I tuned in last night as most of the rest of you did too. Not to marvel at the spectacle of what £27m can buy you these days in pyrotechnics and special effects but to find out what Danny Boyle had up his sleeve and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s three things which caught my eye during the proceedings:
1) The 55 year-old movie director somehow managed for a few seconds to subtly hi-jack the Olympics to make a political protest about impending cuts to the NHS in the next coming months by putting on a celebratory section of the ceremony highlighting the importance of the British National Health Service. It started with joyful bouncy children being wheeled into the arena by nurses on oversized hospital beds, only for them to suddenly become frightened and terrorised by evil dark forces led by a giant Voldermort. A dig perhaps at the British dream of retaining the NHS under threat by the current coalition Government?
Conservative MP for Cannock Chase, Adian Burley, also noticed the somewhat left of centre theme during the ceremony and made the mistake of taking to Twitter to voice his opinion on the matter by tweeting:
‘The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?’
Which he quickly followed up with:
‘Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones.’
He has since deleted his entire account. Important side-note: This is the same Aiden Burley who was forced to step down recently as a ministerial aide for attending a Nazi themed stag party.
During a post-ceremony interview Danny Boyle was actually questioned as to why he felt the need to include the NHS at all:
‘One of the reasons we put the NHS in the show is that everyone is aware of how important the NHS is to everybody in this country. We believe, as a nation, in universal healthcare. It doesn’t matter how poor you are, how rich you are, you will get treated.’
Of course the Internet didn’t let this subtle political statement go unnoticed.
2) A German delegate stands and appears to give a Nazi salute as Team Germany enter the stadium, much to the amusement of Boris Jonson and Camilla Parker Bowles who were seated behind him.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OzR20SV8LU&feature=youtube
3) The Queen seemed to be really enjoying herself!