I have been worried sick about the Olympics 2012 in London. Not just the Lisa Simpson logo, embarrassing though that is. (I see they are still using it, I suppose because they paid £40 million to the design consultants for it, but even so, I could do a better one for £40.)
The real worry is, how do we, a little country with a struggling economy, cap the effort that China made this year? Isn't anything we do going to look naff? Ken Livingstone admitted candidly on telly that they had accepted absurdly low estimates for the costs, and now the Tories (or is it the NuLabour? I get confused) say that no way will any increase in costs be allowed. So we are going to have the Olympics on a shoestring. One shoestring per athlete. Tied together. That kind of thing.
Then I heard Boris Johnson speaking today, and my worries disappeared in a flash. The London mayor told BBC2’s Newsnight: "These have been an absolutely fantastic games and there’s no doubt that in terms of performance and theatre the Chinese have set the bar pretty high.
"But I think with British ingenuity, wit and all the rest of it, resourcefulness, we are going to produce a games - an opening ceremony, a closing ceremony and all the stuff in between - that is going to be, in our own sweet way, just as fantastic."
There you have it - "British ingenuity, wit and all the rest of it, resourcefulness,"
I had an immediate vision of an opening ceremony using the Queen; in a carriage, with the Household cavalry, followed by a procession of judges in wigs and stockings (symbolising the Olympic judges). Then the Household Cavalry could have a quick game of polo; or they could draw their swords and attack the crowd in an exciting re-enactment of the Peterloo Massacre.
Do you get the point? We can put on our own display "in our own sweet way", a uniquely British display that sets out our historic values, and it need not cost a penny. Because we already have all the gear. Yet we can say "That opening display is worth £1 billion (because of the Crown jewels).
So. We are saved. There is no need for us to open secret negotiations with Paris to try to get them to take on the Games 2012 because we are going to look shambolic after the Beijing games.
Hurrah for the Queen. Hip-hip...
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