Saturday, 28 July 2012

Opening of the Five-Ring Circus

And so it begins...the biggest sporting festival in the world will dominate the next two weeks. A spectacular (by all accounts, I didn't watch it) Opening Ceremony seems to have set the tone for the next fortnight of drama and excitement.

Politically, it's been a mixed opening. The likely Republican Party candidate for the US Presidency, Mitt Romney, came over and managed to put both feet in his mouth simultaenously. While he is idolised by FOX News in the US and clearly has powerful support in the US financial community, he's a desperately unlikeable and unconvincing character and would make a terrible US President. The polls suggest that despite problems, Barack Obama looks set for a second term - we can but hope.

Another odious politician is London Mayor Boris Johnon whose vacuous populism does little to obscure an increasingly vapid outlook, He has become the chief cheerleader of the Olympics and it's a case of so far so good but the acid test will come when the Olympics meets commuting London on Monday. Mrs Stodge and I went to Lakeside this morning - it was unusully quiet this morning but much busier after lunch.

Those who complain that the Q2 GDP figures do not represent economic reality should go to places like Lakeside. Lots of empty units and plenty of people wandering around but not really buying. The days when people were carrying armfuls of bags are long past and it's a lesson that footfall isn't everything.

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