Coffee House

An Olympic triumph

13 August 2012

13 August 2012

What a superb closing Olympic ceremony. Normally, government chokes the life out of any arts project it takes on and I’d expected the Olympic Stadium ceremonies to be the Millennium Dome Live. How wrong I was. The gathering of the thousands of athletes reprised the theme of the opening ceremony: that this is about people, not a massive Chinese-style display of state power. And the concert was not about musical purity but entertainment, of which there was plenty – from the Spice Girls’ surprisingly strong performance to the Boris Dancing (now trending on Twitter as #BorisBoogie). There was, or course, plenty I could have done without. George Michael’s dire new single. Beady Eye’s just-as-dire cover of Wonderwall (some achievement, given that Liam Gallagher was the singer). But it was outweighed by what went right: the Indian dancers that David Cameron likes so much, Jessie J, Annie Lennox, The Who – all of it projected a carnival atmosphere. And one that would have been appreciated worldwide.

Like Eurovision, the aim of an Olympic ceremony is to lay on a show that will cross borders and cultures. It’s not for domestic consumption, so I can forgive the odd act that makes Brits cringe. The opening ceremony had its critics in Britain, but it was entertaining enough to have 40 million Americans watching. And that’s the objective: to haul in the crowds, not to stage a piece of political theatre.  I’d be amazed if Rio lays on anything half as good.

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When you consider how many important projects the British government messes up, the success of the Olympics is a near-miracle. This reflects very well on Seb Coe, and on the coalition government (who would have taken the flak for any mistake). And, yes, it reflects well on the Labour ministers who nurtured the project from its inception. Pretty soon, we’ll have the ONS telling us what an economic disaster this whole thing was. But for now, suffice to say that Mitt Romney was wrong: London 2012 was a resounding success.

 


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Show comments
  • Las Vegas Brit

    As a transplanted Brit of the last 32 years both ceremonies had me cringing in embarrassment. If I can’t find a thermatic thread holding together various “acts” what hope is their for viewers around the world who don’t consider a country’s better characteristics are defined by pop musicians? I for one couldn’t make head or tail of who the various middle-aged eccentrics were and who one could hardly hear anyway.
    There’s also the matter of taste. Why should REAL athletes be forced to admire pampered vain multi-millionaire supermodels? What did their pompous strutting arrival signify? A neglected area for another Olympic competition?
    The entire NHS segment was redundent. Did it matter if the performers were real doctors and nurses – making fools of themselves in front of billions? Somehow British rappers found a place in both ceremonies. Isn’t rapping an annoying unmusical American invention designed to alienate everyone but the impressionable young?
    Lastly where was the visual poetry? I can still remember every episode in the Beijing opening ceremony of 4 years ago because it was designed to look BEAUTIFUL – especially in lonf shot. Whereas what US viewers saw was confusing, both at a distance and in close-ups where the lack of skilled performers was all too obvious.

  • paul

    Well I have to agree with Frasor, I thought it was really good. Thank God for Roger daltry, but unfortunately the best acts there were all dead.I dont know if the fact that their not amongst the living gave them the edge. Liam Gallagher murdering of Wonderwall should should give him a nudge in that direction for performance improvement.

    A magnificent show,and no other city on the earth could have followed Beijing and surpassed it and I have to concur with the non regulars,yous are a bunch of miserable bastards.

  • Sarah

    You just know that a party round at the Spectator commenters’ houses would be a barrell of laughs don’t you. If you find it entertaining to sit in front rooms smelling slightly of wee, listening to Classic FM.

  • Ru

    A good show, I especially liked all the non-musical bits: Stomp, the acrobats and professional dancers, costumes, props, flag and fireworks.

    But the music did once again demonstrate that all our real achievements are behind us.

    Where were RadioHead, U2, ColdPlay, the Police and Sting btw?

    • El_Sid

      Coldplay are headlining the Paralympics closing, U2 are foreign, Radiohead too dreary for a party.

