The Real Chariots of Fire, ITV, 3/7/12

Predictably it’s back. Who could forget it, with that memorable, stirring soundtrack that, once in your head, stays there for days, weeks, months, years. I wouldn’t bet against it being the number one soundtrack of the London 2012 Olympics, inspiring Team GB to run faster, jump higher, hit harder and swim stronger. So stirring is that one little piece of music that a whole new generation of British Olympians will be born simply by turning up for the re-release of the film. Who needs a well-coordinated, well-funded sporting legacy programme when you have Chariots of Fire burning away in your brain. To merely marvel at the exploits of Messrs Liddle and Abrahams strutting their stuff on the playing fields of England and Europe should be enough to inspire any young mind. Chariots of Fire – the icing on the Olympic cake. The final glorious piece of the London Olympic jigsaw. But me, I’m not buying any of that upper class nonsense, not for one moment

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Olympic Torch Relay: Symbol of Austerity

Make no mistake; there is much symbolism in the British Olympic touch relay but not the much hyped symbolism of human togetherness and good will to all. No, the current symbolism of London 2012 Olympic Relay can be more realistically be described as linking a growing wave of austerity and human misery that is spreading not just across the UK but the whole of Europe. As the Olympic torch passes from region to region, city to city, town to town, will the BBC and the rest of the cringing, servile media make reference to the boarded up shops in our high streets, the growing homelessness in our cities and the ever expanding ranks of unemployed and alienated youth? As for Britain, so for large swathes of Europe. How wonderfully ironic that just eight years ago Athens hosted the Olympic Games to the sound of great fanfare and corporate frenzy and now, amidst the abandoned stadia the Greek people face economic ruin and social desperation. Britain, under its current viscous Tory government, has every prospect of following the same path.

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Surface to Air Missiles to protect Olympics ( Olympic Notes No11)

So it has come to this. The much proclaimed ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, a sporting jamboree to celebrate extreme human endeavour and to lift the spirits of a planet ground down by recession and poverty will now, we learn, be protected by surface to air missiles. This has to be the final Olympic joke. Already the much heralded promises of an Olympic legacy are in the gutter. Grassroots and community sports have been savagely slashed in order to pay for grandiose stadia, the largest of which will be handed over to a couple of seedy pornographers under the cynical auspices of giving West Ham Football Club a new home. Corporate sponsors, the likes of McDonalds and Coca Cola, will stuff their bank balances even further by monopolising the advertising rights of the Olympics while the general populous grows ever more obese with extra large portions of McShite and the rest of their poisoned merchandise. And then there is Dow Chemicals, sponsor of the main stadium wrap-around. Dow is a chemicals giant bestrides the planet with a devil-may-care attitude second to none. Just ask the residents of Bhopal for their references if you want to get a feel for the real corporate nature of London 2012.

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Fast Food Olympics (Olympic Notes No 9)

It is as depressing as it is predictable. McDonalds have just announced that they are going to construct their largest ever restaurant in the Olympic village, one of four McDonalds outlets serving the Olympic Games underlining their official monopoly on the distribution of fast food at the London Olympics.  It will be a two storey, three thousand square metre factory pumping out some 1.75 million burgers throughout the Games. Oh what joy. The subliminal message to the general populous – the obesity epidemic is all a left-wing myth, just stuff down another burger and chips and stop worrying. If you are feeling a tad unhealthy just watch all those super fit athletes and you will feel a whole lot better.

 

Having all just witnessed what a criminal mess total subservience to the corporate media conglomerates leads to, you might have thought that our political masters might have been just a little more wary of getting into bed with the global fast food corporations. Not a bit of it! With the Murdoch scandal safely tucked away for the summer in a maze of official enquiries, it’s business as usual. It’s the same old narrative – global corporations coalescing into a sort of shadowy global government, unaccountable, unregulated and totally out of control. And our democratically elected representatives? Complicit, compliant and totally compromised.

 

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Britain Still Constrained by Class (Olympic Notes No8)

Two articles appeared in the British media last week that confirm, yet again, the rigid class structures that still hold Britain in a vice like grip. In the Saturday Guardian under the heading; ‘The New Boys network: Etonians flood into Who’s Who’, we see in hard figures just how little class mobility there really is in this country. These figures are particularly depressing given that we have just experienced 13 years of a Labour Government. Elaborating on the latest statistics, James Ball writes,

 

‘The return of the Conservative party to government has been accompanied by a resurgence in the number of Old Etonian entrants to Who’s Who, long regarded as the definitive guide to the British Establishment. The findings also show the resurgence of the UK’s elite universities and member’s clubs, revealing a glacially slow pace of change. In total, more 2,300 people in Who’s Who attended the top five public schools – Eton, Charterhouse, Harrow, Rugby and Marlborough. Oxford and Cambridge graduates also continue to dominate the establishment.’

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