Our athletes, both able-bodied and para, have given a lift to the country.
We are grateful so many of them have worked so hard and done so well. It’s hats off to the coaches and support staff as well. Great.
But thanks to the Lottery, many of them were virtual professionals, competing against amateurs, coming from countries with negligible resources. Some of the disciplines we did well in – like dressage and yachting – are half-won before we start, because nobody from Mali or Bangladesh takes part. Was it fair? Were these victories a bit hollow?
And is it okay if it is mostly poorer people who play the Lottery, providing the funding?
It may be that Lottery-players, not very athletic themselves in many cases, are happy that the proceeds of their flutter go to enable athletes to get gold, silver and bronze for us all to revel in.
However, it might be better if the Lottery proceeds rescued the NHS from its current crisis?
Mind you, the NHS would have less of a crisis, if we did not spend billions on missiles we are unlikely to use. The replacement of Trident was slipped through parliament in the last days before the summer recess. Did anyone notice?
We might then reduce the stress on older people and their relatives, as care facilities keep disappearing, or becoming even more horribly expensive. Social workers and nurses might be saved from going around the bend as they keep on trying to do the impossible.
And we might reduce the anxiety, stress and depression which are afflicting an increasing number of people.
If I could choose, I would let us slip down the gold medal list in Rio and have less dross in Britain. Do you agree?
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