  • plmac

    The athletes in the stadium seemed to enjoy the closing ceremony. It therefore served its purpose.

  • Paddy

    It was dire!

    A cross between a Sunday Night at the London Palladium………the Eurovision song contest and our local 1950’s pageant.

  • echo34

    George Michael agreed to appear if and only if he could sing his new single. No other act did that. Shame on him.

  • Frank Sutton

    Do posts in these blogs appear in any particular order, or are they just scattered randomly on the page?

  • MikeF

    Mitt Romney did not predict that London 2012 would be a failure just that some aspects of it seemed ill-prepared. Was he that far out given the early hiccups with empty seats and the ridiculous ‘unticketed’ label for the archery qualifier that saw people turn up in good faith only to be turned away? I think he also said that it was how the organisation would respond to inevitable hiccups that would be a determining factor in the success or otherwise of the whole enterprise and to be fair the organisers did respond promptly and effectively. But, again, that would tend to vindicate rather than contradict what Romney said. As for opening ceremony well if the aim was not ‘to stage a piece of political theatre’ what was it?

  • Gary

    The BBC had streaming coverage of every event, in contrast to commercial US TV coverage, where viewers had no choice but to watch what was dictated to by advertising revenue.

    Sports like BMX, Mountain biking, Taekwondo, and archery are far more entertaining than the tedious football and cricket (a sport for lazy people), and this was a sadly very rare chance to see sports that are actually entertaining.

    As for the closing ceremony, the bizarreness of The Who, a bunch of Baby Boomers, singing “My Generation”, when they are now old and when their “generation” has greedily ramped up house prices to line their own pockets while depriving the young of the benefits they had, was depressing.
    As with McCartney, this was a case of the Boomers refusing to pass on the mantle and hogging the limelight at the expense of the young.

    • Frank Sutton

      Wish we’d all died before we’d got old, eh Gary?

  • Frank Sutton

    Celebrity Britain elbows its way onto the podium to reclaim its place in the spotlight from those athletes.

    What has a giant pop concert to do with the Olympics?

    I suppose a country that voted “imagine” its favourite song (as I
    believe it did in some poll) should be flattered to be represented to
    the world by a tawdry display of choreographed triviality.

    “Imagine” is the most trite piece of banal bathos imaginable – a warning
    of what happens when wealthy tunesmiths imagine they’re philosophers.

  • Frank Sutton

    Celebrity Britain elbows its way onto the podium to reclaim its place in the spotlight from those athletes.

    What has a giant pop concert to do with the Olympics?

    I suppose a country that voted “imagine” its favourite song (as I
    believe it did in some poll) should be flattered to be represented to
    the world by a tawdry display of choreographed triviality.

    “Imagine” is the most trite piece of banal bathos imaginable – a warning
    of what happens when wealthy tunesmiths imagine they’re philosophers.

  • Jonathan

    It was puerile infantilism from start to finish; a showcase of shallowness. Very much in keeping with the spirit of the call-me-Dave age.

  • William Blakes Ghost

    Even after the marvellous fortnight we’ve just had it doesn’t take long for the online onanists to get started. The closing ceremony was fine. Not a hint of parochial politics (which certainly wasn’t the case regarding the opening ceremony). Some of the performances and ideas weren’t necessarily the greatest but it fitted together well enough and did what the opening ceremony did not. It tried to reached out to all. The fact that some on here are so mean spirited as to not to recognise that just goes to show that even a marvellous event like these Olympics can’t rehabilitate every misery in the country.

    • Frank Sutton

      Talking of onanists, I see George MIchael came out the cubicle for this oromo concert.

