That or variations of it has to be my most hated phrase.
Last night London held the opening ceremony to the Olympic Games and it was spectacular. But instead of celebrating the fact that Britain put on an amazing show to be proud of, on the TV and radio, in newspapers and on Facebook I see and hear people moaning about the amount of money spent in these times of recession, when there are cuts in funding for health care and other benefits are being slashed.
The thing is, we won the chance to host these games seven years ago when the country was in a very different economic climate. And by agreeing to host, we made a commitment to do the best we could. Yes we have spent a lot of money… a hell of a lot of money, but if we took that money and threw it at the country’s crippling benefit budget, would it have helped? Or if it went into the care system, would it have filtered down to the most deserving, the hardworking nurses or the patients? No, probably not.
Instead we have had seven years of men and women being able to support their families on the wages they earned building the Olympic village. I imagine London is heaving at the moment, so for the next couple of months shops, hotels, cafe’s and restaurants will need extra staff. That is people earning their own wages and therefore not claiming benefits. Okay, so for most the jobs will be temporary, but what happens when they go for their next interview? They have experience and if they have worked hard, they will receive a good reference which will help them get the next job. And don’t forget, for every hotel bed slept in, every meal eaten, cup of coffee or glass of wine drunk, for every tacky t-shirt sold, the government will get 20%.
But do you know the thing that most of these people say at the end of their whingeing about the games and also the Jubilee earlier in the year? “I don’t live in London, so what is the benefit for me?”
Well here is a news flash. It’s not always about you!
It’s about the 60,000 people who were lucky enough to be in the stadium last night to watch the show live. It’s about all the volunteers who gave time to learn their parts and acted their hearts out to an audience of millions. It’s about gasping with shock and then laughing when realising it really was the Queen sat at that desk. It’s about all the men and women who have worked tirelessly to build an amazing stadium to be proud of. It’s about the deaf children who brought tears to my eyes when they signed ‘God Save The Queen’ in their pyjama’s. It’s about all the athletes who walked around that stadium holding their heads and flags high ready to do the best they can for their country. It’s about past medal winning athletes passing the glory of lighting that amazing olympic flame to the up and coming athletes.
It’s about my girls watching a repeat this morning and laughing their heads off when spotting Mr Bean in the orchestra. Or when they recognised well-loved characters like Mary Poppins and booing at The Child Catcher.
It’s about all of us pulling together and being damn proud of our country instead of tearing it down in word and print.