i Editor's Letter: Turn on, tune in and cheer up


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The Independent Online


A friend writes: 'retail sales are up year on year, inflation is down, unemployment is down, mortgage rates are falling, the Olympics are here, the weather is turning. Any chance this country's media could get positive about something?'

He's by no means the first to have said it both in my friend and social media circles, and beyond.

I'm not so sure retailers are cheering their current sales performance, but I take his point. As I wrote before, the moaning about this miserable summer is one thing, but I'm so sick of the endless carping about the Games. Several i writers disagree – as is their wont.

We mock those who say, calmly, that it is impossible to stage the greatest show on Earth without a few glitches, but did you ever put on a wedding or another big event without a last-minute problem? The Games' issues are complicated by (among other things): it being partly our money; the insatiable global interest in every detail, and – let's be honest – as glitches go, the security shambles is up there.

But, as the Games volunteer I handed this space to the other day pointed out, there really is a flipside, should we look. The infectious enthusiasm of volunteers and Games fans will surely drown out the misanthropes. Proof? In spite of a cynical media, (bar the BBC, because it has TV rights) hundreds of thousands of people have confounded the media elite to come out in all sorts of weather (well, rain) to support the torch relay.

So come on, there's a week to go, school's out; we don't have to listen to PMQs for months; the sun will shine and Wiggo (touch wood) is about to do the nation proud and make history in Paris. Why not turn on, tune in and cheer up?