Sunday, 12 August 2012


It's almost over and will be tonight after the Spice Girls get together again, and from expressing generally cynical doubts to a fear of terrorist attacks or - even worse - outright failure, the word on the nation's lips now is 'legacy'.

The books have opened on whether or not us Brits can ride the wave over the top of the current depression right through to the next general election, and credit is being given to former Prime Minister, John Major, for injecting cash into the system at a time when most gold medalists were just thinking about being born - even if it was in Somalia.

If we can, then the ten billion pound expenditure will seem like peanuts compared to the long-term benefits of overseas trade and tourism revenue, as compared to the 'legacy' we are currently suffering as a result of all the short-term rip-offs which included the selling-off of school playing fields to private property developers.  It is a miracle that G.B. have done so well given the lack of such basic facilities on offer to the generation who competed in these 2012 events.

Boris Johnson and David Cameron (Mayor and P.M. for those who have - quite understandably - not been paying attention) both say they benefitted immensely from  the 2 hours a day compulsory sports activities that they were forced to endure at school, but since there have never been any realistic plans to sell off the playing fields of Eton, they can afford to make such claims.

It would be nice to think we could transcend the multi-national, corporate investment it took to get London 2012 up and running, and all the indications are that we can, since the greatest spin-offs and benefits to the sponsors seem to be in the form of feel-good participation in the general enthusiasm that the games have generated. Adidas have reported massively increased sales of trainers, but they were not direct sponsors, and the sale of bicycles to MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra) rocketed when a Brit won the Tour de France recently, just before the Olympics.

I must say I do feel a bit curmudgeonly when I try to avoid running down groups of yellowed-jerseyed twats on bikes riding four-abreast, as I negotiate all the country lanes around here in the Volvo.  I just grit my teeth and remind myself that this latest fad will soon pass, and they will all be getting back into their Audis by winter.  I said the same thing about skate-boards around 25 years ago though, and they have only just started to tail off.

So - aside from the health benefits to growing children who have been fed by multi-national corporations for two generations until Jamie Oliver turned up - the greatest legacy of the Olympics ought to be the realisation that it is absolutely essential to have a long-term strategy when it comes to every aspect of social life, and that we should not be hoodwinked by greedy short-term 'investors' (what a hideously twisted interpretation of that word, when Margaret Thatcher coined the term 'wealth-creators' to describe the sharks who comprise the unacceptable faces of Capitalism!) when it comes to the general well-being of their children.

Thatcher was lying - as usual - when she told Britain and the world that "there is no such thing as Society".  Actually, there is just such a thing - and a cohesive one at that - as the London Olympics might just have proven.

End of rant.


  1. Thanks to fellow blogger 'Half the Bird' for the stolen photo.

  2. "legacy", "who is to blame for fat kids", "let's debate...debate...debate"


    let's just enjoy the whole experience
    if it stops some fat bastard stuffing his or her cakehole with a kfc or if it gives some kid some purpose in life.....
    then good on it
    rant over too!

    1. Nobody begrudges you the occasional KFC, John - except the occupants of your chicken-huts, maybe.

      (P.S. Take a look at Hippo's comment below - and I thought I ranted.)

  3. "but since there have never been any realistic plans to sell off the playing fields of Eton, they can afford to make such claims."

    Heh, heh, heh!

    How many of your teachers can you still name? Knowing you, probably all of them but me? Only those that made an impression. Mr Hayes, my English teacher, Mr Dawes, my physics teacher, Mr James, Geography. Coincidentally teaching me the subjects for which I managed to scrape A Levels. Then there was Mr Beaulea, Head of Middle school, memorable for the thrashings he gave me. He used to warm his cane up on the back of an old leather wingback in his study just to prolong the agony. Then there was Mr Pugh for who I was little more than a 'Wazzock', a Northern expression my father explained to me afterwards. Mr Pugh was the Physical Training Intructor. Never mind the playing fields of Eton, these gentlemen prepared me for the playing fields of Sandhurst where, thanks to them, I did rather well.

    I don't know about you, but occasionally I enjoy a Big Mac and all the trimmings. I love a traditional English Breakfast and what here in Angola we call Feijoada made with all the cheapest fattiest bits of pork off cut and let's not even start on my favourite comfort food from my home town, Berlin, Eisbein mit Sauer Kraut or Schlacht Topf.

    I have always maintained you can eat what the hell you want and as much of it as you want but you must burn off the calories to avoid being the fat bastard speading his lardy arse all over me every time I fly. And the law protects them from discrimination. Rather than DEMAND daily PT in schools, establishing at an early age the 'get off the couch and do something' attitude, they spend millions forcing companies to water down the Nation's favourites justifiying their legislative intrusion into every other normal, healthy person's life by saying we must do something about being the most obese nation in Europe. Well I am not obese, so why must I pay a tax on my fries? Or suffer some git asking me to lift the arm of my seat as he doesn't quite fir into his?

    How about a Fat Tax? How about digging Mr Pugh out of retirement and getting him to run the bastards as hard as he did me?

    How about establishing a Kinder Youth Movement with its own uniform to establish a common identity? How about marching them to school, taking them on long runs and teaching them how to camp in the bush? How about establishing a strict disciplinary code the breach of which could see you running up and down a firing range with a sand bag on your head or polishing the brasses in the common urinal with your toothbrush? How about establishing an ideal norm for a healthy Briton (thinking about it, the NHS have already done so) and sending those falling outside this norm to Mr Pugh for remedial training? Those that fail remedial training can then be categorised as not entitled to further NHS support. That would place a burden on their communities of origin so perhaps we could set up some specialist communities where they could all be accommodated together and receive the attention they need. Such institutions would provide admirable facilities for those of no fixed abode, simultaneously ridding the streets of our honest, decent and law abiding communities of Non-Brtion-Standard citizens and Tinkers alike. Surely this would be much more economic?

    Personally, I feel that 30 minutes of compulsory PT per day and Wednesday afternoons sacrosanct as sport's afternoons would suffice.

  4. 'Oop 'ere in't North it's easy to bury ones head in the sand and just take what comes Tom - but laid back in my reclining chair I have enjoyed every single minute of the Olympics and have not thought about the Financial situation in the country once - but maybe that is what the Government intended?

    1. Yes - that's what the Romans intended as well, when putting on lavish gladiatorial entertainment.

  5. Replies
    1. There speaks a French, Papist, Royalist.

  6. That was a good rant that was and you made some great points Tom. I never intended to get wrapped up in watching the Olympic Games but somehow got hooked. Like Weaver says, I think a lot of us put the economic situation to one side and just enjoyed the athletes giving their all. I know I did. Who knows what the future holds, but for all that, the 'now' bit is pretty good

    1. And I expect Victoria Beckham is warbling as we write!