X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Blogs

Downing Street humbled by Mo Farah

11 August 2012

10:24 PM

11 August 2012

10:24 PM

The genius of Mo Farah was only underscored by the plodding stupidity of Downing Street’s statements about the “All Must Have Prizes” culture this weekend.

If this is the culture which produced Mo Farah then surely we should be celebrating it. But the truth is that it doesn’t exist and never has done. How does David Cameron think we managed to get 28 gold medals if not through the promotion of competitive sport in schools? Mo Farah attended an inner city comprehensive his talent was spotted and encouraged. What’s wrong with that?

[Alt-Text]


Considering the scale of the success of London 2012, it’s no surprise that there have been attempts from both ends of the political spectrum to claim this Olympics for their side. It is a rather pointless game to play. Are team sports more socialist and individual events more capitalist? Who cares? One rather obvious thing is certain – if you want to win, you need to find the best talent and encourage it – lessons could certainly be learnt in other areas of public life. But the Olympics are not the moment for politicians to give lessons on how to encourage sporting excellence. Quite the opposite.

The flatfooted Downing Street statement on school sport is no real surprise from this increasingly weary government.

Here’s an idea – why not send underperforming cabinet ministers to learn about organisation, leadership and inspiration from our cycling, sailing, rowing, boxing, equestrian and athletics teams. A little more humility and a little less lecturing is in order right now.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close