The NHS and the Olympics Opening Ceremonies
Many of my friends back home have asked why the NHS was part of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics? Part of the opening ceremonies is to display the prides and joys of the host country, of which the NHS is one, though it did seem a bit odd at first, particularly the choice of music: "Tubular Bells," the theme music from the film "The Exorcist."
Hundreds of beds of children with prancing and dancing nurses and doctors entered the stadium. Have the cuts to the NHS gotten so deep that we now have open-air wards? JK Rowling then introduced another English gem, children's stories. Suddenly all the children are being terrorized by Voldemort, The Queen of Hearts, the Child Catcher and Cruella De Vil.
You may have seen Voldemort; I saw Andrew Lansley, the current Minister of Health. Suddenly the combination of music and health and terrorized children made perfect sense. As a terrified young girl rises towards the face of Voldemort/Lansley, Mary Poppins (actually about 100 Marys) descends to save the day and rid the hospitalized children of their evil tormentors.
This was a political statement for the world to see. It is believed that the NHS is under attack by the current government. With massive restructuring and privatization, some people including myself, wonder if it will still exist a decade from now. This skit shows the NHS as the protectors of children and as a beloved treasure of the country. It would be most difficult for the Tories to take swift action now.
On another note, after Mitt Romney's comments about London not being ready for the games and the backlash begun by London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, it was an ironic choice of music to open the ceremonies' broadcast here in the UK: Paloma Faith's "Picking up the Pieces"
Enjoy the Games!