Exactly one year from now the London Olympics will start. