Government has no business in sport

I was not surprised that my letter on the scandal of the Olympics sparked responses – a small credit, I guess, to the effectiveness of the propaganda.

Neither response addressed how the massive additional shortfall in public funds is to be made good. I hope that should Mr McDonald or Ms Brooks ever be unfortunate enough to have an operation cancelled because of NHS cuts or a benefit withdrawn, they are as understanding of the whole sad business as they are now.

Personally, I am outraged that some of my taxes have been wasted on this while the elderly, the disabled and those on low incomes struggle to survive, and Scotland’s infrastructure crumbles.

Sport is a hobby, not a territory where governments have any business to be. I am a railway enthusiast, but I have no expectation that the government will buy me train books or a camera to take my pictures.

I have no interest at all in the so-called “feats” of Olympians. Whether nationals of one country can run round in ever-decreasing circles or slide down (or even up) a greasy pole faster than those of another country fills me with monumental indifference.

That does not make me bigoted, sad or mean-spirited. But if those are the labels your correspondent chooses to attach to one who would rather see, for example, proper care for the elderly than massive subsidies to minority sports, then so be it. Has Ms Brooks ever considered feeling proud of our NHS, our emergency services, our lifeboat crews or mountain rescue teams, or do only the transient and pointless exploits of Olympians inspire her?

Both correspondents make much of the popularity of the Games. Clearly, and happily, they move in different circles to me. But much is made of the fact that the closing shenanigans were watched by 26million people. That means that of a population of around 68million last time I looked, 42million did not bother to tune into this “highlight”.

I think these statistics make the description “an overblown orgy of media propaganda with minority appeal” appropriate.

Richard West

Inch Park

Kelso