Excellent. London loves a big screen in Trafalgar Square. Be it the World Cup or Beijing 2008, there's nothing quite like watching sporting heroes in action, giant sized. For a really big crowd, however, it helps if there are Great Britons at the heart of the action. Not much chance of that this time. And it also helps if the live action's taking place during daylight hours. Alas no. The Opening Ceremony's taking place between 2am and 5am GMT on Saturday morning, so we're only getting lunchtime highlights. And the main sporting action over the following fortnight kicks off no earlier than 6pm every evening, which isn't exactly crowd-conducive. Still, a big screen is a good start. OK, what else?
Excellent. A festival of winter sports is precisely the sort of physical extravaganza that the capital's impressionable young citizens deserve. London's Sport Ambassador must be very pleased at yet another inspirational Mayoral anti-obesity success. Except, hang on, did someone say 'virtual'?
Ah. So this isn't a celebration of dynamic youth after all, this is a couch-potato-fest sponsored by a bunch of corporate button-twiddlers. It'll attract London's youth, for sure, but it won't inspire them to leap or sprint or exercise for real. There are no Olympic sporting ideals here, only electrogizmo-worship and a thinly-disguised branding-reinforcement opportunity. The big screen's a Panasonic, by the way - the press release goes to special effort to point this out.
Thank goodness the eyes of the world will be on Vancouver this weekend and not London, because our sole contribution to celebrating the Winter Games will be a pool of Wii in Trafalgar Square. If this muted squib is anything to go by, then I fear London's not going to be throwing much of a civic party come 2012. Maybe Boris is busy saving our council tax money to spend on more important projects at a later date. But it's clear he has no interest whatsoever in organising major communal events, and is increasingly reliant on any multinational that's willing to step in and do it for him. Swifter, higher, stronger.