At voyage's end, it was said, the ship would make a ‘triumphant entrance up the river Thames’, formally proclaiming ‘the renaissance of east
But organisers seem to have developed a bad case of cold cleat suddenly. Perhaps they were a little nervous at the prospect of our ‘cultural riches’ falling prey to high seas piracy. Last time I checked, Captain Jack Sparrow was still at large. Warning bells may also have sounded here, as those of us who live in East London and have gallantly withstood all previous attempts to ‘regenerate’ us over several decades are only too aware, that there are impressionable young people and government ministers who still believe that reversing social deprivation is possible without actually halting the corporate greed that keeps it afloat. Imagine their little hearts breaking as they sail up the Thames in 2012 to find that Tilbury and Gravesend are not only still there but have not been transformed into Disneyland London.
All that aside, provided the health and safety issues could be resolved, which would probably have involved an entire cabinet reshuffle but was just about achievable with a two year lead-in, it may have been possible for the good ship FriendShip to change a half a dozen young lives. They could have arranged for the children and philosophers to be below decks as the FriendShip made its way past unreconstructed
‘The sentiment behind the original FriendShip proposal is still very much alive. The
It is thought that one option would be to press ahead with plans for a ‘virtual vessel’, which would have ‘sailed’ the internet in parallel with the real ship, forming the basis of a four-year education programme linked to the national curriculum.
OK. So it was always meant to be more of a ‘concept’ than an actual boat with water around it docking in actual countries with people in them. I wonder if the IOC clocked that. The Health and Safety Executive can breathe a hefty sigh of relief and go back to working out the optimum height for work stations. ‘Sailing’ the internet is at least introducing a new sport, to be fair, and that’s a cause for celebration. It may even be something that we turn out to be good at. But will the IOC now be wondering if
Gorgeous pirate from the lovely Wikipedia