Olympics & Boris Johnson
Am I the only one to think that Boris Johnson's performance at the closing ceremony for the Olympics was an embarrassment? In a solemn part of the ceremony - the handing over of the Olympic flag from the Mayor of Beijing to the Mayor of London, where all the other dignatories involved were, at that point, solemnly walking in a line with their hands by their sides - Boris, uniquely, was periodically waving to the crowd (without much response) as if he was the star of the show. Unlike the other representatives, he (alone) did not even button up his jacket. He never knew what to do with his hands (hence his periodic incongruous waving), and altogethr gave the appearance of a buffoon.
Fortunately, the British actors and dancers, in their 8 minutes introducing London, gave a memorable performance which will linger in people’s minds far longer that the hopefully forgotten antics of the new Conservative Mayor.
As to the Olympics as a whole, who can fail to have been impressed by the Chinese organisation and performance? The jury is, of course, still out as to whether the holding of the Games in Beijing will have helped open up China. Will they be more at ease in the world after their impressive performance? Will they be less reluctant to allow discordant internal voices? Will they relax and allow a more distinctive role for minorities? But the modern glimpses of China, the welcoming attitude of so many Chinese citizens and the encounter with the rest of the world augur well, at least for optimists.