On the Podium

Yep, we’ve made it, after 12 long months of trying.  And we’re not finished yet, aiming even ‘higher’, for more of the same is promised.

But before we look into that let me indulge in some wise words from one of my favourite writers.  Kathleen Jamie rarely wastes a word, and always puts them in the right order.  So here she is, in The New York Times of all places.  And who am I to disagree?  I’d say that Ms Jamie has a pretty fair summary of recent events there, and of aspirations.

And those aspirations most certainly do not involve the destiny of rising higher on that podium.  For it is an awful place to be.

Having enjoyed the exploits of Team GB on the snow and ice of Russia’s Black Sea resorts; having listened to Hazel and Clare and all the rest extolling the efforts of the union-flag-bedecked exploits – I’ll leave aside Hazel’s boast that we’re going to be a world power in winter sports as a blip, having, rarely, allowed the occasion of the last day to cloud her usual judgement – and looked enviously at the efforts of the Scandic countries on those gruelling Nordic events, we find ourselves tugged sharply back to the grim realities of home.

For Team GB has surpassed itself, climbed from 4th to 3rd.  Only two nations lie in our sights, the USA of course, and Portugal.

For those are the only two developed nations on this planet who can ‘boast’ of having a higher ranking than us as the most unequal nations; the ones where the distance from poor to rich is so mind-bogglingly wide as to be obscene.  And that’s where Team GB are intent on going.

Just remember that – the third most unequal society in the developed world.  There’s a proud boast to make at the next dinner party, or on the beaches of ‘lesser’ nations this summer.

No wonder Kathleen Jamie wants to get off.  For she too knows that more austerity is winging our way, no matter who takes the top seats after the General Election in spring next year.  It’s a promise they’ve all made.

And as we’ve identified before it is those same Nordic countries that are at the other end of the index, the most equal societies, and usually the happiest and wealthiest too.  Which club would you rather join?

There’s plenty more reading with the latest edition from the AyeMag, from our local Yes Clydesdale team.

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