Wednesday 1 August 2012

Jolly Good Sporting Weather

First the good news, second the prayers that all the bad news out there will not be noticed.  The competition has been intense, the immense efforts put in by the politicians to be at the right event at the right time has been rewarded by medals won by the GB athletes.  With others won by our cousins, The Empire Strikes Back.

After the business in Rome when the only medal won by GB needed the help of a horse it is refreshing to see our lot do well.  It has taken a long while and a lot of money, but that is in line with other states.  Also, for those so minded it raises interesting questions.

One exercising what is left of the minds of those engaged in main media is who is the greatest Olympic athlete of all time?  There are a number of contenders.  Should it be based on the number of medals, or that there was something special about their victories or that some medals rate higher than others.

There are those pitching for Fanny Blankers-Koen (see Wikipedia) who was certainly special amongst others.  For my money though I can only opt for Tebbs Lloyd Johnson (see Wikipedia) the bronze medallist in the 50 km Walk also in 1948.  This is because I knew him and once appeared at the same athletics meeting.

It was at a works sports day in the mid 1940’s when he was engaged in a five mile walking race round the perimeter while less regarded events went on in the middle.  I was in the egg and spoon race, with wooden eggs because of the rationing.  With the help of a dab of US army chewing gum on the spoon this was my only ever athletics success.

It was a pleasant afternoon when everyone could forget the troubles at that time.  The difference then was that the main media did not pretend that none of it was happening or that it would not affect us.  Even the politicians were inclined then to spell out the problems.

So most of us were aware of what we were up against.  This does not seem to be the case at present when despite the availability of alternative sources the bulk of the population knows little, has less reliable information and even less truthful or coherent explanation of the uncertainties and potential risks in the present world.

There may be informed comment on the net about the all the bad economic news in many parts of the world and the gathering storm in Europe.  There is less being said about American anxieties about the control of the Eastern Mediterranean in the event of a collapse in Greece.  The BRIC group suddenly does not seem to be the dawn of a new world economy.

In the meantime in the UK and USA we are just becoming aware of how far the application of The Economics Of Extraction has gone in the application of fancy highly leveraged financing in all sort of commercial, charitable, governmental and welfare provision. 

The scale of the wreckage, the long term effects and the reduction of most of us to the status of debt slaves either directly or indirectly as tax or fee payers or consumers is only just beginning to emerge and it will be nasty.

Meanwhile in London, the gold medals contain little gold; the silver a limited amount of silver and the bronze are largely copper.  At least the athletes have something real to show for their efforts in the memories of their achievements.

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