My view of politics owes more than I care to admit to that of the Norwegian commentator who ended his account of that game in 1981 “Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden … Lady Diana … Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher … your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating”
But when I think about the Olympics, and who is celebrating, all I see are the bankers and the politicians, the pims crowd, the organisers of corporate hospitality and the Union Jack wavers, the people whose chests thrill with joy at the sound of Boris Johnson’s voice being broadcast to a hundred London underground stations.
Through the build up to London 2012, it has been our side – the people who love in social housing, the advocates of consensual policing, the London poor, the young, the users of green spaces, pacifists, those whose idea of a happy meal extends beyond the corporate sponsors of Macdonalds, Coke and Cadburys – that has been taking the beating.
Imagine how much worse even than they are now the Olympics would be like if the Tories and the police were able to maintain their original lie that no-one in London would protest against the Games.
But we will be, of course: