Will the London Olympics bottle it in 2012?

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics is unfolding in some beauty at present on TV. BBC commentators are, of course, being entirely irritating by politicising about China, views of which you could only be unaware if you’d spent the past year shut in a box. But the spectacle of the opening ceremony is quite something in putting over what China and the Olympics are about.

So what will London do in 2012? Culturally, apart from that 16th century dude Shakespeare, the UK is dead, having by and large lost its identity and lost its way in drink and drugs. In four years’ time, therefore, we will see the following. A modern art display of sheep pickled in lager and flags made from dishevelled bedclothes will give way to four thousand ladettes tanked up on lager, who will vomit in unison, creating a brief but rapidly changing pattern of puke on the arena floor. They will be replaced by four thousand lads, also tanked up on lager, who will fight before performing, smashing a rainbow array of coloured bottles before giving their neighbour one with the pointy ends. The Metropolitan Police will then charge into the arena, scattering all and sundry, before shooting someone in the audience six times on the grounds that they look a bit shifty and may be a terrorist. The pooling blood will congeal into the pattern of the Olympic rings…

No one at the BBC will whisper about the nimbyism that is stifling the introduction of alternative power sources; that even stratospheric fuel price rises are not curbing the nation’s hunger for energy or its use of private cars; that a nuclear solution to short-term energy needs creates a vile poison for the land that lasts for millennia; that 40-odd days to hold someone without charge, nor the fact that the police are prone to shoot first and ask questions later is not in some way breaching human rights; to invade other countries on the grounds of questionable intelligence is perhaps suspect morals; and that a first-past the post system is actually a far cry from proper representation of the voting public.

If the West was really outraged and indignant about China’s approach to energy and pollution, why doesn’t it complain about that whopping great Olympic torch that going to burn night and day for 16 days…


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