While I admit to being a paranoid cynic, the triumphs of the UK teams at the Olympics is a fine thing. I see people taking pride and giving passion to these dedicated folk who have given so much to excel in their chosen disciplines. I read the plaudits and the marvelling with a sense of loss, of wishing to possess a viewpoint where such simple joy was available to me.
Because I cannot help but factor in the blatant profiteering, corporate favouritism and implicit corruption that underpins the financial backing for this Olympiad. They are making a mint and very little of it will benefit the people who have given (and paid) so much to see and support our athletes.
Even the talk of enhancing Britain’s position in the eyes of the world is nothing but a hope to attract future investment. Which, of course, will arrive at the top of the money tree and precious little will trickle down to where it is needed most.
Tainted is the word I apply to this. The triumphs are genuine and worthy, yet the ringing parallels to gladiatorial spectacles in Rome to keep the people happy with their lot strikes a hollow note amidst the anthems.
The greatest group of con men ever assembled are leading this country from recession to anywhere that benefits them the most, and damn any and all of us who want any sort of decency from our chosen leaders and the monolithic machine they head.
To the Olympians, I raise a glass in respect and admiration. To the politicians and businessmen who rape our economy while speaking of care and having the arrogant temerity to use such an august event to distract us, I say shame. May your crimes descend upon you before you die and escape the penalties so richly deserved.