      • Frank Sutton

        “promo concert”

      • Frank Sutton

        “promo concert”

  • Alan Eastwood

    Mr Fraser. Have you ever attended the Rio Carnival? I think their opening ceremony will attract a lot of attention hoping to see half naked women (and men). I think a big carnival would be fitting for Brazil.
    As for last evening. What happened to poor old Cliff and his Shadows? Airbrushed out of the history of pop. No jazz whatsoever what a shame when you consider the greats we have given the world. And where was McCartney? (thank goodness)
    That said it was a superb show. My best bit was the great reception from the crowd when Boris’s name was mentioned. I bet Cameron felt as sick as a parrot

    • Ron Todd

      No Sir Paul but they did have Lennin in effigy. A millionair a hundred times over singing about how nice it would be for everybody else to give up all their possesions

  • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

    It’s such a shame Paris didn’t get it

  • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

    The Olympics always took place in glamorous exotic places like Tokyo, Barcelona or Mexico City.

    Having the Olympics set in a industrial wasteland in the east end of London is not glamorous. The backdrop was ugly, the stadiums and the other sports arena’s were aesthetically very unpleasing on the eye.

    Rio’s backdrop on the other hand is spectacular with the sugar loaf mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the bay. Brazil is truly multiracial unlike Britain, with it’s contrived forced, ” isn’t multiculturalism wonderful” and it’s Plastic Brits.

    The London Olympics should be declared null and void

    • Irascible Old Git

      I’m looking forward to seeing how the Brazilian broadcasters manage to airbrush the favellas from the Rio Games. Maybe they won’t bother, as they are such an intrinsic part of the country’s ‘truly multiracial’ identity.

      By the way, Wilhelm. Are you a tinpot Kraut?

      • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

        Old Git

        You mean like how the BBC airbrushed the London race riots ?

        • Alison

          The favelas are a permanent feature – unless, of course, the authorities do a “Beijing” on them. The London riots are not.

    • Irascible Old Git

      I’m looking forward to seeing how the Brazilian broadcasters manage to airbrush the favellas from the Rio Games. Maybe they won’t bother, as they are such an intrinsic part of the country’s ‘truly multiracial’ identity.

      By the way, Wilhelm. Are you a tinpot Kraut?

  • 2trueblue

    Outstanding, and our athletes did a fantastic job in the main securing medals. It all went off so well, the UK has much to be proud of. The opening was interesting but hardly a true representation of the country, not least the CND badge. The closing ceremony was a bit of a riot and totally unstructured. The BBC had lots of ‘talking heads’ on view. A similar mistake they made with the Jubilee Celebrations. The usual vacuous BBC.

  • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

    They said the Olympics would cost £3 Billion it ended up costing £13 Billion

    That’s a slight overspend, isn’t it ?

    • Alan Eastwood

      £13 Billion? Which cloud did you snatch that figure from?

    • Alan Eastwood

      £13 Billion? Which cloud did you snatch that figure from?

  • The Sage

    It’s noteworthy that Visa reports that spending in London on its credit cards is up only 8% over the same period last year. So given inflation of, say, 3% the Games have brought next to nothing in additional spending from visitors in return for the £9.5 bn or so invested.

    • Gay Oscar

      The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  • Frank P

    It’s no good censoring me to protect the sensitivities of your boss Mr Moderator; I’ll just fire from another hill.

  • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

    ” Gosh, I’d be amazed if Rio lays on anything half as good.”

    Never seen the Rio Carnival ?

  • Barry

    I prefer classical so it was never really for me, and I’m happy to admit that Mahler’s second might not have hit the right note for what was essentially a party.

    However, as someone who is often unfairly accused of living in the past, I find it odd that pop and rock seem to be doing exactly the same – resurrecting music which is older than some of the stuff I listen to.

    • Ron Todd

      A bit of Verdi Requiem would have livened it up.

      • Barry

        Berlioz – better still.

  • Frank P

    Fraser

    Isn’t the fact that the vast majority of the readers of a magazine that you are editing don’t agree with anything you write (or think) ultimately likely to impact on your job? Or are you there for some other ulterior motive which makes that okay as far as the owners are concerned?

    Hmmnn….

