Oh, dear. For weeks, we had heard of an upcoming speech from Boris Johnson on ‘levelling up’, which appeared to be his favourite theme: his nearest approach to a big idea. The PM had raised expectations. He did not satisfy them.
An ex-cathedra speech from a Prime Minister should have three principal ingredients. First, there ought to be significant policy content: second, moral depth: third, inspirational rhetoric. Boris failed all three tests by a country mile. I cannot think of a shallower supposedly major speech from any PM, ever.
Despite the IOC’s efforts, the Games look set to be one of the most politically-charged for a long time.