Olympic Light in the Darkness

Perhaps it's not surprising that over the last few weeks people's eyes have been firmly focused on London 2012. I can't remember a time when the nation's mood has been so upbeat, which is great tribute to everyone involved - athletes, organisers and, of course volunteers. If I'd been allocated any tickets, I might even have praised the agents as well.

Unfortunately, it's not only at the Olympics that records have been set. The trade figures for the second quarter show the UK's trade deficit as being the worst since records began 15 years ago. The economy also sank deeper into recession in the second quarter as the economy shrank by 0.7 per cent. The Bank of England is now expecting zero growth in 2012 as a whole.

The fact that this bad news got somewhat drowned in the Olympic frenzy is something I feel quite grateful for. As the country's fortunes are tossed around by in the turbulent seas of the global economy, the political classes seem only able to engage in futile rounds of recrimination. They seem more interested in avoiding the blame than solving the problem.

I can't help thinking that if GB Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford was in charge, things would be very different. It may well be a romantic notion, but there is a serious point. By building a group of experts around him and keeping them focused on continual improvements in every area of the team's performance, he has elevated GB Cycling to the top of the world.

With so few options available to them, it's difficult to pass a fag paper between the policies of the major parties. It's time for them to lay aside their petty political differences. They need to think about how they can inspire a new generation, because they aren't inspiring anyone right now. As Team GB have demonstrated, finding some unity of purpose might be a good place to start.

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