    Perhaps we are the ‘useful idiots’ for using the platform to lampoon you?? All grist to the mill, no doubt. Crafty bastards the BBs!

    • Ben K

      Fraser Nelson is a proper Tory – I know this because i’m generally pretty left leaning and disagree with almost everything he says. What he is not however is a mental, shuttereyed, conspiracy theorist, crypto-fascist as many on this comments page seem to be. I read the Speccie as it is a great anti-dote to the hippy-drippy liberalism of the worst end of the Guardian, and challenges my views with intelligent and well thought through analysis…..not the drivel you have just spouted off.

      Shame the Speccie website seems to suffer from the BMW problem – good product shame about the users.

      Good work Fraser – ignore these morons

  • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

    At the Berlin Olympics, forget about the politics for one moment, you had Richard Srauss and Carl Orff.

    The London Olympics was the Dizzee Rascal show, a rapper plus Russell Brand.

  • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

    Pretentious, self indulgent, narcissistic, egotist Annie Lennox dressed up like the wicked witch of the west on an old wreck, how apt. staring wide eyed like a demented maniac mugging to the camera. She should have been sectioned under the mental health act.

  • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

    I thought the opening ceremony was bad but the closing was worse. As we all know the bigger the hype the bigger the BS. A multicultural dystopian nightmare of pop trash culture.

    The first singer was Emeli Sande, why mixed race ?, that was making a multicultural political statement. Then you had a soul choir, another multicultural political statement . Design or coincidence ?

    Russell Brand drug taking degenerate, George Michael toilet frequenting degenerate . Spice Girls acting like hookers. John Lennon singing Imagine,

    Lennon said of the song ” It’s a atheist, anti nation, one worlder, song but I sugar coated it into a nice little jingle so the people wouldn’t realise what they were singing.”

    The only nice tuneful music was at the end when they played the Brazilian national anthem.

    • Alan Eastwood

      Wilhelm, But you obviously watched both ceremonies. Who is the sad one then?
      I thought it was nice of dear Mr Lennon to return for a few minutes as did the delightful Mr Mercury. They both looked quite well.
      Just to cheer all the other sad people here:-
      £2.4 billion: Initial budget estimate made by Labour when the bid was won in 2005.
      £9.3 billion: Final budget figure (revised when £2.4 bn number blown out of the water).
      £12 billion: Estimate of how much the Olympics has actually cost.
      £6.1 billion: Amount spent on equipment for Armed Forces in Afghanistan in each year leading up to Games.
      £185 million: Price of each Team GB medal (£12 billion / 65 medals).
      £45 million: Total funding of sports in which Team GB won no medals.
      £40 million: Figure we parted with to build a state-of-the-art handball stadium.
      40,000: Number of hotel rooms for the Olympic Family paid for by the taxpayer.
      £200: How much each taxpayer contributed to the Games.

      • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

        Alan Eastwood

        I was watching the two ceremonies to observe and analyse the cultural marxist propaganda.

        • Alan Eastwood

          And your analysis has been handed to which organisation?

        • Alan Eastwood

          And your analysis has been handed to which organisation?

      • Percy

        The closing ceremony was still shit though.

      • Percy

        The closing ceremony was still shit though.

      • HFC

        You would do well to acknowledge your sources, AW. Guido posted these stats this morning at
        http://order-order.com/

    • Ben K

      You’re absolutely right about Emeli Sande – her choice of parents from 2 distinct racial groups exposes a clear political agenda to destroy the country and turn it over to invading African hordes. I personally think it signals the impending end of the British race.

      p.s. – go you not frequent toilets? You really are a different breed to the rest of us.

      • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

        Ben K

        I forgot to say public toilet, George Michael goes there to have sex with other men.

      • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

        Ben K

        Yes, you are correct, just look at film footage of the 1948 London Olympics and todays Olympics and you will see the demographic changes, the country looks like Uganda.

      • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

        Ben K

        Yes, you are correct, just look at film footage of the 1948 London Olympics and todays Olympics and you will see the demographic changes, the country looks like Uganda.

