We all know the Olympics are going to be a disaster. Clueless organisers, grasping businesses and workers, incompetent bureaucrats, killjoy trademark lawyers, arrogant Olympic functionaries, they all seem to have it in for the biggest sporting spectacle to hit our country since 1966.
The latest shenanigans surrounding the recent passport queues at Heathrow is a perfect example of the potential for this country to become a global laughing stock in the summer. The attempts of the Border Agency (funny how performance seems to have gone downhill since it got a fancy title and a collection of highly paid executives) to dismiss the lengthy waits that many travellers experienced before clearing immigration control recently as a freak occurrence have been dismissed by many in the aviation industry, who are now forecasting many months of misery unless the authorities get their act together.
Naturally everything is everybody else’s fault. Coalition cuts, technology failures, blustery weather, unexpected arrival of passengers (yes I did make this one up) have all been blamed for what happened. There is no sense of everybody pulling together to find a solution. Seemingly we are once again seeing a prime example of Britain’s can’t do attitude.
Or are we? Lest we forget the actual Games were won through the determined efforts and hard work of Lord Coe and his team in the face of extremely tough opposition. They showed the level of drive and effort that is required to make a success of any enterprise. This has carried over to most of the preparation that has taken place, a not inconsiderable undertaking, given the level of construction and refurbishment that was needed to ensure that all would be alright on the night.
By and large the Olympic infrastructure has been delivered on time and within the finally agreed budget. Thousands of volunteers have been identified and are being trained. Countless people are working tirelessly to ensure that these games are a success and have a positive effect on the country as a whole.
We are capable of making things happen in the UK. Enterprising businesses up and down the country show the sort of can do attitude that won us the Games on a daily basis. It would be nice sometimes if these efforts also got some press coverage.
The original ideals of Pierre de Coubertin who established the modern Olympics may have got lost over the years but maybe we can now find some new ones that will enable us to build on our experiences. The determination to win the Games and then make them happen perhaps should form the basis of a new set of Olympic ideals.