Conservative Diary

« Put Sir John Major in charge of a review of sports policy | Main | Expect a nudge or two when it comes to gambling »

Blair, Coe and Major win Gold in the Political Olympics; Boris gets Silver; Cameron and Hunt win Bronze

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

Politicians podium2
I might be one week too early but I'm awarding gold to Tony Blair, Seb Coe and John Major.

Blair and Coe won the Olympics for London. Coe, in particular, deserves his medal. He's been Lord Continuity through the whole process. He was there at the beginning of the bid and is still at the heart of the whole show now. Some ConHome readers say he should run the overhaul of British school sport, suggested by Lord Moynihan. I wonder if he should be the next Tory candidate to be Mayor of London?

Sir John deserves his medal, not so much for the Olympics - in which he has had very little direct involvement at all - but for starting the National Lottery and establishing the Lottery's investment in British sport. The top people at Team GB have generously acknowledged that we wouldn't be enjoying such a medal rush without this cricket lover's vision.

Silver goes to Boris for obvious reasons. Earlier this evening Five Live's Victoria Derbyshire tweeted that Boris Johnson got a roar as loud as any athlete when his face appeared on the big screen in the Olympics stadium. Each and every day he has connected with the British people. This popularity may or may not pave the way to Downing Street but his optimism and his four year involvement in London 2012 (City Hall insiders say one-third of his time as London Mayor has been spent on Olympics preparations and budget control since he was first elected in 2008) deserve big recognition. Any change to the leadership of the Conservative Party is at least 18 months away and is still very unlikely. If Boris can become an MP, however before 2014, and if Cameron can't look like he can win, I wouldn't bet against something dramatic.

Bronze to Cameron and Hunt. I've already paid tribute to Jeremy Hunt for agreeing to the extra spending on the opening ceremony. I'm not sure anyone else has. Earlier this year the Culture Secretary - somewhat rashly - said that the Olympics would be the supreme test of the Coalition's competence. Despite the G4S debacle things have gone well. 74% told YouGov that they thought the Games were well organised. Cameron and Hunt won't get much credit for this but they sure would have got criticised if things had gone badly. They deserve their third place on the podium.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.