It’s all happening at the Aquatics Centre – or rather, outside it – as embattled Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt shakes hands with News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. Channel 4 News’s Paraic O’Brien looks on.
You can learn a lot about Britain by just hanging by the side of the pool. Especially, when that pool is the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park during one of the big nights of the Games.
From an overpass, looking down onto the service road where VIPs arrive, you can see it all.
Tony Blair, for example, has the biggest security cavalcade; William and Kate look happy together; Jeremy Hunt and Rupert Murdoch ditto.
Mr Murdoch was there by invitation of Boris Johnson. As the mayor arrived I asked him how he was feeling ahead of his love-in by the poolside. “He’s an important investor in the London economy,” he replied.
“Yeah, I know, but what will you be chatting about? What’s he like?”
“He’s an important investor in the London economy,” he replied, again.
Then he went into to watch Michael Phelps take a 17th gold and Rebecca Adlington take a bronze.
At the end of the event, the cavalcades starting filing up outside again. There’s Tony Blair and Cherie hugging Tessa Jowell. There’s the young Prince and Princess looking radiant. There’s Rupert Murdoch and his wife. No sign of their car though.
“Mr Murdoch, up here.” I’m about 30 yards away. “Wave, if you’d like Boris to be prime minister.” He looks angry and waves me away.
Still no sign of the car. Then along comes the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt. He shakes Rupert Murdoch’s hand warmly. There are lots of smiles. It feels very chummy indeed.
There’s even some “What ya gonna do?” style, resigned shrugging. Eventually, Jeremy Hunt’s ministerial car arrives. Mr Murdoch’s car doesn’t arrive. He has to get a black cab.