Minor members of the Royal Family – including the Earl of Catford and the Hon Humphrey ffoulkes-Thynne, Thegn of Thanet – join the popular music combo One Direction for a spirited rendition of Spem in Alium. As they sing, five hundred female students of Eng Lit commingle with an equivalent number of City types, forming into pairs for a spirited display of synchronised spanking that both pays tribute to Britain’s latest literary sensation and symbolises Britain’s dire financial straits. Members of the Bullingdon Club look on and snort. As an old London Pea Souper fog rolls across the stadium, the reddened buttocks of the students glower with such instensity that the form of a Remembrance Day poppy appears, one that can be seen from the Shard.
The fog clears, to reveal a desolate civic centre in the Festival style, where the pound shops have been undercut by the 99p shops, where the only food is fried and on a stick and where the At-risk Youth Secure Accommodation Facility is now called an academy. Suddenly, the eery silence is broken: a vast rubber johnny billows up, from within which can be heard a cacophany of young voices, all of them complaining about something. Dramatically, the condom (designed by Zaha Hadid) splits and out of it tumbles a host of chavs and chavettes. Dressed by Adidas and Burberry, they slouch towards the Social Security office.
For today is Giro Day. And this is Britain, sea-girt and rather desperate.