We cannot hold a sporting event like the Olympics without tens of thousands of people being drafted in to search us as we enter the event or travel near it. That is very sad. It is also sad that the spectators will be controlled as though they were all terrorists. Is it worth spectating under these conditions?
Here are some odd prohibited items that spectators must submit to control:-
1. Sun cream of more than 200 ml but only if the sun is shining. Apparently the authorities have not heard of diffuse radiation burning skin, so when the sun isn’t shining sun cream will be regarded with great suspicion. Fear not, I have no doubt that someone in the event will be selling sun cream and three times the normal price.
2. No form of advertising unless it is essential or the advertising of one of the sponsors, so take off that Pepsi T shirt. I hope to see that this rule will be imaginatively and successfully flouted.
3. A bottle of water
You will be allowed to bring lots of money and should you visit an event you will be well advised to, because as your bottle of water is confiscated at the gate, so you will be able to buy a replacement at the door, probably of some mineral type water which is less healthy than the stuff that comes from the tap, and probably at twice the normal price. You will also be allowed to eat and drink, at highly inflated prices, food and drink being supplied by the Olympic sponsors, Coca Cola and MacDonald’s, purveyors of high quality food to athletes for many years now.
If you don’t have loads of cash or feel uncomfortable in bringing it with you, the businesses will accept VISA. If you don’t have VISA, hard luck.
The logic of being able to buy a processed carbonated drink or a fatty patty wrapped in tasteless bread, is that the manufacturers of this “food” have invested much money in sponsoring the London Olympics and thus should be allowed to recoup their sponsorship money together with a healthy profit by having their names flashed all over the world and milking the spectators by being able to exercise their monopoly within the games. The huge advertising is not enough for these “sponsors”; they must squeeze every penny out of the spectators. Remember that when you may be tempted to buy their products.
In essence the sponsors do no more than lend money short term which they get back with a large return; ultimately the games are paid for by the tax payers and the spectators. I would like to see a tribute to the taxpayers of London who have made these games possible, not to the rather irritating Sebastian Coe.
I would also like to see some recompense for the many businesses that will actually lose money during the games. There will be many of them, far more than we know, and most of them small businesses unable to afford to adapt to the transport difficulties that will arise during the games and unable to manage without work for the time when the games prevents things like building works being carried out during the games. It is a myth that the Games will be good for business or the building industry or for our economy. It is a nice myth and perhaps one that will do no damage. It may distract those taxpayers who have paid for the Games in believing some good may come of it. Those who have paid the piper will not hear the tune.