Mr Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, posh chap who speaks in a nice accent, has said that the Olympic Games, which start in London tonight, will show the world that Britain can deliver, although quite what it can deliver remains unspecified and show the world what Britain is capable of. (Forgive the split infinitive). He was responding to Mitt Romney, who questioned the commitment of the British people to the Olympics.
Well, Mr Romney, you are right as far as I am concerned. Frankly, I fail to see how people should feel committed to a sporting event out of which elite athletes, officials and politicians will make a great deal of money or gain a great deal of kudos while the hoi polloi are mainly entitled to sit at home watching the events on television.
So far we know what Britain can deliver from the Olympics:-
1. An Olympic village with no micro generation at all, not even solar water heating.
2. The ability to confuse the North Korean flag with the South Korean flag, much to the disconcertment of both nations
3. Special Olympic car lanes in London, so that motorists going to work to try an earn a living can applaud these very important officials as they get driven past in the special car lanes with traffic signals specially adjusted as a way of thanking them for the extra taxes that we have had to pay for these games.
4. A great ability to fiddle the figures, just like Barclays Bank. Originally the games were going to cost just £3 million. I have ignored the VAT because that goes to the government. Now we can boast to the world that the games have come in under budget at £9 million. This is real mathematical brilliance by Britain.
5. The sub contracting of security to a private company that was entirely incapable of running security. As a result a brilliant Plan B was conceived: bring in the army.
6. We have shown the excellence of British cuisine my making Coca-Cola, MacDonalds and KFC official food sponsors of the games. There is nowhere to go after that sponsorship. It is a bit like giving Adolf Hitler an award for services to humanity or, or giving the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama.
7. Most of all, we can show just how much we can boast, exaggerate and lie about these games.
I should declare my interest in these matters.
First, I do enjoy sport of all kinds, although in recent years the richer sport has become the less I enjoy it. I get no real joy cheering for a football team made up of people who earn more in a few days than the average annual wage; I cannot say it seems to make a difference whether we win or lose. Similarly athletics is good to watch, but the present wages and honours that athletes enjoy, takes much of the pleasure out of watching.
Second, the holding of the games has cost me a great deal of money. That is bound to warp my view of them. My various taxes have risen to pay for the games, but worse than that business seems to have ground to a very slow pace. This comes after the extended celebrations and holidays for the Queen’s Jubilee. I do not know what the final cost will be but it will be significant. Perhaps if I made a lot of money from the games I would have a different view of them. However, perhaps it can be understood just how sick-making it is to hear how wonderful these games are or will be after they have cost me a large wedge of money which I do not have.
If only Paris had won the bid…