Left Watch

« Lord Oakeshott's old criticisms of George Osborne take on a new significance, since Cable-as-Liberal-Democrat leader could collapse the Coalition | Main | Guardian journalism disqualified for foul play »

"Pure nostalgia"..."According to Danny Boyle there were no black people in the UK!"..."Post-colonial" BBC rhetoric. Another attack on the Olympics ceremony. But this time, it's from the left

By Paul Goodman
Follow Paul on Twitter

Tim Montgomiere loved the Olympics opening ceremony.

Aidan Burley MP...well, we know what he thought.

I was rather cool about it, although I think that anyone who actually hated the event is likely to hate a big slice of modern Britain.

And Philip Booth thinks it was a missed opportunity.

So, then: the right divided and the left united about the show?  In the interests of balance (as readers know, nothing is more important to this site), and possibly as a last word on the subject, I draw your attention to the blog on Mr Boyle's spectacular by the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London:

  • "We start off with a representation of this 'green and pleasant land' - at stark odds with the contemporary claim that as an island we're all sinking under the weight of a mass of migrants, a convenient place however for sticking one's flag...As a metaphor for how we are not drowning under the weight of immigration, a lot more could have been made of the flags being planted on the green mound."
  • "Indeed Britain's pivotal role and world leader is to be applauded, but it is pure nostalgia, there is a disconnect with the present, yes there was a nod to the internet and the world wide web, but again fleetingly and in a manner that made no connection between the past and present."
  • "In between we have a sandwich of music and the passing for a few seconds literally of SS Windrush, because before that according to Danny Boyle there were no black people in the UK! If ever there was a nod to tokenism there it was, or rather there it went."
  • "Then we turn to that other great British institution -  the NHS. What an achievement to get volunteer clinical practioners from places like St Barts and Great Ormand Street to volunteer for the ceremony. Let us just hope that the same performers aren't the first to be cut in the next round of restructuring that the NHS has planned for the autumn."

The blog also accuses the BBC of welcoming the world to Britain with "paternal [sic], patronising, post colonial rhetoric".  The whole article can be found here.