Since it was announced the Olympics Games were to be held in London I've done my very best to ignore its continual promotion. It's not that I'm disinterested in sport, I'm a fan of Andy Murray - well someone has to support him - and have a lifelong interest in rugby, but I find the manner in which the 'elite' are being feted very distasteful.
However it's not only the 'elite' who are being pampered. According to the organisers, the Olympic flame will come within 10 miles of 95% of people in the UK, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. It's supposedly coming within 10 miles of my home but I won't be clapping from the roadside and have yet to hear of anyone who even knows the torchbearer.
Judging by today's Mail article I doubt if many spectators will see the torchbearer far less the torch. Yesterday the 36 police officers chosen to defend the torch had a dress rehearsal (pictured above). They will be guarding the object on its 70 day journey around the country before the London Games. Often Mail articles can be taken with a large pinch of salt, but the statement 'Yet in case they find the job too traumatic, they are to be given psychological training on how to prepare themselves for being away from home' is so ridiculous it's quite possibly true.
Not only are they being given lessons on how to survive outside their respective home territories but once their two month trip is over they will be offered counselling to help settle back into their day jobs. They will be part of a wider 70 strong team selected from the Met.
A spokesman for the Met said:
‘We recognise that this is a unique role never performed within British policing.
‘Occupational health specialists within the Met are already developing plans to ensure that the welfare of this team is considered at every stage and the best possible support provided.’
The spokesman said that preparations included ‘talking to them about their career aspirations and encouraging them to plan ahead for when they are away from home’.
Our troops can be away from home for many months a year yet they struggle to find any support for problems they may have when returning home.
It's reported the police could have to deal with saboteurs, protesters and terrorism. Shouldn't their preparations include training to deal with such incidents instead of ensuring they can cope with blisters and strange bedrooms? The Met's record for dealing with unusual incidents leaves a lot to be desired.
(I've placed a wee poll in the right hand column).