Taste the diffidence
Heh, yeah, exactly like them: Two events that are irrelevant to British history and says nothing meaningful whatsoever about British society. I can understand it when small, insignificant countries (such as my own) derive collective meaning from sporting triumphs, but you'd think a country like Britain could avoid making do with such desperate crutches. The infatuation with Diana and her pointless and trivial death is to me an absolute mystery. How can anyone regard that as "a defining moment in our history"? Why, what does it define? Your vulnerability to drunken chauffeurs? The extent of people's capacity for arbitrary sentimentality? The unconditional surrender to the gutter press' stranglehold on the national imagination? The pervasiveness of the Sissi syndrome?
Frankly I'm hard put to find anything very important at stake here, one way or the other. The Olympics, while phenomenally boring, doesn't do any harm
I haven't been following the matter closely enough, but there have been a few commentaries (like Owen Hatherley's) which make a case that the Olympics are a massive project to re-shape the city for economic reasons ("urban renewal"), and in particular to "open up" East London for investment. The other thing to point out is that the Games have allowed civic authorities to roll out even more invasive and all-encompassing security measures, many of which will remain in place long after the more visible elements-- troops and missiles-- have been removed. The Games aren't quite a traveling circus that will just up stakes and leave without a trace.