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Day: August 7, 2012

My Top Ten moments of London 2012 so far…

Inspired by the Queen of Lib Dem blogging thoughts on the matter. I have decided to put together my top ten list of the Olympic Games so far. She says that boys running fast for a few seconds doesn’t do it for her. Maybe it is a man thing, a cave-man instinct to know who is the fastest person on the planet. It is like how many people describe Man v Food as a man thing…I suspect the 100m will rank highly for me but let’s go…

Well Caron and myself agree on the number one as the Queen’s acting debut in a scene with James Bond was kick-arse. I didn’t see it live as I had a visitor and he wasn’t interested in the opening ceremony but when I saw it I thought it was just amazing.

However the excellence of women athletes isn’t number two for me. Oh no. The Men’s 100m Final is still – and always has been – and always will be the grand-daddy of the whole games. The fact that NBC were not showing it live in the States was sheer madness as they were showing a pre-season NFL game instead but still the fastest person on Earth. Yes. There is a reason over 20million people watched it in the UK. I had Bolt losing until I saw him in his semi-final and then I was all in on Bolt and he didn’t disappoint. Awesome.

Thirdly words that will resonate with me and it should with us all, ‘I am proud to get a bronze, there is nothing to be embarrassed about,‘ – Becky Adlington after getting bronze in the 800m freestyle. Damn straight. I think that is something we all need to remember. Not being the best on a particular day doesn’t mean you are a failure. Not by a long shot. I was always a Becky Adlington fan but after that she went even further up in my estimations. Really impressed.

On to number four and this is a hard one because it was so painful but it was so gripping – in a horrific way. Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase taking silver in the lightweight double sculls final. First of all a seat broke in the boat but they were allowed to take part in the restart and then they led for the whole 2000m course apart from that final 50m and sadly that is the most important. The race was dramatic enough but their interview with Sir Steve Redgrave and John Inverdale was just heartbreaking but it is something that will stick in the mind for many years to come.

Next up I have to say that the infectiousness of Laura Trott. I’m a sucker for happy people as happy people make others happy but this girl has overcome serious physical issues to become a double Olympic Champion at just the age of 20. Serious talent but also someone with a seriously infectious personality.

We are on to number six and Saturday night in the Olympic Stadium. As the night start we knew Jessica Ennis was going to win Gold. We had high hopes for Mo Farah but Greg Rutherford came from nowhere to grab that Long Jump Gold. It made you proud to be British. It really did.

At number seven I’m going with Chad Le Clos’s Dad. We’d all be proud to have a kid win an Olympic Gold medal but boy was he proud. An exceptional interview made him the biggest star who wasn’t a member of the Royal Family who wasn’t actually an athlete of these games.

One of the men he beat was Michael Phelps and I personally have to mention him. I truly love the swimming and that and the athletics are my favourite part of the games. Phelps was truly great after he got that monkey off his back and a pleasure to watch one final time.

The whole cycling team needs to be mentioned so here they are at number nine. We tuned into the velodrome and basically we got to learn pretty damn quickly that Gold medals were in the offing. They were all terrific and so many Gold’s and World Record’s. Sir Chris Hoy finished it off but they were all out of this world.

Lastly the BBC’s reaction to Mo Farah winning Gold. That is quite simply what sport is all about.

Although ‘Here comes what his name’ comes close to being just as good.

I haven’t put in the coverage by the BBC yet because it needs a whole section of its own. From wonderful presenters (bar Gary Lineker) to having every single event live online or through the red button or on dedicated extra channels on Sky and Virgin to excellent commentary teams and pundits. I’m a Sky guy but the BBC still know how to cover sport. I might say that Sky have the better football and F1 talent but seriously the Beeb have nailed this.

Sue Barker is supreme, Clare Balding is wonderful (will she front Horse Racing on Channel 4?) Hazel Irvine is solid enough and Gabby Logan was underused in the highlights show. Lineker is clearly the weak link. He’s not even good at football presenting and he’s been doing that for nigh on two decades. Ian Thorpe, Michael Johnson, John McEnroe – the BBC still have fantastic pundits. They might all get handsomely paid but boy do they deliver.

The BBC is paid for by us but with the Olympics they are starting to pay some of that money back in the form of outstanding Olympic coverage.

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Nadine Dorries leads (or at the very least significantly influences) some Lib Dem activists thoughts

Nadine will love that headline but it is true. Yesterday Nick Clegg decided that enough was enough and he had to make a stand against the Tories for not pushing through with Lords reform. The Prime Minister couldn’t control his party and therefore the dreams of a more democratic way forward. Most Lib Dems agree this isn’t the worst thing ever but there is one thing that has got people foaming at the mouth…

Nadine Dorries’ seat of Mid Bedfordshire will still exist.

Now we all know that a parliament without Nadine Dorries is probably a good thing. However is this really that important in the grand scheme of things? I sat here yesterday and saw Lib Dems on twitter bitch and moan about Dorries and how she’d survive and that it pissed them off. It pisses us all off but some were actually saying that we should carry on with the boundary changes just to get Dorries out.

Surely that is going a bit too far? Dorries would be delighted that she is despised so much that a section of Lib Dems (a not insignificant section) would actually want boundary changes to go through just to get her out. Of course it would also mean tat many Lib Dems would also lose their seat but that is just acceptable collateral damage to get Nadine out.

The other thing is of course that Nadine could possibly stand in another seat. Now I’m no rocket scientist but I’m pretty sure people can be selected to represent another ward. No doubt there would be several local Conservative Party associations who’d love to have such an outspoken Member of Parliament. Some of these might even have been safe Tory seats in the boundary review with incumbants retiring.

The boundary changes would not have meant the end of Nadine Dorries’ career as an MP. It would have made it less plain sailing but if she wanted to carry on she could have easily found a way. I’m as much of a Nadine dissenter as most of my fellow Lib Dems but in the grand schemes of things who really gives a stuff about what she says? She is an insignificant Tory backbench MP who gets more airtime than most because she’s controversial.

Boundary changes are a good idea but as presently constituted they weren’t ideal. Although I suppose getting them ideal would be a thankless nay impossible task. However having another voting system – maybe STV or maybe even PR would make everything a whole lot fairer but that isn’t happening. It is sad that we haven’t been able to deliver fairer votes but the country decided they didn’t want them because they were in a strop with the Lib Dems for not just being an ‘anti-Tory’ party. Shit happens.

However having a policy that is basically ‘Do watever to piss off Nadine Dorries’ whilst it sounds a lot of fun, isn’t exactly the sign of a grown-up party…

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