We need to rediscover the inclusive national spirit of the 2012 London Olympics

We’ve seen a nation that appeared so at ease with itself lose its sense of unity, writes Sadiq Khan

<p>It’s become acceptable to pit our capital against other parts of our country and scapegoat it</p>

It’s become acceptable to pit our capital against other parts of our country and scapegoat it

Thinking back to London in the summer of 2012 evokes fond memories for so many. For a glorious few weeks, the whole world’s attention was on our city as we hosted a spellbinding Olympic Games. While much of the focus a decade on has rightly been on the sporting achievements – and the physical and cultural legacy of the games – the 10th anniversary of this incredible spectacle also presents a chance to reflect on London’s relationship with the rest of the country which, during those heady few weeks, had never felt stronger.

Danny Boyle’s genius opening ceremony drew elements of our national story together to project a confident, progressive, welcoming and outward-facing country to the world. I, along with millions, had never felt so proud to be British. And the country was rightly proud of the show their capital had put on for the globe.

Yet, in the intervening years, we’ve seen a nation that appeared so at ease with itself and comfortable with modernity lose that sense of unity. Much of this can be attributed to the austerity that followed the global financial crisis, the polarising debates of Brexit and the culture-war-style tactics of the current government, which has sought to fan the flames of division for political gain at every turn.

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