A.J. Walker


Five Years Backwards

Watched a little of the World Athletics Championship on the Beeb over the last couple of days. So much focus of the media has been on Usain Bolt and the Gatling Gun, the wonderful Mo and the few British hopes elsewhere.

I love sport and have enjoyed the drama and excitement of parts of it, but if truth be told it has made me feel quite depressed about the world. Just remember when this venue was used for the Olympics in 2012. I'd not expecting much of the Olympics, wondered why we as a country wanted to host it; spend all that money. Let our athletes go somewhere nice and sunny, have interesting food and cultural experiences to run, throw, dive, ride etc.

But boy I was glad to be proven wrong. It was fucking amazing. It ran like clockwork. Terrorism, low attendance, apathy? Nope. Packed audiences. Wonderful performances. Great coverage. Even the transport system survived. For Britain, right from the wondrous Opening Ceremony through to the Closing, it could not have gone better on or off the stage. Britain could organise the most massive of events, throw a party, be inclusive, welcome the world with a hug - and run around with jangling gold medals. We could organise a piss up in a brewery! Huzzah!!

Fast forward (not backwards) to 2017 and these athletes are performing in the same place in terms of Grid Reference but in an all too different place in other ways.


Watching the Olympics we were filled with excitement - proud of the UK, of what we were doing, of what we could do: looking outward and looking forward. A few years later and we have had a ridiculous vote to leave the EU that the 'leaders' thought they needed to get a mandate for the next generation and box it off.... and lo! a result they (say they) didn't expect and we are left looking to what? To hopefully be okay in maybe ten years or so. And even if we are not okay at least we'll be free to 'make our own laws', 'to control our borders', 'to turn our back on those outside our island shores' (or something like that). To have the right to put our two fingers up to the world.

Basically watching these World Championships I am in awe of individual sporting performances but feel saddened by how (I feel) as a nation we seem to be backward from where we were five years ago.

Damn this stupid world. I think I'll have to stop watching it - and if we end up with only Mo's one medal then it's all David Cameron's fault!

Of course I was wrong about the Olympics being a disappointing failure and there is a chance everything post-Brexit will be hunky dory and surpass everyones bestest expectations but so far the signs aren't good. And when the planning for the Olympics was going on they had years, had a final date and knew what they needed to achieve. For Brexit we have no idea what we want (but it is not what anyone else wants of course) and the clock is ticking. We're on a train to an unknown destination with a driver who's never driven one and is likely to jump off prior to the last station. And to carry on the stupid analogy our ticket is one way, none refundable and is likely to be as much use as a Day Two ticket to the Liverpool Hope & Glory Festival.

At least the football season is back and I can take my mind of other stuff. Come on you red men!
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