Heaven knows, one tries to enter into the spirit of things at moments like these. The Queen's Jubilee. The Olympics. The great "Hurrah for Great Britain!" that will soon be echoing around the world. It is going to be tough, though. TV ads promoting the national brand have begun to appear. There are picnics, laughing, glossy people on a village green – modern, yes, but with a touch of that all-important national heritage in the background.
It is a ghastly mistake. The Britain being promoted is a bland, middle-class Bransonised nightmare, a country where everyone has been cloned into a version of the grinning, egotistical Virgin billionaire. Foreigners expect the very opposite from the British. It is our nastiness – Ricky Gervais, Vinnie Jones, Jeremy Clarkson – that sells. We are the grit in the global oyster. Fortunately, there is still time to refute all this in the Olympics opening ceremony.
It will open with the March of the Trolls. A heaving, scurfy mob of resentful tweeters, Facebook activists and message-board nutters will enter the stadium, each typing infuriated messages into a smartphone. The giant screen above the stadium will fill up with their enraged, ill-spelt "opinions".
The Trolls will be followed by Slapperdance, in which drunken girls in micro-skirts will celebrate the British weekend, tottering on high heels, discarding their knickers, and beating each other up before falling over unconscious.
They in turn will be cleared by the Met Pets, comedy policemen in riot gear who will shout racist abuse at the international crowd while having their back pockets stuffed with money from a troupe called Fleet Street Bungers and Buggers which follows them around at all times.
With a change of pace, thousands of unsuccessful applicants for Britain's Got Talent will enter the stadium. A mighty choir will be formed to sing the country's unofficial anthem, Elton John's "Goodbye, England's Rose", hopelessly out of tune and weeping. Then, dramatically, a space will appear in the heart of the choir. Seated in a circle and shouting at one another, will be The Professional Controversialists – David Starkey, Melanie Phillips, Richard Dawkins, Julie Burchill, Rod Liddle and Niall Ferguson. Backing vocals well up behind them. It is the Middle England Chorus, flailing the air with rolled-up copies of the Daily Mail.
The Trolls, Slappers, Met Pets and talent show contestants reappear for a final bow when a huge shopping centre falls on them, filling the stadium with concrete and special offers. It will be bold, startling and the perfect way to present our great nation to the world. Let the Games commence!
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- Jeremy Clarkson
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- Olympic Stadium
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