Wednesday, 8 August 2012

How Much More Euphoria Can We Take?

Another day, more medals and the media once again trying to set the tone for some form of patriotic frenzy. Once again, the "Establishment", from David Cameron downward, are regaling us with what a triumph it has been for the country, for London and for the British team.

I was in Covent Garden which was pretty busy though how much of that was Olympic-related is impossible to know. There are signs that some parts of London, which had suffered in the pre-Olympic and initial first few days, were seeing a return to more normal business patterns and that is to be welcomed.

Unfortunately, at the fringes of our celebration lie the undertones of smugness and the belittling of those nations which haven't fared so well such as Australia. Let's just hope we will all be so understanding if we aren't so successful in Rio de Janeiro in four years time. It puzzles me why we need to define our success in terms of the failure of others - it smacks of a lack of self-confidence and self-belief.

It seems that the desire to prolong the national sense of celebration and well-being is desperate so we are now going to have an "Olympic Victory Parade" on September 10th and some busybody from the Olympic Federation is saying that schools should "allow children time off" to attrend. So, more bread and circuses.

Let's not worry about our successful athletes - fame and honours are heading their way along with the probability of chat shows and commercial advertising for the more telegenic.

Meanwhile, we will need to confront the reality of our fragile economy and our weakening society and we might just start asking why our leaders are more interested in keeping us focussed on the trivialities rather than the actualities.

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