  • Derek Nimmo playing a vicar

    The opening ceremony for Rio will be the biggest doddle in history. All they have to do is stick the Rio carnival in the stadium for a couple of hours. Job done…

  • http://300wordtheses.blogspot.co.uk/ Gerry Dorrian

    Very good points! I would add that there were no terror attacks – is it coincidental that Abu Qatada and others of his ilk were imprisoned and the capital was flooded with soldiers? Maybe a lesson for the future…

    • Irascible Old Git

      It may be years before we find out if any attacks were proposed or even (unsuccessfully) carried out. For example, we’ve only recently been informed that ETA targeted the Barcelona Games with a bomb in the stadium roof.
      Regardless, congratulations to our Armed Forces and the Met (to paraphrase Margaret) and just rejoice in our success!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iain-Hill/100000917822376 Iain Hill

    Bread and circuses!

    If that represents our best showcase of UK culture, you can keep it! Where we’re the Royal Ballet, RSC, National Theatre. Most people here, far less abroad would know who these third rate performers are. It almost (!) makes you long for Cliff Richard.

    • Ben K

      You’re absolutely right – they should have had a performance of Henry IV (parts 1 and 2 – obviously) by the RSC followed by a full rendition of Harrison Bertwistle’s Mask of Orpheus by the ENO, then the could have…..ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Thank god you weren’t in charge of this or else we’d have looked the the stiffest bunch of pretentious bores anyone could imagine.

      • Barry

        Why “pretentious”?

        • Ben K

          Don’t get me wrong I don’t think an displaying an interest in classical music is in and of itself pretentious. However, as a nation we are not (Classic FM has 3.5% market share). Ramming high art down the throats of a mainstream global audience would be both off putting and not reflective of our nation.

          I have a small amount of interest in classical music (attend a prom or two etc.) – if i had a party and played nothing but I would think my friends would be fair in judging me pretentious.

          • Barry

            I doubt if many of the acts on display in the closing ceremony could achieve more than 3.5%.

            • Ben K

              Individually – no i doubt any act has ever had that share of the radio market (except maybe Celine Dion with ‘my love will go on’ – it certainly seemed to be on 3.5% of the time). I just picked the most mainstream classical station by airplay – and it is only 3.5. Radio 3 is a little over 1%. by contrast radio 2 has 16% share, radio 1 about 9% – and thats before you go into the myriad local stations all of who churn out the same pop fare….. none of this a good thing.

    • itdoesntaddup

      The Royal Ballet were there in numbers.

      Time for your summer holiday.

  • les

    “how wrong I was” – it happens quite often Mr Nelson!

  • http://twitter.com/WillHoneycomb Will Honeycomb

    The final word was a few old blokes born before the 1948 Olympics “talking ’bout my generation”. I could almost smell the naphthalene.

    • Nicholas

      Funnily enough I prefer the smell of naphthalene to bullshit. It doesn’t seem to make grown men cry like little girls either.

      • Sarah

        Most of the people who cried at these Olympics were grown men! Grown men blubbing when they lost. Grown men blubbing when they won. Grown men blubbing when they got their medals. Grown men blubbing when they carried the flag. Grown men blubbing at Wimbledon. I had thought it was a malaise that just affected British men, but no, it’s an international weakness.

        By contrast the women mostly smiled and waved to the crowds.

  • Amicus

    For those of us who loathe pop music, the closing ceremony was a must-miss event. I inadvertently switched channels to BBC One and heard about three seconds of the ghastly din that passes for music these days among the great unwashed. This was three seconds too many.

    • http://twitter.com/WholeLottaSusie Sue Ward

      Trust me, it wasn’t much better for those of us who LIKE pop music!

    • Paddy

      For any one who loves pop music…….it was a must-miss.

