Sunday, 5 August 2012

Olympic Memo to PM: Multiculturism does Work and hands off our NHS

 Who would have thought that it would take Danny Boyle's opening ceremony of the London Olympic games to press home and cement a few facts about British identity and sense of
purpose which has been so up for anguished debate in modern times. As an antidote to the regimented affair in Beijing one of the most impressive aspects was that we'd given fairly free license to an artist to portray a very individualistic take on Britain's past, future and sense of identity
in a post imperial era. As we were enjoying the spectacle who would have thought that issues
surrounding the environment, The NHS, and multiculturalism would linger long after the
ceremony had closed. The British public were immediately won over by the celebration of the
NHS and those who make it work on a daily basis. All of a sudden the Tory assault on the NHS
which Cameron had promised not to embark on pre-election seems politically untenable -now,
more than ever. Despite the musical feel of the ceremony the underlying message to Cameron
with regards to the NHS was deeply political. All the more so because it resonated with the public
at large and any cuts would almost be deemed as an attack on our national identity.
   Furthermore the celebration of the Jamaican influx and Jessica Ennis's prodigious display has
made Cameron's now infamous 'Multiculturism hasn't worked' speech very cringe worthy. The heroic
and paternal figure of Sir Steven Redgrave has brought into sharp focus the often blurred line between patriotism and jingoism.
  The rows of empty seats due to corporate sponsors when demand for tickets from the general public has been so high has also provided an enduring metaphor for this Government in putting the interests of irresponsible corporations and banks above the will of the electorate. Once the elation of the Olympics are over these seemingly intractable problems will be brought to the fore. Cameron's serial misjudgements will force his government to come under pressure especially as the deepening recession is increasingly becoming associated with Tory miscalculations and mismanagement rather than the legacy of the previous Labour government.