For once, the Government should have reached for its cheque book - our cheque book - and committed whatever is necessary to create a huge, stylish, tableau of everything that is best about Britain. Tickets should be free and transport should be laid on for people outside London. Everybody should be invited. There should not be a corporate logo in sight, no cheap commercial stunts, no crass advertising, no arguments about who foots the bill.
Rather than profit and promotion, the motives should be educational, entertaining and spiritual. The embarrassment that could unfold in Greenwich would not happen in France or Germany. There, the governments would spend the money and nobody would bat an eyelid. Here we are cautious, especially when it comes to grandiose national displays. This, though, is a case for opening the public purse. After all, it only happens once every 1,000 years.