I go into ‘Hrrpmh’ mode this morning as I discover, as belatedly as almost everyone else on this Sceptered Isle apparently, that Parliament has banned my right as an Englishman to utter, write or deploy as I wish a word which has been in use in our Mother Tongue, by all accounts, since 1597.

For this intelligence I am indebted to the Today programme (this morning’s ‘listen again’ is HERE) which has picked up the story of one Robert Ronson, a first time writer of children’s books who has had the temerity to entitle his new book “Olympic Mind Games”.

In so doing he has managed to bring down upon his head, unwittingly (and, as we shall see, in circumstances such that only perhaps a hundred people in This Realm might be expected to have known that he was doing anything remotely ‘iffy’) the wrath of the International Olympic Committee, the London Olympic Association and some would-be recruits to the Thought Police in something called “Brand Protection”, a sort of Schutz-Staffel for the London Olympic Committee.

Having written his book, the literary worth of which I am unable to judge since no more than 300 copies of this work have, as yet, been published, the good Mr. Ronson found himself on the receiving end of a missive from the Brand Protection Kommando in which they basically told him that he should not dare to use the title he had thought up for his magnum opus in the interests of ‘consistency’ and lest it sow confusion in the minds of we Proles that this was, despite all obvious appearances to the contrary, an ‘officially licensed product’ by his use of the word ‘Olympic’ and the number ‘2012’ in that title.

Shortly thereafter he received a further missive to the effect that the matter had now been referred to Party Headquarters and that the bad news was that the “International Olympic Committee” was minded not to grant consent to his use of the title he had chosen for his work, in particular because of their ‘concern’ about his use of the word ‘Olympic’ as an adjective (perhaps if it had been used as a ‘preposition’ or a ‘pronoun’ their agitation might have been less, but who knows with people of this mindset?). But what seemed to upset the Party Faithful so much was the fact that “…there is no such thing as ‘Olympic Mind Games’…”.

There followed the usual threatening stuff about how they reserved the right to take ‘any action’ (a train ride in a sealed cattle truck, perhaps) to ‘prevent’ this from happening in future.

Robert Ronson, who now enters a small corner of The Huntsman’s Pantheon, did what comes naturally to any Englishman when faced with a self-loving and over-mighty bully: he published anyway, thereby delivering a firm Agincourt Salute to this Cats-paw of a lot of foreign johnnies who think they can, at the click of a keyboard, terrorise us into submission.

He was right to do so, if only because the two pieces of legislation upon which these would-be book burners rely, the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995 (you can tell how shoddy it is by its use of ‘etc.’ in the title of a Public General Act) and the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006, are pieces of legislation of such Orwellian obscurantist opacity that, as I have pointed out, perhaps no more than a hundred or so people might claim properly to understand them all. The Acts may be found here and here and an Act to which it is necessary to refer in trying to understand what you may and may not do, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is here. You figure it out if you can.

It may well be that an expensive £750 per hour Copyright Silk (which I am not in either regard) might be able to advise you, probably at some length in view of the rate, what is and what is not permitted. I reckon I am no slouch in working things like this out, but, I confess, that, having looked at them, I am damned if I could give you a succinct answer. And it is upon that opacity that the Brand Protection Kommando rely in order to bully their way around the place threatening all manner of Englishmen with the direst of consequences if they should so much as think of defying them and using the words, for example, ‘two thousand and twelve’ and ‘summer’ in the same sentence or expression.

Coming so soon after the fiasco over the truly awful Olympic Logo (am I breaking the law by using that phrase, I wonder?), it may be thought that the Party London Olympic Committee needed this controversy like a hole in the head. It is said that they are ‘disappointed’ that the book has gone ahead, but have now decided that to take action would make them look foolish, so, covering their backsides with lots of little phrases to indicate their magnanimity in taking no further action, they have, this time, backed off.

My pleasure at Mr. Ronson’s defiance will, I am sure, be shared by those of us who are utterly underwhelmed at the prospect of the vast expense and gigantic self-regard of that which is the 2012 London Olympics and what is, in the case of a fair few of the ‘sports’ which make up the Olympics (my third or fourth offence, I suspect), no more than an exercise in who can get to the best shyster chemist first.

Watch, however, for you may be sure that, for the Party, this is going to be a case of ‘reculer pour mieux sauter’.

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