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.
Make no mistake: the failure of G4S to provide the requisite security staff is a true debacle, and lampooning a pitiful British summer has always been fair game. But one of the less helpful stories to have emerged in recent weeks is the discussion of so-called 'Plastic Brits': members of the British Olympic team who were born overseas.