OUR Great British Olympics are on their way.
And as our Great British tradition dictates, we are already experiencing the first waves of what we do best - mithering about it.
As a fully signed up member of the National association of Fairweather Sports Fans, I shall jump on the bandwaggon in supporting our national athletes in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games ™ (all rights reserved).
No doubt I shall be esconced as in the World Cup, on the settee with a can of loss-leader supermarket lager watching priceless moments of unprecedented human achievement on the telly.
It is no doubt a great privilege for our country to host what is undoubtedly the greatest show on Earth.
Now I’ve got the preamble out of the way it’s time for the moans.
One source of annoyance regarding the games is the huge lockdown on the use of the Olympic name and associated logos and trademarks, by its glorious commercial sponsors.
There is a stringent set of guidelines about who can and can’t use these and the specially enacted London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 makes it a CRIMINAL offence.
Yet we’re supposed to all get involved in a big national party, without mentioning the name.
Students at Derby University had some banners printed up to celebrate the passing of the Olympic flame near the university.
But they had to take them down because they violated the sponsors exclusive rights to the word ‘Olympics’.
What’s all that about?
I wonder how long it is before pubs clubs and shops around this neck of the woods are visited by the Olympic bobbies and told to desist?
It is obvious that the huge concerns who have put billions up need to have their rights protected.
But why should small businesses and institutions who want to support the games be stopped from using the term Olympic Games?
After all taxpayers - that means me and you - have paid billions for the games, a supposedly amateur sporting event.
We’ve subsidised the stadiums and London VIP infrastructure.
We’ve paid for the extra coppers and anti-terrorist ground-to-air missiles.
On the radio a South Yorkshire businessman pointed out that hundreds of small South Yorkshire businesses could have benefited from supporting the Olympics.
Around 70 per cent of the official sponsorship merchandise has apparently been manufactured overseas.
I thought I might be sailing close to the wind in mentioning the ‘O’ word on this page, so I had a quick loook at the official website at http://www.london2012.com and I think I’m covered.
I didn’t do it on purpose. Honest.