Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
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.