Our Prime minister, who you might remember denounced targets for PE hours taught in schools as they could be fulfilled by “Indian dancing or whatever” , would not have liked this weekend’s 10th annual London Mela as the art form that so offended him was centre-stage.
It was also on display for the world to see at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony. My Olympics in retrospect article is here for Progress Hopefuly London can pull it off again for the Paralympics in a few days time. On the politics of it all Ray Kelly comments that Manchester’s 2002 Commonwealth Games in a bid won by the city’s Labour administration paved the way for London’s success:
“When Margaret Thatcher abolished the GLC to get rid of Ken Livingstone, she left London with no single representative to front a bid. As a consequence, there was no bid for over a decade. It was only when he was elected mayor (as an independent to Labour’s shame) that London was back in the frame… [The eventual games boasted] spectacular facilities and entertaining opening and closing ceremonies. There were, of course, the usual Tory cock-ups: the deserted centre of London, the empty seats despite the demand for tickets but a good time was had by all.”
Can’t say fairer than that. Or as the article itself concludes the Olympics are one case where if the the anti-Indian dancing David Cameron and watermelon-smiling Boris Johnson do their usual ‘inherited from Labour’ mantra they are dead right.