The burd has just watched the showcase for Glasgow 2014 at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. And is now officially in despair.
Don’t get me wrong. Bridget McConnell and her team did a great job with the paltry budget they were given. The young people chosen to participate were having a ball and it all looked like great fun.
But this was a once in a lifetime shot at a global showcase. A worldwide TV audience of 1 billion. Feck. ONE BILLION people! And all we could think to offer them was a couple of pipers, tartan (with a modern twist!), the Loch Ness Monster and the Proclaimers. Who aren’t even Glaswegian.
Promotion for the showcase at home was careful to emphasise its parsimony. Couldn’t be seen to be wasting public money, so it was definitely done on a shoestring, as befits our current financial straits. What a wasted opportunity. We should have ploughed all of visitscotland’s and Eventscotland’s budget into it, and then some. No amount of piddly marketing campaigns will ever achieve the same kind of audience reach.
It should have been about Glasgow, the city as it is now. It should have been about Scotland, as a forward, modern, must go destination. Like Delhi did. The Glasgow showcase segued into a high tech laser show with souped up, electronic bangra that told the world that India was facing the future with pride and imagination. All Scotland did was feed into outdated, traditional, fairytale notions of who we once might have been, but only in a Walter Scott novel.
Soundtrack? How about Belle and Sebastian doing a sweet pop version of I belong to Glasgow. Focus? the fashion, the gallusness, the heritage, the swagger, the art, the culture. Oh, and the people. How about some famous Glaswegians bursting forth from the Armadillo? Connolly, Ferguson, that’s Messrs Alex AND Craig, Gerard Butler. A woman? Now we’re toiling… Oh, how about Annie Ross? Who her you ask? Just a global jazz phenomenon….
To inject a little fun, humour and cross-culturalism there could have been some kind of curry theme, linking Glasgow and its famous eateries with the current Games hosts.
And running through it, snippets from Edwin Morgan’s last ever poem, written especially for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
This was our moment on the global stage. Glasgow’s and Scotland’s. And we blew it.