The opening ceremony was the most astonishing and impressive event I have seen. There was music aplenty, humour (including an excellent cameo by Rowan Atkinson) and Her Majesty's acting debut as she greeted James Bond and then seemed to parachute out of a helicopter into the arena. She delivered her lines like a pro.
I thought the ceremony was a bit long and it had unfortunately been hijacked by the bien pensant left. In a panic to seem racially inclusive they even had a black Victorian mill owner, which would have been a surprise at the time; agricultural labourers were seen trudging unhappily towards appalling industrial towns whereas in fact they couldn't wait to get out of the countryside, where many were starving.
And then there was a long piece about the National Health Service. I am a great fan of Great Ormond St. Hospital for children and indeed have contributed to its appeals, but there was too much of it. As for 'NHS' being illuminated everywhere, while children bounced on beds and nurses danced, it was ridiculous. The reason Great Ormond St. Hospital has so many financial appeals is that the State funding system is unable to provide it with enough money so it has to appeal to the public. The British Health Service is a failure, and nothing short of a national disgrace. Many of the nations present have a better health service, by dint of theirs not being owned and operated by the state, and they do not treat it, as the British do, as a religion: hospitals where people die from diseases caught in the hospital make for a rather shabby god.
Apparently the Director, Danny Boyle, was personally responsible for this, it being a reflection of his political views. It is a tawdry reflection on socialism that the State took money from the people to put on a spectacular, advertising the right-on political beliefs of the literati minority.
It is a disgrace that Mr. Boyle was allowed to get away with this, and we deserve an answer from Lord Coe and the other comfortably paid advisers as to how he did.
The rest of the ceremony was good, though.
PS Why on earth is the principal language French? Who let them get away with that?