  • Mirtha Tidville

    Ah thank God its over…now please let us forget all about it and try to move on….oh yes and pay for the ghastly thing for the next 20 years

  • Percy

    The closing ceremony fulfilled its remit perfectly; keep the celebrity obsessed proles and the BBC happy with a display of vapid b-listers and has beens.

    • HooksLaw

      What a sad bunch of tossers and losers the Speccy crowd out themselves as.

      What a sad bunch of saddos from sadland you sadly are.

      • Daniel Maris

        I haven’t personally heard anyone with a good word for the closing ceremony although the opening ceremony mostly got good reviews.

        • Ru

          Yes you have. You just read this article and these comments didn’t you?

    • Alan Eastwood

      Can you believe that this comment from someone berift of any humour or sense of occasion has had twenty two ticks in favour. I agree totally with HooksLaw.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Tysoe/711623798 Matt Tysoe

    My poor dogs were howling in distress!!!

    • Ostrich (occasionally)

      And you committed animal cruelty by allowing the din to continue? Don’t you have a remote control?

  • Nicholas

    Was it a closing ceremony or a pop concert? And George Michael and Russell Brand attempting to sing? Was there no shame? The bit with the far-too-far-up-themselves models was hilarious but relevant to what exactly? Looked like the show was based on a tick box list of all the usual celebs. Ghastly.

    • Percy

      Agreed, the parade of the supermodels was hilariously bad.

    • Alan Eastwood

      The supermodels, I believe, were there to emphasise the great British contribution to Fashion. It brings in much revenue.

      • Nicholas

        Then shouldn’t that have showcased the designers or a whole group of models strutting their stuff to show off British fashion? It seemed just an excuse for half a dozen “super” models to be included in the pop concert.

        • Alan Eastwood

          I did notice at least one designer there, but I was not taking particular notice. However your comment does tell me and others that without any knowledge at all you criticise. That is insane.

          • Percy

            No because you saw a man it doesn’t mean that he’s a designer, he is in fact David Gandy, a model apparently, so your comments are not only a bit stupid but a bit sexist too.

            • Alan Eastwood

              Sexist, Get a life!

          • Percy

            No because you saw a man it doesn’t mean that he’s a designer, he is in fact David Gandy, a model apparently, so your comments are not only a bit stupid but a bit sexist too.

          • Percy

            No because you saw a man it doesn’t mean that he’s a designer, he is in fact David Gandy, a model apparently, so your comments are not only a bit stupid but a bit sexist too.

          • Nicholas

            Actually my comment was more rhetorical than criticising and based on the empirical evidence. Any failure on my part to understand what was going on had more to do with the BBC commentary. I don’t expect I was alone in not immediately recognising all these glittering stars.

            Nice try though.

          • itdoesntaddup

            So you watched the Spice Girls?

          • itdoesntaddup

            So you watched the Spice Girls?

        • Ru

          Well one of the designers is dead.

      • Percy

        We’d just seen two weeks of truly heroic endeavours where genuine heroes have worked tirelessly to get to the top and what do we have to put up with – the pages of Hello or OK coming to life to satisfy the dumb downed majority and their insatiable desire for mediocrity and crap.

      • Percy

        We’d just seen two weeks of truly heroic endeavours where genuine heroes have worked tirelessly to get to the top and what do we have to put up with – the pages of Hello or OK coming to life to satisfy the dumb downed majority and their insatiable desire for mediocrity and crap.

      • Percy

        We’d just seen two weeks of truly heroic endeavours where genuine heroes have worked tirelessly to get to the top and what do we have to put up with – the pages of Hello or OK coming to life to satisfy the dumb downed majority and their insatiable desire for mediocrity and crap.

      • Daniel Maris

        That’s OK – but just having them standing there was really pathetic.

  • Dreamliner

    Still whining about Romney.

  • Daniel Maris

    More importantly, I breathe a sigh of relief that we got through it all without a major terrorist incident. The security services (but not LOCOG) deserve a big thank you from all of us for that. We know London would have been a target for AQ affiliates and others. I am sure a lot went on behind the scenes to keep us safe.

