Rod Liddle

What do you mean you won’t run? It’s only a bit of cholera

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My favourite contribution to the hilarious debate about the Commonwealth Games comes from a stunted loon called Amelia Gentleman in The Guardian. Amelia has been to India and met some of the people whose slum homes were cleared to make way for the athletes’ village. They’ve had a really horrible time and been relocated miles away under bits of plastic, apparently. Consequently, opines Amanda, the querulous athletes should take part in the games and their protests are “a little feeble” and “petulant.” So, because India treats its poorest people badly, all the athletes should suffer dysentery and be bloody well pleased about it.

Does anyone care about the Commonwealth Games? Most of the countries which take part in it seem to hate us anyway, although the smaller ones enjoy winning the occasional medal. Perhaps we should hold it every four years in England, but not take part ourselves, and run it a bit like a giant pre-school sports day, safe and sanitary and you’re not allowed to take photographs. A gift from us to those parts of the third world whose lives we enriched with our language, organisational skills and sense of inherent decency. I wonder what The Guardian thinks about this idea.