Spot the Flame

Yet another thing I missed over the weekend was the ‘glorious’ arrival of the Olympic Flame in London. Though as far as I can tell, it wouldn’t have mattered where I was, I wouldn’t have seen said flame as the number of police/security/sinister-looking-men-in-blue-tracksuits surrounding it totally obscured the view.

I did get to see the BBC’s later coverage though, which I thought was a triumph of pragmatism. They had clearly designed it weeks, if not months, ago – with specially-composed theme music, uplifting stories of young athletes overcoming personal tragedy, frankly naff dress rehearsals by Grecian Nymphs, the lot, and then had to change it all when the day was spectacularly hijacked by protesters. I thought they interwove what was supposed to happen with what really went on beautifully, sitting precariously on the diplomatic fence with one eye on democracy, the other on being allowed by the Chinese to cover the Olympics later this year.

Even more interesting was ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq (never heard of her, m’self – well after my time…) on Today this morning talking about those sinister men in blue. She said she saw them scuffling with the police themselves earlier in the day and that no one knew who the hell they were. They barked orders at her, manhandled her and sound extremely heavy-handed in their treatment of everyone, including our own boys in blue. Presumably Chinese Secret Service. Sounds to me as though they were a hell of a lot scarier than the protester who pinched her flame.

Dazza tried to get down to Greenwich to get a glimspe of the flame arriving at the O2. It was a total waste of time acccording to him:

“It was so nice of ‘them’ to decide that the residents of this Fine Borough weren’t important enough to warrant a view of said Torch. Not even a grinning/waving Ellen MacArthur to greet the ‘Fans’ who had lined both sides of the river. I would have thought that this would have been the best chance anyone would have got to see it without the ring of Chinese Blue, the Police Yellow and then The Black ring obscuring all but the hardiest of snappers…”

Dazza got a photo. Of sorts. Put a cross where you think the flame should be.

Did anyone actually see anything? I guess at least it made China look really bad everywhere except China, whose state-run TV station got a nice story about tractors instead.

Maybe this will inspire other countries.


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