The Olympics have started with what appeared to be the longest opening ceremony in history!
Whatever I say about it will sound churlish, I guess, but I do have to say that I felt a little queasy watching the opening 20 minutes of the extravaganza (it was all i could stomach - and I had work to get back to). it seemed to me that China showed us what we know already - that totalitarian regimes do spectacle!
The bill for Beijing is £20billion - twice the budget for London 2012 - so no wonder some of the venues look spectacular. The hidden cost, of course, is in the millions of displaced people, the dissidents who've been removed to other cities or prison. Some 1,000 troops are on the streets ensuring everyone smiles and is polite.
So here's my idea for the opening ceremony at our games in 2012. We invite the world, have a parade of athletes and then a single figure dressed in a bowler hat walks to the middle of the stadium and declares the 30th Olympiad open. The rest of the budget is used to feed and immunise children across the developing world. I wonder if it's a goer?! What do you think Tessa?