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By David Vance On July 30th, 2012

Just spent 45 minutes on BBC Nolan Show debating whether criticism of Olympic opening ceremony is valid.  Maybe Mr Nolan should read this before implying I am the only person in the world to dislike Danny Boyle’s £27m extravaganza.

Labour politicians yesterday hailed the Olympic opening ceremony as a ‘socialist’ event and ‘the best advert for the party for years’ – as the row over its political message intensified. Artistic director Danny Boyle has  been widely praised for Friday’s  opening spectacular.  But some Conservatives questioned the political undertones of a ceremony which at one point made a feature of the symbol popularised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Interesting factoid – the guy who wrote the script for the Open Ceremony, Frank Cottrell, cut his teeth writing for Living Marxism. No bias there, obviously.

I also debated the NHS with Nolan, and I repeated my view it is “grim”. Journalist Chris Ryder was outraged and said it was “the envy of the world”. I know, priceless. From today’s news… 


A healthy, active grandmother died in hospital after she was denied food and water for more than a week. Joan Pertoldi, 76, was put on a nil-by-mouth regime while she waited for a routine hip operation at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. Her family was told she would be operated on within 48 hours but the procedure was put off three times – twice because the prosthesis due to be inserted into the joint was not properly sterilised.

Yes, the envy of the world. Final point – £27m would have paid for a new NHS hospital. (Also, which tourists come here for the NHS, exactly?)

24 Responses to “THE ENVY OF THE WORLD…?”

  1. Great then let the rest of the world pay for it then.

  2. The Olympics should be held in Athens every 4 years and those countries which wish to compete should pay the Greeks the necessary reasonable costs.

  3. Exactly, Allan. Good point – I was told that £27m was “nothing” by BBC host Nolan.

  4. Surely if it was an ad for the NHS and not for the Great Ormond Street Hospital, it would have included a few dehydrated seniors, or a corridor full of patients in bed, rather than in a proper well lit ward, and of course a GP or two relaxing in deckchairs, on a make believe tropic beach..

    I did make the point in previous comments on this topic, that by taking GOSH as the icon they were in reality showing up the sad state of the rest, and far from being a paen of praise for ‘socialist’ efforts, it was in fact nothing of the kind.

    GOSH is a global icon, and although a part of the NHS, is largely supported by private donation and subscription, – hardly a socialist concept, and proof that capitalist influence can, and does, so much better than any state run outfit, which even at its best is pretty much a ‘curates egg’.

    If anything this was a token of thanks to capitalist benevolence, rather than to socialist incompetence.

    I see that all those beds,used in the show are going to be sent to Tunisia or somewhere, completely ignoring that fact that the NHS could, no doubt find use for them!

  5. Nolan, must be a prat, – £27m is the cost of keeping twenty Remploy factories open for a few years…

  6. Ernest – Exactly, the greater good rather than wallowing in Olympic fetishim

  7. It’s interesting to see what’s being said about the Olympics opening ceremony by Mick Hume, who was editor of Living Marxism when Danny Boyle’s script-writer was TV critic there. So, not exactly a rabid right-winger.
    When all else fails to inspire, fall back on the image of the UK as the nation of the National Health Service, with Boyle highlighting ‘NHS’ like a political slogan. But it has to be an entirely fairytale version of the NHS of course, far removed from the grim realities, with the poor kiddies in their hospital beds menaced by every horror from Captain Hook to Voldemort (what, no David Cameron?) before being rescued by an army of angelic nurses and an airforce of flying Mary Poppinses.

  8. I said the other day (before my Jewish relatives arrived) that I didn’t understand the leap from the Industrial Revolution to the NHS -granted I was nearly asleep from elderly exhaustion).
    I have read various newspaper links which claim that there was a strong leftist/socialist influence in Danny Boyle’s pageant. But if there was, it was up to our government to ferret it it before the final version. That they didn’t manifests ineptitude or collusion.

    Let it make it clear again, I am NOT Racist. I do not blame a Somalian goat herder for seeking a new life in the UK, or an ex Spetznaz operative from setting a Private Investigation Agency in London: I blame our weak and ignorant politicians for allowing Anybody and Everybody into my country.

  9. // I blame our weak and ignorant politicians for allowing Anybody and Everybody into my country.//

    Why don’t you blame Anybody and Everybody for authorising them to do so?

