The Commonwealth Games

Wednesday Evening – I am idly flicking through the television channels when I stumble across the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. If there is a less enthralling sporting event on this planet than the Commonwealth Games, I am yet to hear of it.

However, I found the opening ceremony to be quite entertaining. The display included many things considered synonymous with Scotland, and/or the great city of Glasgow. These included inflatable Loch Ness Monsters, giant Tunnocks Tea Cakes, a huge haggis, golf clubs, Scottish terriers leading out the forty-one participating national teams, and even an Irn-Bru Forth Bridge. Anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of a gargantuan fried Mars Bar, people drinking alcohol out of brown paper bags, or an enormous syringe were no doubt left disappointed. The mascot for the 20th edition of the Games is Clyde (see below – he is named after a thistle that grows on the bank of the Clyde river).


Rod Stewart sang, as did that woman from X-Factor I was hoping I’d seen the last of. We got to see the head of The Commonwealth, the Queen, and a glimpse of the star attraction, Usain Bolt, one of the few global athletic stars that isn’t either ineligible for the Games, or hasn’t succeeded in getting a sick note from their doctor in time.

Controversy was provided in the form of Dr Who actor John Barrowman kissing a man, before dragging him to the altar for a mock wedding. This new version of the Glasgow kiss was presumably not appreciated in the forty-two of the fifty-three Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is illegal. No doubt John Barrowman, who recently wed his male partner, isn’t planning to honeymoon in Nigeria or Uganda, where an anti-homosexuality act was passed earlier this year. Whether Barrowman’s actions are viewed as a defiant stance against homophobia, or symbolic of a prurient nation, is a matter of individual opinion. Quite what the Queen made of it all we can only guess.

That’s it for today. I’ve got to rush off or I’m going to miss The Solomon Islands efforts in the Lawn Bowl.


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  • Thanks for starting my Friday evening on a humorous note Guy. I didn’t actually see the opening ceremony although I went to see it live when the games were held in Manchester. I hope you enjoy the games.

  • Bad timing for the games right after world cup. I won’t watch much. Might see the sprints as love Bolt. Read somewhere he’s not 100% fit but will win easily as no Yanks to push him.

    • The organisers must have been very relieved when Bolt decided to compete. A pity a number of his high profile compatriots are not available for one reason or another. Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago is running incredibly fast at the moment, but it would be a real surprise if he beat Bolt.

  • I meant to use the deep fried mars bar championships in my spoof piece on the games Guy. Sadly I descended into a kind of catatonic torpor watching the pistol shooting, and forgot. Nice piece btw

  • It is really ironic that based on cold logic, the countries who are most opposed to homophobic relationships are those who should welcome them to control their poverty and overpopulation problems. Some of the featured sports are rather akin to watching grass grow.

    • This is a valid and logical argument. Perhaps you should go to Speakers Corner in Kampala and deliver this message. I agree about the sports though the 100m and the Rugby 7s should be tolerable.

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