There has been a lot of hype and scaremongering going on regarding the imminent arrival of the international festival of running, jumping, throwing and splashing which comes to Britain next week, primarily in the south east of the country.
I have deliberately avoided giving this athletics events its full title due to all the dire warnings and threats of financial penalties and liberty deprivation regarding the mis-use of certain words. Sadly the Government has all too willingly given in to this mis-appropriation of the English language and our rights to free speech in pursuit of the commercial coin.
Methinks things have gone too far. Organisers telling local businesses to cover their signs if they mention certain words, shops asked to take down ‘unauthorised’ displays even if they are welcoming the international athletes, and visitors to the show being told not to wear certain tops and trainers.
Up until this point I had been a supporter of the event, but this crass subservience to sponsors, backed up by legal threats for non-compliances just ranks of sheer hypocrisy. On the one hand the organisers and the ‘international committee’ want exposure for their events, but on the other, certain big-name sponsors are dictating what words and phrases we, the great British public, can and cannot use in our own country.
I have no doubt London and its good people will cope. It’ll be a case of keeping a stiff upper lip, grinning and bearing, and just getting on with it, whilst buses and officials whizz past in special lanes.
And so it is with some relief that I have noted that the great ‘Olympic Breakfast’ has been saved for the nation. Little Chef has had the ‘Olympic Breakfast’ on its Menu since 1994 and because of that, LOCOG has recognised the right of the restaurant chain to continue to use the term, and more importantly, serve the breakfast to its customers!
Still the most requested and popular item on the Little Chef Menu, the breakfast platter consists of two eggs, two rashers or back bacon, British pork sausage, mushrooms, fried potatoes, griddled tomato, Heinz baked beans and toast or fried bread, and it has been saved for the nation’s travellers.
Over a million of these breakfasts are sold around the UK each year, and this weekend I’m going to stage my own protest against corporate greed. I won’t be going out for a burger and cola, I’ll have a proper cooked breakfast under the sign of the wee man with the big hat and washed down with Irn-Bru, or maybe even Vimto.
Up the rebels, power to the people!