Give John Major the credit he's due for British sport
We saw David Cameron all too often, at one point playing uneasy host to Vladimir Putin. We saw Boris Johnson entertaining Rupert Murdoch, a sight to terrify any sensitive soul. We saw a smirking Tony Blair. But the most reticent visitor to the Olympics was the man who might be thought the begetter of the gold rush: Sir John Major.
And yet Major, though not a boastful man, had real achievements to take pride in, not the least of them the national lottery. Its proceeds have paid for any number of cultural projects, and transformed British sport. Money alone can't buy sporting victory, but it would have been quite impossible for Team GB to succeed as it has, on bikes, in boats, on horseback, or in track and field, without generous lottery seed money.
No one is ever going to call Major a great man or a great premier. But apart form the fact that all sports fans should be grateful to him, he did his best in impossible circumstances, and behaved decently on the whole. His successors at Downing Street could have learned from that.