Saturday, 28 July 2012

Mr. Bond, The Queen and Mr. Bean

Some of the items included in last night's opening party were class i.m.o. ... The Queen and Mr. Bond, the animation of Churchill's statue, Mr. Bean during the Chariots of Fire interlude ... and what I thought was the truly magnificent theme and engineering of the Olympic flame. That, I thought, was worth all the tea in China ... Well, surely it was at least something that was a truly innovative perspective incorporating the unity of the nations present.

Having said that it seems churlish to criticise anything ... but I must. I felt that the first hour was a bore and the piece about the industrial revolution a total misrepresentation of history. Yes, Britain led the way in industrial development, but at the cost of the gross manipulation of workers and domination of a world that did not need dominating. Furthermore, the process led the world to think that all so-called "progress" was OK despite the pollution of the depths, the surface and the air. And parts of the world still think it's 'OK' as a result of that period of history.

And so many great aspects of Britain's industrial and engineering history were left out anyway.

Surely, the theme should have been about Britain's part in the development of sport; the IOC official declared that Britain is the "Mother of Sport" so surely there was enough in that theme to satisfy everyone.

But the crowning achievement was the piece leading up to and including the flame ceremony. I felt it was just wonderful. Good enough to make the first part of the opening ceremony redundant and - importantly - forgotten.