Team GB’s success at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has not only done wonders for a whole range of sports, it has proved too tempting by half for right-wing pundits to spin into something it is not. We have already had the collective idiocy that has tried to link the success to Brexit, and now we have the singular lack of wisdom from the loathsome Toby Young, aka Westminster’s Village Idiot, to claim the success for Conservatism.
More less than grown up punditry from Tobes
Tobes has been rewarded with a paycheque from those labouring in the service of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre for a Daily Mail article headlined “The other big Rio winner...Tory values: TOBY YOUNG says Team GB's medal haul is proof of the belief that hard work and dedication lead to success”. It then goes downhill from there.
Tobes begins by framing the story in his favour: “Everyone can be proud of Great Britain’s medal haul at the Olympics - everyone, that is, apart from the country’s rump of embittered Lefties … class warriors find this triumph so hard to stomach … defeatism and lack of vision is all-too- typical of Left-wing teachers who see children as the products of their socio-economic circumstances, forever defined by their backgrounds, rather than the authors of their own destiny”. And there was more.
Yes, welcome to “the power of patriotism, something often sneered at by the Left … some of our most successful Olympians … urged [our athletes] to do their best for Queen and country … theirs are very British victories. With their hard work and unflinching dedication, they exhibit the same old- fashioned grit that belonged to the codebreakers of Bletchley Park and the aircrew serving in RAF Bomber Command”. Pass the sick bucket.
He wasn’t finished, though. “Team GB’s Olympic triumph is also a vindication of the decision by the former Conservative Prime Minister John Major to set up the National Lottery … At the time, the Lottery was attacked by Left-wing critics as a tax on the poor, who were dismissed as too stupid to realise how slim their chances were of winning”. Yeah, it’s a Tory win, and just keep Looking Over There.
So far, so selective, so let me put Tobes straight. Lottery funding was only diverted to fund what became Team GB after a humiliating 36th place in the medal table at the 1996 Atlanta games. After all those years adhering to good Conservative ideals of individualism, self-help and hard work, came state intervention on a hitherto unheard of scale, allied to a team spirit where all individuals are focused on that team succeeding.
Then the scarce resources are allocated to the sports that will bring in the medals - all of which echoes the conclusions of Keynes in The General Theory Of Employment Interest And Money. You know Tobes, the Keynes that you and your pals rail against.
But Tobes has one more slice of idiocy to serve up - yes, he too tries to tie Team GB’s success to leaving the EU: “There could be no better evidence than their string of medals - and the bulldog spirit which they reveal - to show why fears that Britain cannot prosper outside the European Union are so hollow”. Oh, just f*** right off.
Not only has Team GB’s success nothing to do with Brexit, it has stuff all to do with Conservative Values either. Tobes’ head is still up his arse - no change there, then.