Looking Forward to the Olympics?

On 27th July 2012 the London Olympic Games opens. It will have cost a staggering amount of money to put on; more than nine billion pounds will have been spent with much of the spending being spent on ephemera. Half a billion will be spent on “security”. More than £81 million is being spent on the opening ceremony. The government decided a few weeks ago that £40 million did not buy a grand enough opening ceremony so it doubled the budget. I suppose it will make folk in the rest of the world see how wisely we are spending our money in these austere times.

I would have favoured a simple opening ceremony; there could be some military bands and a military parade, some music of different kinds and a few flags to wave. We could have got quite a decent show up for a hundred thousand pounds. Where will the eighty one million be spent?

I have never favoured the Olympics coming to London, even though I am a Londoner. The games are run as a business not to make money but to enable a nation to show off – or in the words of the Government to “showcase” Britain. The topics of the show case will be strictly curated.

No doubt London’s beggars and homeless will be relocated far from the games. The Games will not show case our failure to use clean renewable energy or our dirty hospitals, our expensive bureaucratic justice system run for the convenience of the courts rather than the parties the courts service, It will not showcase our economic failures or the injustice that moves wealth from the middle to the rich, or the lies and incompetence of our politicians. I am not sure what will be show cased. We shall see.

London’s traditional ales pies mash and fish and chips will not be found at the Games; instead the food and drink will be provided by those healthy purveyors of nourishment – Coca Cola and Macdonalds.

It is argued that without sponsorship the Games wouldn’t happen. I am sure the Games would happen, but they would be different and being different from Coca Cola and Macdonalds is a good thing.

Most of the events will take place a few miles away from where I live. I have not bothered to apply for tickets. Those I know who did apply did not get what they wanted. It seems that special car lanes will be established for the use of the Olympic officials and other great and good personages during the Olympics. It is good to see that special treatment is given to these highly deserving people. For the rest of us, London will be a good place to avoid in the summer.


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