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a blog by Chris Barrow

Politics, Sport and Pride



I’m apolitical 99.999% of the time and rarely tempted to comment unless there is a life-changing event such as Brexit or the possibility of a racist, mysogynist property developer with his finger on the trigger of the most powerful military state on Earth.

I have to hand it to Jeremy Corbyn this morning though.

He is either a social media expert or lucky.

His 26-second interview seated on the floor of the London-Newcastle train is a moment of public relations genius.

Lesson 1 in social media – always be ready to capture a moment.


We spent last night (again) with Clare Balding and Sir Chris Hoy – it’s beginning to seem like Groundhog Day – finish work, take dogs for walk, make dinner, sit down at The Velodrome.

You have to hand it to Balding and, especially, Hoy who have turned the complex world of cycle racing into an (almost) understandable sport, although it took some days for me to get to grips with:

  1. the race that happens after the slow bicycle race riding forwards whilst looking backwards

  2. the race that happens after you have been following the man on the moped

  3. the Omnium – a.k.a. “WTF is going on?” race

As the competition has progressed, we have been constantly interrupted by Clare with breaking news that Team GB have won more medals for doing all sorts of other sporty things that involve running, jumping, swinging, diving, shooting, sailing, riding, canoeing, running around with a ball, hitting other people, tennis, throwing other people to the floor – the list goes on, with a medal tally this morning of 50 in total.

To quote a rather obscure factoid from the BBC web site:

Since the modern Olympic era began in 1896, no host country has increased its medal tally at the next summer Games.

All of which seems to be having a remarkable effect on the nation.

Lesson 2 – success is infectious and a virtuous spiral.


First we had Farrage, Johnson, Gove and Cameron standing at the open exit of the aircraft and announcing that they had the 4 remaining parachutes before they jumped.

Then we had the deafening silence of those who, formerly, were shouting from the rooftops one Friday morning that they had voted to leave Europe (you don’t see many “I voted leave” t-shirts).

Add to that the humiliation of Roy Hodgson and his over-priced, over-rated team sneaking back into the country after their pathetic Euro performance.

The Conservative Party leadership race – “well I don’t want it – you have it”.

Britain was broken and could do little more than man The Wall and see what happened as winter and the white walkers approached.

Andy Murray gave us a glimmer of hope at Wimbledon.

It less than 2 weeks, all that has changed.

Team GB has restored our national pride.

We are crap at ridiculously well financed football and yet those funded by the National Lottery who train for long hours without super-stardom have set the country back on its feet.

To quote Jason Kenny last night:

Asked if he thought his life would change now that he has six gold medals, Kenny was true to form: “I hope not.”

Here’s an idea..

Why don’t we get all of those Team GB coaches together when they get home – and give THEM the country to run for the next 4 years?

Lesson 3 – good coaches bring out the best in us, no matter what the conditions.

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