The Cost of the Olympics and The Recession

Britain is now out of recession and that is good news. Preliminary figures show a third quarter growth of just 1%. Some commentators put the growth down to the Olympic Games ticket sales, but I have no doubt that the tickets sales were of a lesser amount than the lost dales in the retail industry in London and the construction and maintenance industry slow down during the games which was caused by the games taking place in London.

There is other good news; there have been more people in employment and despite the impossibility of small businesses securing finance  from their banks, businesses are managing somehow, although with difficulty.

It is clear that we need to employ people in making things, installing things and servicing things if we are to secure our economic future. It is also clear that we must learn the lessons of the recession, caused by bank and hedge fund speculation. Someone has calculated that people are now £1800 a year worse off than they were in 2008. Most of that money has gone into the pockets of the bankers and hedge fund operators. That is no way to run an economy.

As our economy grows we must ensure that we direct money and therefore growth into the production of things, rather than the production of another giant casino which will impoverish those who are not wealthy. That is the lesson we must learn.

It is a hot, humid sunless day in London in late August

It is a hot, humid sunless day in London in late August. Summer has almost gone and autumn beckons and then winter will cool us in London which waits, like a disappointed beneficiary, the Olympic legacy. This is really no legacy, for London has paid for what the politicians claim will be a legacy. You do not buy your own legacy; this is a debt due to the folk of the East End which Londoners have paid for, many times over. Continue reading

If Only Paris Had Won the Bid…

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. Continue reading

Who pays the Piper?

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? Continue reading

A Journey Over England

I flew over England yesterday. I have never seen it look greener. The rivers and reservoirs are bursting full and leaves hang in heavy abundance from the trees. As the plane climbed into the rain clouds above them was bright sunshine, a terse reminder of how the weather is simply a layer of temporary happening above a much larger area of permanence. Continue reading

Why Should Celebrities Carry the Olympic Torch?

If you live inLondonyou see evidence of the Olympics every day. Roads are dug up so that road world will be completed in time for the games, announcements are made and no doubt there will be a rounding up of the usual suspects and homeless so that our fair city does not outwardly show any stains on its character at a time when the world is watching it. Continue reading

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. Continue reading