Boris Johnson: Olympo-sceptics were wrong about the Games

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Opinion digest: An Olympics that transformed the nation, and the real US election battleground

LAST UPDATED AT 12:01 ON Mon 10 Sep 2012

OLYMPIC SCEPTICS WERE WRONG
BORIS JOHNSON ON A NATION'S TRANSFORMATION
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson has a message for Britain's Olympic naysayers: "You were wrong about the Games, and you will be proved wrong about the legacy as well." This was a summer that brought us together as a nation. Not only did the sporting spectacles aid the regeneration of a huge chunk of east London, but they also led to massive improvements to London's transport infrastructure. And despite the cynicism, these Olympics did inspire a generation. More people than ever are now taking up sport and we have seen a huge explosion of volunteering and general public-spiritedness. The Paralympics closing ceremony will inevitably have marked the return of the Olympo-sceptics, but their case has been fatally weakened. Contrary to their expectations, this Games has changed London, transformed the world's attitude to Britain, and reminded us of what this country can really do when it pulls together.

US SWING STATES ARE THE HOLY GRAIL
RUPERT CORNWELL ON THE IMPORTANCE OF OHIO
Following the conventions, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney now turn their attention to the tiny portion of the electorate that really matters: the swing states, says Rupert Cornwell in The Independent. It is in Ohio, Florida and Michigan where this election will be won and lost. In 2008, Obama won all of the swing states. This time, Romney must carry a minimum of five, and probably eight, to prevail. Early polls suggest that Obama holds a narrow lead, but his path to re-election could still be thrown off course by a foreign crisis or a less-than-stunning performance in the presidential debates. Money will also play a factor as the minted Romney team concentrate their firepower on attack ads. When an incumbent seeks a second term, American elections are referendums. This electorate is not famous for its patience – if it votes on this impulse, then it is Romney who will be sworn in next January.

EURO RESCUE FUND CONDEMNS GERMANY
GUNNAR BECK ON AN UNLAWFUL SUPPORT PACKAGE
The proposed rescue fund for Europe not only breaches German law and EU treaties but it could condemn a generation, writes Gunnar Beck in The Guardian. German politicians are defending the European Support Mechanism (ESM), claiming it would fix the country's maximum liability at €190bn, but this reveals that they either have not read the treaty or they do not understand its small print. The reality is far more damaging. Even if only a small percentage of Germany's total claims against other eurozone governments eventually have to be written off, the loss would run into hundreds of billions and effectively extinguish the Bundestag's financial room for a generation and beyond. Today's German political establishment seems committed to consigning German taxpayers to "economic serfdom and stagflation", says Beck. Only a move by the country's constitutional court to reject the ESM can save the situation now. · 

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