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Archive for the tag “Olympic Games”

Opening Ceremony

So, the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is to feature the British Countryside and ‘Shakespeare’! A countryside that vast numbers of our population never see as they can’t afford to visit it let alone explore it. A countryside where small farmers struggle to exist while the supermarkets make a fortune from selling their produce. A countryside where huge investment companies and the agro/chemical companies create vast fields devoid of wild life as they cut down the ancient hedgerows to make space for their efficient machines.

Secondly “All hail Shakespeare” as part of the theme! Let’s be honest most people haven’t heard of Shakespeare and couldn’t give a stuff; at best he might have been something to endure for a brief period at school during English Literature lessons. Yes he was a brilliant play write 100’s of years ago but totally irrelevant and incomprehensible to most of us. Anyone would think we haven’t produced another brilliant writer since then. God alone knows how much it cost but the organisers have commissioned the casting of a bell for the ceremony that is twice the weight of Big Ben and inscribed with a phrase from The Tempest “ “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises”! FFS! The rest of the World will think we are stuck in the past which of course we are, at least, those who tend to rise to the top of the pile are.

The Olympic Ideal

The founding and abiding principle of the Olympic Games is that athletes of the World gather in competition. Note that it is the ‘athletes’ of the World who gather and not the nations. Its is of course natural that comparisons will be made between the joint achievements of various country’s sportsmen and women but let us celebrate the triumphs of all those taking part and try not to turn this amazing event into some kind of ideological war.

I have heard it said that the Sports Minister is considering diverting funds towards those sports in which we in the UK are most likely to win medals in 2012. What an appalling thought. Apart from the general immorality of it, this would mean a higher proportion of funding going into Equestrian and sailing events which are simply not available to the majority of our aspiring young athletes.

Olympic Games

What a fantastic display was the opening ceremony in Beijing of the 2008 Olympic Games. Beautiful, exciting and at times emotional, at least it was for me. The effort, planning, imagination and energy that went into this event was staggering and just shows what wonders human beings can produce.

Quite rightly there has been a lot of criticism of China’s record on human rights but hopefully, in time, they will improve on this. It should always be remembered that we in the West are not innocent when it comes to human rights. Here in the UK there are frequent miscarriages of Justice and Parliament has just agreed to imprison people without charge for 42 days. In the US they still execute people, even in defiance of International Law and torture prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

China has come a very long way in just 70 years or so and the standard of living and yes, human rights also, have steadily increased over this time. A huge country with a vast population that was mainly feudal such a short while ago progressed rapidly under communism and I submit, would never have happened under the capitalist system.

While we may rightly point out the faults in China let us not forget that we have many faults of our own.

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