Much as I’ve enjoyed Boris Johnson’s various idiosyncratic performances on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You and find it reassuring that even rabid Tories can have a sense of humour (and thus stand a chance of becoming human) I have to say I cringed during the Olympic handover ceremony yesterday.
Am I the only Brit to have found our Olympic reps utterly embarrassing?
Boris looked a complete scruff-bag. Whilst everyone else ponced about in suits so sharp you could slice bacon wafer thin on the lapels Boris shambled about in what looked like one of Patrick Moore’s old cast-offs. His suit plainly didn’t fit him. His trousers looked like they’d collapsed inwards at the knees and the jacket looked like it had been used to smuggle African elephants through Chinese customs. To make it worse Boris sauntered around with his jacket undone, his shirt scruffed up and even slouched around with his hands in his pockets at one point. What must the world have been thinking? Is this the best Britain can offer? Is this Britain’s much rumoured but rarely seen sartorial elegance?
When Boris grabbed the Olympic flag he looked like a tramp on a stick.
And then came our much-vaunted “artistic interpretation”, designed to whet the Olympic village’s appetite for 2012.
Jesus. I’ve never been so embarrassed in all my life. Is this how we wish to portray ourselves to the world? Double Decker buses. Privet hedges. Umbrellas and David effing Beckham?
Is this a true representation of Britain? Of London? Is this all we amount to? An Austin Powers pastiche of lazy stereotypes and Mary Poppins tomfoolery?
I have real fears for 2012. Fears that we are going to embarrass ourselves hugely.
I can see it now. After the spectacular glories of Beijing the Olympic community will stand agog as they witness London’s Pearly Kings and Queens ‘rolling out the barrel’, gag as they consume their free bargain buckets of whelks and jellied eels, guffaw as Boris Johnson and all the Olympic big-nobs conduct their speeches from within the centre of a giant bouncy castle and all the athletes will compete dressed up as giant dogs and cats in the style of It’s A Knockout. Sooty and Sweep will host the televisual coverage and the relay race will be accompanied by multiple shouts of “He’s behind you…!”
Is it too late to apply for Chinese nationality?