Festival of Cliché
The whole country is divided like never before. Households are split. Relationships bitterly at peril. No, not the indyref but the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Maybe we should have blown up the Red Road flats after all?
Was it a hackneyed orgy of cliché – a massive camp panto with C list slebs projecting an awful backward vision of ourselves to the world? Or was it a clever cheeky upbeat celebration?
Whatever the travesty of the opening – the feel-good factor of the Glasgow crowd and the buzzing athletes won over this cynic.
The opening was truly execrable. Like a giant gooey Tunnock’s cake. But it got much better.
Remember all that chat about how the games mustn’t be allowed to be political?
We’ve had months of tirade from angry Unionist journalists that ‘mad Salmond would hijack the games’ ad nauseam. But with Union Jacks, the Red Arrows, God Save the Queen and Hew Edwards ill-informed running commentary on the referendum and the decision to give a star role to a leading No campaigner, there was no competition as to who got their message out there. I’d be interested to know about allegations that BBC Scotland 2014 ‘co-operated’ with Better Together to ensure union flags appeared during the opening ceremony.
But who cares?
I don’t think this will be remembered as a successful hijack of our event. When Scottish Gold medals come in and the event runs smoothly and Glasgow’s buzzy vibe spreads, it’s all good for Yes.
There were some good bits. Amy Macdonald has scrubbed up well, Pumeza Matshikiza, a soprano from South Africa, singing ‘Freedom Come All Ye’ was breathtaking, as was the Proclaimers ballet and the Andy Stewart / Calvin Harris mash-up. But SuBo’s deeply embarrassing and so is Rod. There’s a bigger question here about how we portray ourselves and what we think our top talent is.
Now back to work, let’s Move Any Mountain.