Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Just Grin and Bear(er) It !!

Well, I've seen the Olympic Torch Relay twice - once in Bournemouth eleven days ago and this morning in Surbiton. A glorious morning brought out a large local crowd in south-west London and despite the inevitable surfeit of commercialisation, a good time was had by most including the sprightly, if rather nervous, lady holding the aforementioned flaming stick.

And, if you believe such cheerleaders as the ludicrous Boris Johnson and the discredited Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is what it's all about. It's a time for coming together, for celebration, for "getting involved", "enjoying the moment" and a host of other inane platitudes.

Yesterday was, however, not a good day for transport. Those trying to get to the Opening Ceremony dress rehearsal found their journey blighted by broken trains and broken tubes. Journeys of an expected hour and a half became four-hour marathons and the early closure (well, midnight) left some having to complete homeward journeys via expensive cabs. The morning commute was blighted by signal failures and a suicide.

I mustn't mention any of that though because that makes me a "grumbler", a "moaner", a "whinger" and there's no room for that at the moment. We have to be happy, joyous, thankful, taking part, spending money in the shops ideally.

That's the Groupthink Gospel according to Johnson, Hunt and others.

I don't remember them thinking that way during the time of the last Government. Back then, every slight problem was hailed as a "disaster". Any chance to have a gripe at Gordon Brown and they took it, any chance to turn a problem into a crisis and they were there.

I don't do Groupthink, Gentlemen. You can take your neo-fascistic exhortations and stick them where the Sun doesn't shine. It's not for you to tell me how to think or feel - it's not for you to manage or massage the media so the truth of the day-to-day struggle to get about in the Olympic city doesn't get told.

I'll tell it how it is and I suspect I won't be alone.

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