Patriot games

Whatever you think of the lavish spectacle and the associated politics and controversial issues, the Olympics happened and there was a nice feel-good vibe around most of the towns and villages surrounding the Dorney Rowing Lake where some of the Olympic events were taking place. Almost every lunch time after the main events had finished, people turned out in all sorts of Union Jack, nae Union Flag attire to fill some of the more “well-to-do” bars and eateries in Eton and Windsor. I didn’t venture into London but I am reliably informed that the same feel-good factor was abundant there also🙂

The towns of Eton and Windsor are very well-known to the tourist trail and arguably have the best infrastructure (if that’s the right word to use) to cope with the sheer numbers of people looking for food, drink and something to do after the events have finished, all at a cost of course! Unfortunately the towns that possibly needed the injection of revenue most into their local businesses were left wanting but despite this, their streets were decorated with bunting, flags and posters supporting the event.

Windsor

Windsor town centre

Age Concern Shop, Eton Wick

Age Concern Shop, Eton Wick

"Gentleman's Outfitters", Eton

“Gentleman’s outfitter”, Eton

House, Burnham

House, Burnham

Hairdresser

Hairdresser, can’t remember where – Eton Wick(?)

It is true to say that the Olympics have cost the UK dearly at a time when the country simply can not afford to spend; public sector funding was slashed in order to make money available with sports services, arts, music and the National Health Service suffering greatly to pay for this spectacle – did anyone note the marvelous tribute to the NHS at the opening ceremony? To top this, many of the companies sponsoring the Olympics will now enjoy tax-free status whilst local businesses and services who were promised a better life continue to struggle to exist, with the exception of bars and eateries as mentioned above who will at least survive a little longer thanks to the temporary boost in trade. However, there has been increasing public pressure for the said sponsors to waive their rights to a tax-free status and I know that at least five of those companies have done so. Click here for an article relating to this.

Official Merchandise

Official Merchandise

A poorly attended big screen set-up

A poorly attended big screen set-up

Inspire a generation... but no-body came :-)

Inspire a generation… but where are the people?

Official "partner"

Official “partner” – the real thing!

Flags, bunting...

Flags, bunting…

Flags, bunting...

Flags, bunting…

The road to Dorney

The road to Dorney

All this aside, there was certainly a brilliant “buzz” and a general sense of pride that such an event was being held in the UK… actually for the third time! It was indeed the talk of the town for whatever reason, good or bad.

Union Flag wellies

Union Flag wellies

One of many offcial tee-shirts

One of many official tee-shirts

What what of the general public’s support of the Olympics? Personally, I am not against patriotism but I certainly am against it being used as a weapon. If people want to be patriotic that’s OK but I’m not sure they are always necessarily in possession of all of the facts to arrive at their decision most of the time. More frighteningly, I’m not sure that most people care about all of the facts and therefore could you argue that their patriotism is misplaced? I also get very concerned when I see patriotism being used as an excuse for mindless racism, religious and gender intolerance and sadly, this happens too much in these days where we should all know better – I see it all too often on the pages of Facebook, a social networking tool that claims to have a zero tolerance policy for this sort of thing.

Eton Wick Village Hall, complete with home-made hoops.

Eton Wick Village Hall, complete with home-made hoops.

House on the Britwell Estate, Burnham

Britwell Estate, Burnham

Flag, Taplow

Flag, Taplow

Anyway, it’s never my intention to be political in my blog posts and you can draw your own conclusions as to my thoughts about this subject, mostly all I have done is stated facts as I know them. If what I have put is incorrect, then my information source is incorrect… so ner!

Further references:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/may/06/london-olympics-legacy-sabotaged-cuts
http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/07/26/hurray-now-what-next/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2172626/London-2012-Olympics-generate-billions-profit-Prime-Minister-But-business-people.html
http://www.spendingcutsreview.co.uk/5-things-about-london-2012

Of course you have to decide for yourself what you think about the articles I’ve referenced, I offer no comment only that they are interesting reads🙂

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