The 2012 Olympic mascots have been unveiled. Unsurprising, like so much produced by the state, they are terrible. However, I am less concerned with their artistic message than with the process of arriving at these designs.
When you look back at the mascots of other countries, you have Amik, the beaver to represent Canada. Greece named 2 after their gods, and referenced some archeological drawings. Barcelona took a catalan sheepdog and styled him after a Picassa painting which is just too smart by half. China picked 5 which were inspired by various native creatures.
In every case, they either took something of their culture and history.
Yet every part of these Olympics, from the closing ceremony in Beijing to the logo to the mascots is the establishment showing just how much the establishment want to disassociate Britain from its normal or historic culture. The result is something abstract and banal that says nothing about being British.