All the talk this week is of how the UK can build on the feel-great factor generated by the Olympics. There's no doubt that the country felt very different during the Games; whatever grumbles there were before they started, about security, tickets, traffic etc. disappeared as soon as the action got under way.
People are now saying that the Brits have rediscovered themselves, that we have restored the sense of solidarity and national identity that was last spotted during WWII. Well, if it carries on, great. But it's unlikely to happen by itself, it's going to need some careful nurturing.
The black cloud of course is the economy. It's been a dead weight, dragging us all down emotionally and financially for a long time now. Until we all start feeling more positive about it the chances of the national mood remaining buoyant are very slim.
Of course the problems can't be solved over night. But wouldn't it be great if we could feel that the issues were being addressed in the Olympic spirit?
The point about the Olympics and Paralympics is that we watched outstanding, elite performers performing Herculean tasks at the peak of their powers, with only one objective in mind- that of winning. OK, politicians aren't athletes. But they know about winning, after all they gave to run for office.
Most of the time politicians aren't asked to outperform, generally governments tend to be managers, not visionaries. But exceptional times demand exceptional performance. And this is an exceptional time.
We all know what has to happen to give the economy a chance to recover. We need growth and we need to cut the deficit. The precise strategies for achieving that may be a matter of debate, but at the end of the day nothing will be achieved with polices that fiddle around at the edges, or that promise much and deliver little.
Right now, this country doesn't need economic managers. It needs economic visionaries. It needs people who are willing to try out new ideas, to experiment with new solutions, to be entrepreneurial in their approach to the economy. Not every experiment will work, not every entrepreneur succeeds. But every good business person knows that the key drivers to success are attitude and self-belief. They are also the drivers that win gold medals for athletes and get a country to change its mood. They are the drivers our politicians need to harness now.
And you know what the most effective way is of giving people self-belief? It's having the crowd behind them. Every British medal winner said it was the crowd that made the difference.
So, you know what we have to do. Let's get out there and cheer our politicians on! Even though it's so much more fun to boo them!