Gordon the Supertramp: A campaign this blog fully supports

Yes, I know, it\’s a pity that London lost the Olympic bid to Paris*. However, now that it\’s happening we\’ll just have to do our best to make it an English event. Thus this blog\’s support for Gordon the Supertramp.

Everyone suddenly seems very optimistic about the Olympics, which isn’t very British. But there are reassuring signs of mischief afoot. In particular, thousands have joined an online campaign to get an elderly tramp to carry the Olympic torch.

Gordon Roberts, 82, is known as “Gordon the Supertramp”, because he always knows the time without wearing a watch. A bit of a local celebrity in Bournemouth, he has 20 fan pages on Facebook, and now 4,500 people have nominated him as a torchbearer.

To call it mischief-making is perhaps unfair, since his admirers seem sincere. “Gordon is just the nicest, most genuine man you could ever hope to meet,” says the petition’s creator. “When we saw an advert for local heroes… he was the first person who came to mind.”


And quite right, too. Other Olympic hosts seek to awe the world with their armies of synchronised drummers, their intemperate firework displays and swishy-swirly dancers. A British Olympics should celebrate the things we hold dear: eccentrics, underdogs and subversives. To see the flame paraded by an eccentric, bearded vagrant in an AFC Bournemouth scarf: now that would make me proud.


Let us be English about this. The ambitions of our Lords and Masters have forced us into spending billions on a holiday camp for drug addicts. The torch should be carried by our tramps, relay teams of Morris Dancers, rolled down Gloucestershire hills like wheels of cheese, 7 foot drag queens, when measured in heels and bouffants, can take it through Brighton (or Soho, Madam JoJo\’s can supply), the torch adorned with whippet flanges to cross the Dales, deep fry it in Glasgow, gurn at it in Egremont, let\’s show the world the real institutions of this country, those things that make us what we are, the things that we\’re proud of.

With the complete and ludicrous added joy that such would deeply embarass those Lords and Masters who are pissing away our money on their vanities.



*Joke nicked from Mr. Gillies in the comments to this blog.

4 thoughts on “Gordon the Supertramp: A campaign this blog fully supports”

  1. That tramp-in-a-scarf idea is relatively staid, compared to the myriad of exciting and quirky delights that await us in the Cultural Olympiad 2012, courtesy of the Arts Council:

    Three gigantic hand-crocheted lions “displayed in a huge taxidermy style case”, Lady Godiva “recreated as a gigantic human puppet”, a “travelling wingless silver bird, recycled from an abandoned DC9 aeroplane”, a giant column of smoke (burning banknotes, I wonder?) a “warehouse installation made from donated personal possessions”, “a mass public research around notions of home”, a great lump of rock and gravel dug up in the Arctic and floated on a barge along the south coast of England before being taken away and dumped back up in the Arctic again, and – my personal favourite – a football pitch-sized area in the middle of a Scottish forest to be cleared of trees, turned into a makeshift football pitch and then, after a couple of games, left to rot, “creating a new environment within the forest.”

    Best of all, these fabulous cultural celebrations are costing us a mere £5.4 million.

  2. I’m looking forward to the Liverpool segment. I wonder how fast the local chavs will have the chase cars up on blocks, the torch melted down and fenced to a scrap dealer and the runners mugged for their singlets.

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