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Zil Joy
September 2012


Now the Olympics are over and the herd of Tweeting minds have moved on, it might be safe to sound a final dissenting note. I enormously admired the actual Olympics, but the opening ceremony was almost Stalinist in its insistence on absolute compliance. From the moment a choir of deaf children signed the national anthem and ethnic minority actors were so overrepresented as to have become the majority, the whole thing had a very clear tone of "Just you dare". It was like being blackmailed pre-emptively: "Agree with this or else!" Hectoring, and very un-British.

As for the ceremony's weird NHS-worship: it seems to me there is a moral as well as political objection to this. The NHS does some good things. But it also does many bad things and is terrifically wasteful. We might feel some pride in it. But anything given such cult-like adoration will find it harder to find, or listen to, necessary critics.


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