Saturday, 18 August 2012

I Can Think Of Better Ways To Defend Playing Fields

Those renowned lefty patriotic (oxymoron?) rabble-rousers 38 Degrees have been tapping into the tidal wave of Olympic frenzy for their latest campaign, I see.
The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has quietly relaxed the rules protecting school playing fields, opening the door for them to be sold off to developers.

Without their playing fields it’s hard to imagine the children of today will ever match this year’s record Olympic medal haul.
It's not hard to imagine at all, actually. Looking at where we won our medals at London 2012, a lack of playing fields isn't going to harm future medal tallies that much.

I count six of those medals - out of a total of 65 - being attributable to access to playing fields, but only at schools before those who are good enough move inevitably to local athletics tracks, of which there are already many state-funded examples.

No. If we want to match or improve upon London 2012, just create more rowing, cycling and equestrian venues along with better tarmacked roads, a few extra swimming pools and improved sailing facilities. Also, I think we could do a bit better in the shooting if we abolished some of the silly laws which hamper potential Olympians, and a more pro-active emphasis on violence could see the boxing and taekwondo yield increase.

I don't think 38 Degrees would be too happy about a lot of the above though, somehow.

Still, political campaigns don't bother with accuracy these days. Emotion and righteous anger is enough.


The Mayor of Shiremoor said...

The dumbing down of education has gone so far that it should be mandatory for schools to sell off playing fields. Those kids need all the time in a classroom they can get. (When I say 'mandatory', I'm just making a point, not attempting to heap the wrath of the State on schools which particularly attract sporty types.) No, wait, mandatory, yes, why not? Kids can fuck around with a football in their own time. Yes, well, maybe strongly encouraged; say, by Tax Credits based on the unfitness of your child, the pokier the better. How about that?

Jay said...

Aye, the gun laws have killed off our competitive shooters, who were once top in the world. Hell, even the air rifle shooting events are duffed for us.

Slight segue, but in reference to your past posts about Oz not doing so well this year at London 2012, I must say I am extremely delighted by their continued athletic failure. I do think that they're own government ruined it for them. I suspect ours will do the same prior to Rio 2016.

Sam Duncan said...

Seven. Hockey's played on fields, as I recall (fondly; many a frozen winter afternoon “playing rugby” was rendered bearable by the view downhill to the girls' school's field next door... although a lot of 'em would have been better at rugby than I ever was).

But 12 of them are attributable, at least in part, to the evil robber baron Murdoch's unspeakable telly firm shovelling shedloads of cash into professional bicycling. Better keep that quiet, eh?

PS. Believe it or not, that's the first time I've seen the table. (When I decide to ignore something, I don't mess about.) Crikey. As if it matters.

Briar Tuck said...

In terms of medal haul, the UK total was nothing exceptional. We did more or less exactly as predicted. See Chris Snowdon's graph (done 8th August):

Barman said...

I normally ignore the e-mails from 38 Degrees but felt obliged to reply "Oh do fuck off!" on this occasion....

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yup, I missed the hockey bronze. Good spot. And it's an excellent point about Murdoch and Team Sky. :)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Indeed. I remember Malcolm Cooper keep cropping up as one of our earliest golds in 80s Olympics. :)