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Opening ceremony - The Ex-Communicator

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July 29th, 2012


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03:39 pm - Opening ceremony
BTW people are saying the Olympic opening celebration wasn't left wing, because right wing people liked it. I think it was left wing, and more people share those left wing values than we might think. Some people who call themselves right wing or conservative love things (like the BBC or the NHS or access to the countryside) which the Conservative party rejects and wants to dismantle. Truly right wing people hated the opening ceremony, and they said so. I bet Cameron hated it, but he couldn't say so. It was described on Twitter as a "£27m party political broadcast" for the Labour party. The Daily Mail said “The NHS did not deserve to be so disgracefully glorified in this bonanza of left-wing propaganda" (not a link to the Mail) and:
This was supposed to be a representation of modern life in England but it is likely to be a challenge for the organisers to find an educated white middle-aged mother and black father living together with a happy family.

Can you believe that? What a debased way of thinking. Most people in this country don't think like that. Later in the article he calls the opening ceremony an example of 'Social engineering'. But this is wrong. Support for the NHS does not need to be 'engineered', people living without racism does not have to be 'engineered'. Community will arise organically from the natural processes of social life, if people are given a chance.

The Mail, and the Tories, are way out of step with majority British opinion. Or rather they are out of step with the best we can be, which is tolerant and mutually supportive and creative. And if celebrating those values is an advert for the left wing, then everything good becomes an advert for the left wing. And then we have won.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:July 29th, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
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To be completely fair (what, to the Daily Vile?) the full quote is "it is likely to be a challenge for the organisers to find an educated white middle-aged mother and black father living together with a happy family in a detached new-build suburban home". Which may be equal bollocks for all I know, but doesn't bear quite the same implication.

What I think hilarious is that in a ceremony where the Queen appears to parachute into the stadium with James Bond,they complain of a lack of realism in this respect...
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From:kalypso_v
Date:July 29th, 2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
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Wasn't there a commentator whose response to the first episode of the new Doctor Who in 2005, which as you doubtless recall featured murderous shop dummies, a man-eating wheelie bin and a throbbing giant brain living under the London Eye, was that it was implausible for Rose Tyler to have a black boyfriend?
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From:communicator
Date:July 29th, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
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Oh, Ok I missed that extra bit, but I think in a way it's liek (them) saying 'How plausible is it to show a white woman and a black man in a blue shirt with a red striped tie?' as if the tie is what they are objecting to.
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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:July 29th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
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I think the key word for them is "suburban". They're saying a couple like this would live in some trendy urban locale, not their beloved Middle England.
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From:fjm
Date:July 29th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
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It's equal bollocks.
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From:gaspode
Date:July 30th, 2012 06:58 am (UTC)
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Well I can at least put my hand up as a white more or less middle class guy with an Indian wife of over ten years living in a semi in the uncrowded outskirts of Aylesbury (always happy to prove the Daily Fail and the EDL wrong) ....
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From:julesjones
Date:July 29th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
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My political views don't quite map onto the British political system, but could be best summarised as "One Nation Tory". Which is why I think the BBC and the NHS are vital institutions.[*] And possibly why I had no idea what the Daily Heil was going on about in your quote until Sheenagh prodded my memory, because honest to god, I had not even thought about the skin colours of the two adults in that set piece. It's set in *London*, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

(*It's also a large part of why I haven't actually ever voted for the Tory Party. What the Tory Party has become is a malicious mockery of what men like Ted Heath stood for.)
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From:communicator
Date:July 29th, 2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
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Perhaps we should make a bigger noise about what we value. Though that's not very British.
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From:kerravonsen
Date:July 30th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
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Though that's not very British.

Perhaps, but that isn't stopping the conservatives.
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From:nineveh_uk
Date:July 29th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
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I agree - I bet Cameron hated it, knows he can't say it (I was very amused by Louise Mensch's desperate pro-NHS tweet), and is absolutely livid with Burley, because Cameron though a really crap PR man, has just enough nous to know that it was a great ceremony, that people will have loved it, and that you don't diss something that your country has just pulled off with great success.

I'd add that people can like watching stuff they know they don't support. I'm very definitely a left wing republican, but I always watch the Trooping of the Colour (on TV) and enjoy it, because I love a good parade*. One can put principles on hold - and sometimes one can not recognise they are being challenged. And as you say, people can be pro-NHS even as they vote to destroy it. Internal contradictions are hardly uncommon, and that doesn't make the ceremony not LW.

*One reason I want a republic (or an elected monarchy, that would be fine) is that I fancy being at the centre of that parade.
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From:communicator
Date:July 30th, 2012 10:18 am (UTC)
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Yes Burley really let the cat out the bag. What a twit.
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From:sheherazahde
Date:July 29th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
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As an American lefty I agree with you.
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From:communicator
Date:July 30th, 2012 10:19 am (UTC)
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I think the ceremony went down quite well over there on NBC.
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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:July 29th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
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Btw, I hear the online version of the article has now been massively edited to remove most of that reference. Haven't checked because I really loathe the Daily Vile.
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From:communicator
Date:July 30th, 2012 10:18 am (UTC)
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Yes I saw that. They scared themselves I think.

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