  10. Agit – why ‘Jewish’ relatives? Why not merely ‘relatives’?

  11. Allan,
    because they ARE Jewish and I am NOT; and bearing in mind your prejudices, I thought it important to show that contrary to what Adolf believed, Christians could get on with their Jewish co-religionists.

    You lost me.
    Do you mean I should blame Anybody and Everybody for coming? (which I don’t.)
    Anybody and Everybody for allowing it to happen?
    Which I don’t, because government stopped listening to the people years ago.

  12. Well Agit, I’m going to a wedding soon of one of my Catholic cousins. But the term ‘Catholic’ looks contrived and superfluous so I don’t see the point of it. Are your Jewish relatives Israeli?

  13. Allan,
    My Jewish relatives have lived in Israel, and their siblings have emigrated to Israel, and you may remember I mentioned that one now passed on, had been an RAF navigator in WW2 and had gone on to set up a patented irrigation system and winery on kibbutz.
    In the context of our online relationship, mentioning my Jewish/Israeli relatives does not seem contrived.

  14. Agit8ed, I understood your comment as meaning you didn’t understand the connection between the Industrial Revolution and the NHS until your Jewish relatives arrived.
    You see, Karl Marx was a Jew, and then there is this Jewish Imperative to Guard the NHS!


    BTW, I meant that Anybody and Everybody elected parties that they knew would allow immigration continue.

  15. Agit – what do you mean by my ‘prejudices’? At 51, my views have been formed by experience so cannot be ‘pre-judged’ i.e. prejudiced. One thing I noticed is that every Jew whom I have met is as white as I am, so I conclude that most Jews, and certainly all European Jews including those in Israel, are white like me – and they agree:


    – In a newspaper interview on Friday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai referred to African migrants as a demographic threat who could “end the Zionist dream”.

    “We don’t need to import more problems from Africa,” Mr Yishai, leader of the religious Shas party, told Maariv.

    “Most of those people arriving here are Muslims who think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man.” – and I agree 🙂

    Are your ‘Jewish relatives’ black, Agit?

  16. Allan,
    my Scots friend,
    I was talking to my Jewish bro in law about your assertion that the Jews of Europe are pseudo Jews, and he laughed.
    His mother was from Poland, his father from Kishinev in Russia. Both parents have family histories dating back hundreds of years.
    My binlaw says that when the Jews were thrown out by the Romans they spread throughout the Empire.
    Depending on the degree of tolerance shown them they settled down in the nations they found themselves in. Eventually over the centuries those original dispossessed Jews died out and through intermarriage and conversion the Jews came to resemble the host nation.
    Other countries there were enough Jews to carry on breeding and the original lines continued..

  17. “Are your ‘Jewish relatives’ black, Agit?”
    There are black skinned Jews from Ethiopia and Yemen.
    When I lived in Israel, there was an American group of Negros who claimed to be Jewish -one of the lost tribes – who settled mainly around Dimona, but I believe eventually they were rejected as being Jewish.


  18. Agit8ed

    Those ‘negros’ were Sammy Davis Junior and his family on holiday 😉

  19. No, cause those Dimona/Negro/Lost Tribers couldn’t sing “The Candy Man” for lust nor honey….

  20. Hi A8, hope you’re keeping a positive attitude while waiting for your medical results.
    In 2003, the Black Hebrew Israelites were finally acknowledged as citizens and granted permanent residency by Israel’s Ministry of the Interior. Their community is more than 3000 and proud they’re of their success in departing from “America’s legacy of racism and violence.”

  21. But the NYC sect can be intimidating and are often found in Herald Square preaching on the street corner…http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-03-30/news/black-hebrew-israelites-new-york-s-most-obnoxious-prophets/

  22. Mairin2,
    Me darlin’ daughter,
    If that’s true, I’d be interested in following up the source.
    Not many people know this.
    in fact you’re the first I’ve told it to.
    I bought a flat in Israel that had been previously rented by Black Hebrews from Dimona, and it was in the most disgusting state.
    Now I know that’s true, because I knew the previous owners and used to visit them regularly when I lived in their town.

  23. Here’s a Huffpo link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/04/black-hebrew-polygamists_n_195620.html
    But I think the Huffington Post may be considered a bad word on this site…;-P

  24. Mairin2
    Naaah, I read the Huffy Post from time to time.
    Just to broaden my outlook.