Things are changing in the existing state system, but not fast or far enough. Their lack of ambition betrays our children, particularly the cleverest. A recent survey found that less than half the teachers in state secondary schools would advise their brightest pupils to try for Oxford or Cambridge; a tragedy to haunt us long after the Olympic triumphs are forgotten.
In the Olympic Café, just a bacon buttie's throw from Wembley Stadium, enthusiasm for the London Olympics was decidedly muted. But then this was 2002: even the Athens Games were still a couple of years away, and whatever goes for tumbleweed in East London was still blowing through the unregenerated Lower Lea Valley.