So there we are, it's happened - Boris Johnson, in a wildly improbable scene, took delivery of the Olympic banner from dead-eyed, fork-tongued Jacques Rogge, and managed to wave it about with a degree of conviction. Then the bewildered Chinese multitudes were treated to a foretaste of what London is like. It's a city of tall red buses with blacked-out windows, where the streets are lined with modern 'dance' groups, making aimless movements while brandishing umbrellas and newpapers. Who's on the bus? Why it's a pretty, brown-skinned child, who, guided by a woman in a white coat holding a giant lollipop, walks over the backs of some crouching dancers and back onto the bus.
Remarkable things, these London buses, with their roofs that open out to display topiary representations of London landmarks - and then, what do you know, out pops a pretty, brown-skinned singer, who rises to a great height, warbling away incomprehensibly, until she's joined by an elderly gent with an electric guitar. We then learn that she wants to give us her love, of which she has a whole lot, and would rather like a whole lot more in return. Clearly London is going to be no rest cure... Wait a minute - there's someone we know. Is it David Beckham? Must be - he's kicked a ball into the crowd. And... Well, er, that's it really, apart from a whole lot of mystifying background sounds and music.
So that's London then. Rather like Britain itself, we've no very good idea what it means - or even what it is - still less how to explain it to anyone. We can't do this kind of thing - look at the Millennium Dome fiasco. And this kind of thing, as will become apparent over the next few years, includes the Olympics. Boris - why didn't you just hand that banner back and scarper?