had it on in my workplace with the sound off – which led to most of us watching thinking it was utter crap. I mean, why was it in The Shire? Then the giant Andrew Lansley frightening children with young Conservatives, then an inflatable Boris Johnson? Without the BBC commentary and the music, it made no sense at all.
Luckily Lady P recorded it, and made me watch it all over again, whilst repeating “Danny Boyle nailed it!” until I got it. It was a glorious, seemingly chaotic evocation of Great Britain, miles apart from the usual regimented pseudo-totalitarian Disney-esque horror you usually endure at these things. Danny Boyle managed the first original opening to an Olympiad since Goebbels in 1936 – with a much better underlying message. The only low point would be Paul MaCartney, although as neither The Kinks, The Jam, nor the surviving members of The Clash were available, so be it…
And the Sport – Pendleton, Tweddle, Murray, the efforts so far from Ogogo, the sheer exhilaration watching Florence, Baillie and every competitor on the Lee Valley white water course. Wiggins and his “real celebrities” speech, Mo Farrah. Adlington, The Brazilian Zannetti, flawless on the rings, the GB Womens’ Soccer team showing their overpaid, self satisfied male counterparts how to do it…
…it just seems to be a pleasure after pleasure. Usain Bolt, Phelps, the fact that if Yorkshire was an independent nation, it alone would rank an astounding tenth in the medal table, above Australia, New Zealand, Hungary,South Africa, The Netherlands etc. And that the rest of Great Britain would STILL be third in the table! The BBC doing what it does best, and better than all the rest…
Yes, there is a lot to be be happy about in austerity-hit Britain at the moment, but also some nasty things to ponder once the cheering and celebration stops, such as:
- The Mayor of London, nominal head of The Metropolitan Police, taking Rupert Murdoch as his guest to the Games. Thats right, the head of an organisation that The Met are actively investigating. Taken on an official Jolly. By Boris Johnson.
- The use by numerous construction firms who built the Stadia of a shared Blacklist of potential employees. Not only to weed out leftists, but also Health and Safety reps, or those who reported accidents.
- The 300% overspend from the initial (and hopelessly wrong) estimate.
- The tax breaks given to multinational sponsors, some of who have relented to the pressure of the mighty 38 Degrees campaign.
- The G4S security farce, and the resulting use of soldiers instead. Some of whom now face redundancy in the autumn due to defence cuts.
- The Olympics Act of 2007, which has given a shot in the arm to the enemies of free speech. An Act of Parliament whereby the very use of such words & phrases as “Olympic”, “Gold”, “Silver”, “Bronze” and even “London 2012” became the property of LOCOG, and in effect handed Corporate Censors the right to police the English language for private gain.
- The fact that the selling off of state school playing fields, a national scandal, has returned under Michael Gove. He allowed 21 of 22 applications since 2010. From 1979 to 2008, we lost at least 10,226, mostly before Labour tightened up the regulations in 1998.
- That Labours’ minimum standard that all children receive at least two hours PE per week has been undermined since 2010 by Gove, who has disastrously cut the £162million funding for the School Sports Partnerships by 69%.
So, lets all get behind Team GB for the rest of the Olympics and The Paralympics, but be prepared to ask the hard questions when the party is over.