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Episode 4 - This week we hear from Gramps who watches the Olympic opening ceremony with the family / 29 July 2012

A frame from Crippen's O'Crypes strip cartoon - Episode 4

A frame from Crippen's O'Crypes strip cartoon - Episode 4

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Some things never change. 

I can still remember when the Olympics were staged here last.  In the midst of Austerity Britain 1948.  Now what have we got?  Austerity Britain 2012.

It didn't look like that on Friday night though.

I started cringing when the Opening Ceremony kicked off.  Elgar, Jerusalem, maypoles, farm animals, plump rural peasants - it looked like a Country Fair from a bygone age.

I was all for switching the telly off then and there.

But then it started getting a bit more realistic - the countryside was destroyed by the top-hatted capitalists  of the Industrial Revolution and all hell broke loose.

Nabs is right. He says there was nothing about slavery, about the British Empire, about the legacy of divide and rule the British left in Ireland, India, the Middle East.

But he did say he was glad to see that the “welcome” given to immigrants in the 1950s and 1960s is all a thing of the past.

No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs - you couldn't get away with that today.

Brad went off on one.  He reckons these days it’s still No Crips, No Benefit Claimants, No Dogs on a String.

And what about our beloved NHS?  There we were in 1948 proudly witnessing the birth of it - and here we are now in 2012 fighting to stop it being destroyed. 

I said that was the message in that bit of the ceremony on Friday night.  Mum just wondered how all those doctors and nurses had enough time off to learn to dance like that and decided that was probably why her hernia operation has been cancelled twice.

Brad said the songs were genius!  His take was that Danny Boyle had deliberately made a two fingered salute to Cameron and his Coalition cronies.

I don’t know about all those modern songs - couldn’t understand half the lyrics - but I did like the bit where Simon Rattle and his orchestra  took a back seat to Mr Bean

Nabs loved seeing the ethnic diversity of it all and cheered with the audience when the gay couple kissed on the big screen. 

Jood says she wants to join that Deaf/Hearing People integrated choir.

By then it had all got out of hand in our front room, not least because Nan said that if the Queen could go parachuting at her age, then she jolly well could too.

Then Brad wound Jood up by telling her that the cost of two dozen of those fireworks at the end would have paid her Incapacity Benefit for six months.

Me and Nan thought, in the end, that at least the ceremony wasn’t all about the toffs, the bankers, the hackers, the tax dodgers, the expense fiddlers, the bent coppers and the corporate crooks. 

No, maybe it was about the likes of us, the O'Crypes of the world, who dug the coal, nursed the sick, gave shelter to the persecuted, raised the next generation, and always put others before ourselves. 

And if it did get  up the noses of that horrible Tory MP and some other members of the Establishment perhaps it wasn’t money wasted.

Maybe it is OUR Olympics after all. Just like it was in 1948.

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