    • http://twitter.com/Wilhelm1901 Wilhelm

      Maris

      Thankfully the blacks didn’t riot like they did last year.

    • Gary

      The G4S corporate welfare parasites don’t deserve any thanks. Thank the soldiers and volunteers, not an ounce of credit should be given to the politicians.

  • Frank P

    Please read Mitt Romney’s remarks about the London Olympics and tell me what was inaccurate at the time that he made them. You don’t miss an opportunity to bat for Obama, do you? You’re in the tank for him, as is this magazine. For the Editor of a once ‘conservative’ magazine to cough to that is unacceptable. But then you’re not a real journalist, are you? Just a ‘Scotia Nostra’ placeman.

    As for the show – I’ll bet you’re an Annie Lennox fan, too.

    • EC

      “Just a ‘Scotia Nostra’ placeman.”

      Surely, also, a pasty-man?
      Despite his protestations to the contrary, there’s a little bit of Fraser that will be forever er… Ginsters!

      On rare occasions when his inner Piskie gains control over the inner Wallace he is inclined to cry, “PASTY” instead of “FREEDOM” – which can be rather inconvenient in the wrong company. All this was revealed only recently, after George Osborne waved his magic wand and turned a cornish pasty into a hot potato – a cunning stunt, you have to agree.

    • EC

      “Just a ‘Scotia Nostra’ placeman.”

      Surely, also, a pasty-man?
      Despite his protestations to the contrary, there’s a little bit of Fraser that will be forever er… Ginsters!

      On rare occasions when his inner Piskie gains control over the inner Wallace he is inclined to cry, “PASTY” instead of “FREEDOM” – which can be rather inconvenient in the wrong company. All this was revealed only recently, after George Osborne waved his magic wand and turned a cornish pasty into a hot potato – a cunning stunt, you have to agree.

    • David Ossitt

      I’ll bet you’re an Annie Lennox fan, too.

      I have a strong abiding dislike of the woman.

  • Justathought

    I really hated the opening ceremony as Trotsky-lite but was blown away with the closing ceremony, was it staged by someone other than Boyle? Tonight was true brit eccentricity that johnny foreigner will definitely recognise and enjoy. Even Brand who I also hate was perfect for the part and great entertainment. Seb Coe really has much to be proud of as this has been a five year marathon for him. I’ve dropped his lord title so as to leave space of a Sir to be added! Our medals tally was V.respectable and Tom Daly saved the day and can look forward to another Olympics in Rio which I will go to also.

  • Mr. Bubbles

    You have poor taste when it comes to these things, Fraser. The opening ceremony was, for the most part, great. The closing one, however, was awful.

    • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

      It was quite funny watching the comments on Twitter. Most of my Twitter feed are a broad spectrum (by age and tastes) of mainstream UK political journalists. Almost without fail they were tweeting how awful most of the acts were. But then every ten minutes up popped Fraser to say what a great time he was having. I’m glad he enjoyed himself.

      • Publius

        “But then every ten minutes up popped Fraser to say what a great time he was having.”

        Depressing.

  • http://twitter.com/TheseRains Gareth Owen

    Goodness knows what you were watching. A Jessie J overdose, combined with a a loop of previous mimers whilst athletes got kettled was tacky, cheap and completely underwhelming.

    The opening ceremony may have raised the bar slightly too high, but this shambles should have conceded defeat once George Michael decided to use the occasion to debut new material.

    As for the coalition, the games were a success despite them. Every time Cameron decided to show his shiny, polished face, we all gritted our teeth. His laughably transparent pleas for a share of olympic glory would make John Terry blush. So long as this clueless idiot remains in charge, the joy of the past two weeks will quickly dissipate. I fear for the country as it comes down.

