Letter to The National
Now that the Olympics are over and the medal totals have been calculated it has been estimated that on average the UK had spent £4.1 million for every medal it had won. It seems to me that a more accurate term than won would be bought, with money siphoned from the National Lottery, a clever move which robs charities and good causes, virtually creating a state funded sports programme while saving the UK government from having to put more of our own money in directly. I had viewed this as a horrific amount of money to spend to acquire gold, even more so when I discovered that gold medals haven’t been made of solid gold since 1912 and in actual fact only contain around 6 grams of the precious metal itself. But I’ve had a change of heart. Conservative MP Heather Wheeler took to Twitter to proclaim that the British Empire had outperformed the rest of the world with a grand total of 396 medals, and it shows the mentality of the British Nationalist in that they still believe they have an empire and that it’s a great reason to fly the flag. The fact is the empire is dead and reasons for mass displays of British nationalism are few and far between; these days being limited to either international sporting events or international conflict. So if throwing a few hundred million pounds at the Olympics every four years is enough to satisfy the British nationalists need to wave the Butcher’s Apron without having to resort to invading Iraq or bombing Syria then that’s probably a price worth paying. Alas, it probably isn’t that simple, and I guess that so long as we remain part of the UK we’ll continue to fund Britain’s need to strut on the big stage whether we like it or not.