10 year anniversary of London 2012 Opening Ceremony sparks debate about the decline of the UK

10 year anniversary of London 2012 Opening Ceremony sparks debate about the decline of the UK
Daniel Craig admits Queen Elizabeth poked fun at him over their stunt ...

It's 10 years to the day since the London 2012 Olympics began and Danny Boyle's awe-inspiring opening ceremony wowed the world.

The ceremony, widely regarded as one of the best ever, featured cameos from Daniel Craig, Kenneth Branagh, Rowan Atkinson and The Queen. It also paid tribute to the UK's history, music, pop culture and perhaps most memorably of all, the NHS.

The event was hailed as a masterpiece and for many highlighted all that is good and great about the UK and essentially paved the way for one of the best Olympics in recent memory.

However, this was 10 years ago and it's fair to say that the UK isn't in the best of states right now.

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Four years after the games the nation voted to leave the European Union, a decision which is yet to reap any significant benefits. In 2012 the UK was only two years into a Tory government led by David Cameron. 10 years and three prime ministers later the Tories are still in power and are already looking for their fourth leader in that time.

What else has happened since then? Covid? That wasn't good at all, as the UK recorded the highest deaths in Europe. The cost of living crisis has left everyone feeling the pinch on their bank accounts.

We've also had a migration crisis where people risking their lives to make a life for themselves in this country have been used as a political tool and are now being sent to 'processing centres' in Rwanda.

The decline of the UK in comparison to the 2012 Olympics has perhaps been best summed up by the priest, journalist and radio host Richard Coles who wrote on Twitter: "Ten years since London 2012. I remember watching the opening ceremony and thinking “we’ve cracked it — progressive, inclusive, outward-looking, and everyone’s cheering”. It’s the most wrong I’ve been since predicting in 1987 that London house prices could not rise any higher."

Many other people's sentiments on the 10 years that have followed since the games pretty much reflected Coles' thoughts.

Have things been all that bad though? At least the vaccine rollout got everyone out of lockdown and the football (if you're an England fan) gave us two pretty enjoyable summers before they eventually lost.

Others might argue that the country was already in decline before the games even began and the Olympics just helped paper over the cracks.

What do you think?

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