If there are any proper journalists out there, I wonder if one of them could check out something interesting I heard from a usually reliable source the other day – namely that in every democracy which has hosted the Olympic Games, the ruling party at the time has always won the next election.
If so, the Labour tribalist in me might be tempted to hope London 2012 is something of a disaster. But the Brit in me, and the sports nut in me, and the memories of one of the best nights of my life at the Athens Games in me, all combine to make me long for the London Games to be a success, and feel both hope and confidence that they will be the best ever.
Ok, it will be a bit galling, after all the effort the last government put into getting the Games, and preparing for them, to see Tory boys David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Colin Moynihan milking it for all its worth, but so what? As Harry Truman said, it is amazing what a small group of men (and women, though Harry was not aware of Tessa Jowell) can achieve provided nobody cares who gets the credit. I didn’t include Seb Coe in the Tory boy list by the way because though he was once an MP, and William Hague’s right hand man, I still see him first and foremost as an athletics legend, not a Tory.
Every time I drive out East past the stadium, and see it getting closer and closer to reality, I feel a little bit more excitement about what is coming our way, an unforgettable experience and opportunity for our country.
Another big step down that road was taken today with the launch of the chance to apply to become a London 2012 Games Maker volunteer I hereby volunteer to tweet, blog and generally blather about how great the Olympics are, and how fantatic London 2012 will be, provided the Tories don’t mess it up from now on it.
I also volunteer to take part in any sport that will have me. This was the attitude that led me to turn out for Camden Labour against the Camden New Journal last night. I was baited and bullied into it on twitter by journalists from the paper who claimed I was only interested in turning out with Diego Maradona and the like at Old Trafford.
Duly stung, I turned out in the wind and the rain, took along my son Rory, (level 2 coach, good player ha-ha-ha) and between us we scored well over half of the ten goals we hammered past the hapless hacks in our 10-4 triumph. I am claiming a hat trick, though for reasons best known to the CNJ, they want one of them to count as one of their four own goals! Here is an early example of the biased and one-sided anti-Labour, anti-me reporting of their thrashing. Just can’t take a simple beating, can they. How can they call that a push?
Now that the game is over, I can however confirm that one of my goals may have touched my hand rather than my head as I lofted it over the keeper. You see, that time spent with Diego wasn’t wasted.
A couple more sporting observations from last night. First, I suppose Burnley were bound to suffer an injury time defeat after our amazing comeback on Saturday v Preston, but did it have to come so soon? Second, sympathy for Antonio Valencia who did to his ankle what my daughter did to hers. It was bad enough for her .. what it is like for a professional footballer doesn’t bear thinking about. Third, as I tweeted this morning, I really do think Scottish footballers are more articulate than their English counterparts. Rangers’ David Weir, who gives hope to all us oldie football types, was brilliant in his after match interviews. So was Lee McCulloch. The response to my tweet suggests I am not alone in spotting the superior eloquence of the Scots.