They are selling off our field of dreams
PERHAPS wisely, especially since Dave's zero effect on the early medal count, the politicians have tended to sneak around in the shadows and largely sidestep the Olympic euphoria infecting the rest of us.
When they are spotted they mostly manage to look more uncomfortable in suits, standard white shirt and minus a tie than they might even with something of the old school variety hanging around their necks.
Boris apart, of course. Although if he really does fancy his chances of taking that blend of buffoonery, studied dishevelment and lack of a hair brush to Downing Street permanently, then he should recall the fate of namesake Yeltsin who all too quickly clowned himself off the stage. However, it surely can't be long before one of them pipes up about legacy and magically transforming the disillusionment of those feckless youths who this very week a year ago were hellbent on destroying their own neighbourhoods. But best not to be too know-it-all just in case someone asks about the legacy of figures showing 10,000 playing fields vanished into the clutches of developers between 1979 and 1997, or the 6,000 counted from 1992 to 2009; or indeed the 21 in two years of faux Coalition cuddliness.
Try gymnastics or pole vaulting these days where the old rec used to be and our potential Olympians will quickly cripple themselves on block paving driveways or find themselves nicked for attempted burglary. Who'd blame them for seeking solace from another type of grass?
Curiously enough, considering his track record, the one politician entitled to watch Olympic events with head held high is square old John Major, for whose stubborn insistence on a National Lottery our rowers and cyclists at least can be truly grateful.
But finally, for the hell of it, let's curse the BBC for letting Gary Lineker and Michael Vaughan believe all sportsmen are made to be TV presenters! Maybe justice will be done when BBC trackside reporter Phil Jones wakes one night next week in the cold sweaty grip of a nightmare, his bed surrounded by a ghostly cohort of grey-faced figures closely resembling failed British athletes, draping clammy hands around his neck while keening and wailing: "How d'you feel?"
APOLOGIES to anyone who thought I failed to medal by leaving last week's offering incomplete. But sadly I had already columned and the relevant Chronicle page had deadlined, before I encountered the nouveau verb "to podium" for the first time.
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Oct 18, 17:18
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