Published on September 11th, 2012 | by Sam Hall0
Brian and Boris- a safe gamble for Britain?
Professor Brian Cox recently argued that increasing scientific funding would be a “sensible gamble”. Prof Cox is that handsome dark-haired fox on TV, who points at the stars whilst dazzling you with numerical facts, in case you were wondering. Did you approve? I did.
Because, that’s what it is- a gamble. Pumping money into “Science” is basically speculation. But as time has proved, it’s a reliable bet. You rarely achieve your initial goals, and if you do it is uncommonly done so in the way you originally planned. But scientific spin-offs are a safe wager. And more than any other industry, the places and people involved with both academic research and business are exactly the same, i.e. University, hospital and commercial laboratories, and scientists.
Investing in one sector has direct effect on the other, and also the attractiveness of the UK to the scientific entrepreneurs of the world. There are more guaranteed methods of boosting investment, most of which aren’t being implemented either, but this would be a step in the right direction. Prof Cox’s other suggestion, for a greater integration of scientific analysis and rationale into governance is, sadly, as unlikely as ever.
Another thing which might be worth a flutter is Boris ‘BJ’ Johnson usurping David ‘Mr Slippery‘ Cameron as Conservative leader. He is popular, ambitious and most importantly has the intellectual calibre and ruthless coup d’œil required for the role. And I for one would be in full support. Certainly more than the other current part leaders, I feel he has the capacity, conviction and charisma to compose a capable cabinet, or control a coalition.
If you wanted to up the odds you could always back Vince Cable as the next leader of the Lib Dems. If Ed Miliband continues to be rubbish at everything required for his role then a party leader sweepstake might be on the cards. An election debate featuring Boris, Cable and David Miliband would be great viewing- just imagine!
What would have been both a darker and unlikelier bet was the London Olympic and Paralympic games going completely unscathed by terrorist attack. I thought it simply unimaginable that every single extremist or nutter who would want to make a bloody point at such a spectacle could be thwarted. The logistics of ensuring absolutely no-one with some small explosive or bag of ammunition managed to get in, to any event, would have been a nightmare. The G4S debacle merely heightened my already festering fear.
It has already been discussed in the media how the games brought citizen and soldier closer together than at any time in recent memory. A consensus I believe has recently flourished, from, amongst other things, when Wooten Bassett helped the nation again differentiate between the political instruments that are the armed forces and those members making the ultimate sacrifice. We have all seen the shoddy temporary conditions those brought in at short notice had to suffer. To everyone who made London 2012 so safe and successful, we must all express our thanks.