As Sir Alex Ferguson steps down from Manchester United after 26 years and an impressive record behind him, it is perhaps time to award him with another high honour – whether it is higher than leading the greatest team in the world is for you to decide. I have had the privilege of meeting Sir Alex – albeit briefly, but what is also clear other than his passion for football, passion for leading and ‘Fergie time’, is also his great interest in politics and supporting those in need.
The Prime Minister has announced that competitive sports will be introduced into primary schools and implemented in the curriculum which is due to be published in the Autumn. I certainly welcome the comments made by David Cameron and I’m pleased there’s cross party support. It is right to introduce compulsory competitive sports at such an early age as sports is about competing, team work and working towards a goal. By introducing competitive sports into primary schools, young people are learning about camaraderie and the importance of working hard to achieve a target and this is something that will go beyond the school gates. The Olympics have shown that if you work hard you can achieve great things and the success of Team GB is a prime example.
However it is disappointing that Mr Cameron scrapped the target of 2 hours competitive sports per week set by the last Labour government and has left it until this late stage to come up with this current proposal. The proposal should have been made before the Olympics rather than 2 years into his Government. To ensure that the Olympic spirit does inspire a generation there must be the funding available beyond 2016 and there must be incentives and opportunities for people to get involved.
Brits are very good at being negative but these Olympics have shown us that we are actually better than we think. The Olympics have already inspired a generation and that generation isn’t just young people, it reaches out to the entire nation.
Olympomania has been spreading throughout the nation, after the hugely successful opening ceremony on Friday which saw 26 million people in the UK tune in to watch the best of British. The opening ceremony saw even critics stunned and silenced due to the impressive displays of art, music and culture. From the industrial revolution to the creation of the NHS Danny Boyle got it spot on. There was a nice touch when people stopped to remember those killed in war and the 52 killed the day after London was awarded the Olympics on 7/7.
For me the best part of the opening ceremony was The Queen’s cameo role which saw HM greet James Bond and then jump from a helicopter over the Olympic stadium…..ok it was a stunt man but let’s not ruin the moment. Nowhere in the world will you see a head of State taking part in a James Bond scene. This is hugely unique and shows what a remarkable lady we have as Queen.
The Olympics have been a time to put aside political differences and come together to embrace this wonderful event and promote Britain. However, Conservative MP Aidan Burley criticised the opening ceremony as “leftist” and “multi-cultured crap” colleagues that even today he still defends. MPs from all parties including Mr Burley’s Conservative colleagues criticised him…to their credit!
Yesterday Lizzie Armitstead won Britain’s first medal which was silver, and Rebecca Adlington went on to win a bronze in the 400. There is a genuine buzz about the Olympics across the country despite Aidan Burley’s comments and the ongoing news story about seats that have been reserved yet are not being filled.
One only has to look at Brits on TV who are genuinely excited and passionate about the London games. Danny Boyle did Britain proud in how he has planned and directed the Opening ceremony. One rather thinks it won’t be too long before it is SIR Danny Boyle.
As each day goes by the London 2012 Olympics are turning out to be more like a Carry On film than a spectacular world event. But alas, in just a few hours time the opening ceremony will begin with the eyes of one billion people focussed on London. I have been quite sceptical of the games but I am rather looking forward to us Brits showing the rest of the world how it is done. There have been gaffes already with the South Korean flag shown next to the names of North Korean footballers.
The games have of course received criticism not least from Mitt Romney who is visiting the UK in order to boost his foreign policy and relation credentials. He doubted that London was ready which led to London Mayor Boris Johnson leading a cheering crowd of 60,000 to shout “yes we are” when he asked them if London was ready.
There was a slight cock up this morning when the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sports Jeremy Hunt was asked to ring his bell on television. Unfortunately for Mr Hunt the end of his bell came off and hit a female standing behind him…..not a good start to the Olympics. You can see the footage of Mr Hunt here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBgMdXNhyXk
Whatever happens, we may moan and complain about the Olympic lanes and queues but we are all deep down proud of the achievement that is securing the Olympics. Let’s show the rest of the world that we can put on a spectacular display and let’s top the charts.
Good luck Team GB!
The Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered MPs, Peers and even senior Ministers to use public transport during the Olympic Games in London in just a few days time. He too will use public transport he announced. Now, whilst this may seem like a good bit of publicity for the PM who thinks we are all “in it together”, it is actually absurd. It is a security risk for the Prime Minister to use the tube at any point let alone during the Olympics when around 3 million people come to London. He is the Prime Minister thus should travel via his usual armoured motorcade. The same goes for senior Ministers of the Crown, they should be entitled to use the Olympic lanes rather than being forced to use the tube with VIPs. A few days ago Lord Davies asked Lord Attlee in the House of Lords whether Peers could use the Olympic lanes whilst coming to and from the Houses of Parliament and the response was a clear no.
These are the people who are making the laws of the land. They should at the very least be entitled to use Olympic lanes whilst going to and from the House. Just because the Olympics are happening it doesn’t mean MPs and Peers are stopping work altogether – despite it being recess! A number of MPs and Ministers are taking guests to the Olympics in the hope that they can promote Britain. How wonderful it is going to be to take VIPs on a packed stuffy tube. The PM should grant MPs and Peers access to the Olympic lanes whilst they are either; on official business, going to the Olympics, or making their way to or from Parliament.
Rather than a bit of cheap publicity that has backfired, the Prime Minister ought to focus on the issues that people are genuinely concerned about, rather than looking for cheap publicity and upsetting his MPs….the very people who have the power to remove him.