To prove that Stephen Glover is not the only participant in the all-England freestyle all-comers’ post-modern Olympian sport of Miserable Gittery, today the Mail has featured a new entrant in the lugubrious shape of Peter Hitchens. The lesser Hitch does not like the Olympics. He is clearly uneasy at the sunny disposition of hundreds of thousands of his fellow citizens. And he is unhappy at his unhappiness.
What paper is this? The Observer? Oh SHIT!
“If you believe that Olympic glory makes a nation great, just remember the USSR” he preaches from his high pulpit of doom-mongering. Hitch never was one for other than selective disclosure, and the appearance near the top of the medals tables of the USA seems to have escaped him. That was the whole point, the Communist world pitted against the Capitalist one.
And the Capitalist one mostly got there without recourse to the less than totally ethical means used by the USSR’s supposed friends in East Germany, whose medal haul was inevitably massively out of sync with the size of the population, unless of course they had tapped a rich and natural seam of athletic talent just by signing up to the Warsaw Pact and quoting freely from the works of Karl Marx.
At first, Hitch seems to be warming to the idea of sports where there is only one winner at the end: “It is refreshingly unlike modern Britain, where the very idea that there must be losers for there to be winners is banned from most schools, and denied by our political leaders”. Yes, he’s on message with misleading readers about what happens in schools, too. But the happiness does not last.
“As a lifelong cyclist, I find myself startlingly unmoved by Olympic cycling. It is too technological, too dependent on machines and airlocks. The riders look like aliens in their special outfits”. Airlocks? And how does the great Hitch propose that our cycling Olympians present themselves? Are we entering the sport to do our best – which hopefully means winning on occasion – or what?
But the real gem is yet to be delivered: “From the moment these Olympics started, there’s been a strong smell of New Labour totalitarianism” he whines inexplicably, before alleging “Those who have dared to say they didn’t like the Opening Ceremony have been lectured and made to feel isolated”. That might more correctly read “unexpectedly laughed out of court”.
And then he goes completely gaga, frothing about “the Blairite Cosa Nostra”, who had “long hoped to use the new Century to proclaim Year One of their nasty, tatty, multicultural, anti-Christian New Britain”. This would involve “a normal love of sport” being “converted into an anti-conservative wave of feeling”. Perhaps he means allowing Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis to win medals.
And perhaps he’s out of order, and out of time. Someone put him out to grass.