  • Daniel Maris

    Superb? Come off it. The opening ceremony wasn’t too bad but the closing ceremony was 90% unco-ordinated dross (as others here are confirming). Parts of it were acutely embarrassing – not least Timothy Spall p-poor “impersonation” of Churchill.
    Getting your GDP excuses ready for the economic upturn that you predicted not happening?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Others here are not confirming it. Others here are of a similar opinion. That doesn’t confirm anything. Old curmudgeons (like me I agree) are not quite the same as the voices of God. And young curmudgeons too.

      • Daniel Maris

        Did you get a degree in Pedantry from the University of Tedium? I was suggesting the opinions here confirmed the general state of public opinion.

  • Craiv

    The success of the Games had very little to do with the johnny-come-lateleys of the coalition government. Most of the infrastructure and planning was in place long before they came along to try and take all the credit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fraser.nelson.9 Fraser Nelson

      Yes, but they’d have taken all the blame had something gone wrong.

      • Frank P

        Btw, I suggest you read Alexander Boot’s final take on the Olympiad. It’s an example of hard-hitting journalism, delivered with wit and panache. You might pick up a few tips from an experienced philosopher who has this lot taped:

        http://alexanderboot.com/content/can-we-now-please-have-our-sanity-back

        • Kevin

          Until Douglas Murray and (perhaps expectedly) Peter Hitchens bucked the trend, I thought these Olympics were revealing a nation of Stepford journalists. If accepting British output uncritically were really a national characteristic we would still have British Leyland.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Philosopher? Scribbler surely.

        • Tacitus

          Boot is an unfunny, bitter and sad old man. Best ignored

          • Frank P

            Fergus P and Tacitus

            Yes, but as I regard your posts as the benchmark for idiocy, yours is high praise indeed.

          • Nicholas

            Yes, much easier to ignore him than ask what has made so many old men bitter and sad in Britain when they should be enjoying their twilight years in this “inclusive” society that celebrates and embraces “diversity” but does not extend that inclusiveness and diversity to “grumpy old men”. Old age and wisdom revered? Don’t make me laugh. This is a mean, nasty, ageist society encapsulated by comments like yours – best ignored.

            • Tacitus

              @Nicholas: your comment leads us to suppose that you are just a little bitter and sad yourself. Do you want to tell us what it was or is that has made you that way? Is your wisdom not being properly revered (interesting choice of word)? Is that why you are a grumpy old man? Have you found young people just won’t follow your advice now and insist on forming opinions of their own? Ah well, best to ignore them as they do you …

              Just sayin’

          • Nicholas

            Yes, much easier to ignore him than ask what has made so many old men bitter and sad in Britain when they should be enjoying their twilight years in this “inclusive” society that celebrates and embraces “diversity” but does not extend that inclusiveness and diversity to “grumpy old men”. Old age and wisdom revered? Don’t make me laugh. This is a mean, nasty, ageist society encapsulated by comments like yours – best ignored.

      • Percy

        So that’s allright then is it?

      • Percy

        So that’s allright then is it?

  • Mike

    It was completely shambolic, but about 20% of it was enjoyably so.

    Still, the Olympics as whole were an undoubted success.

  • kunduchi

    London was a fantastic success. The opening ceremony was amazing, the logistics, security, transport and the whole ‘vibe’ of the city came through spectacularly. We acquitted ourselves fantastically – not to mention the incredible haul of medals earned.

    The closing ceremony? Sadly a dog’s breakfast of B-acts and off-key performances to bring us back down to earth with a bump.

  • kunduchi

    London was a fantastic success. The opening ceremony was amazing, the logistics, security, transport and the whole ‘vibe’ of the city came through spectacularly. We acquitted ourselves fantastically – not to mention the incredible haul of medals earned.

    The closing ceremony? Sadly a dog’s breakfast of B-acts and off-key performances to bring us back down to earth with a bump.

    • Justathought

      Why do we have to suffer these old codgers squeaking (Paul McCartney) out of tune at these major global events. There is no shame to them , it was the same with the jubilee performance at the Mall.

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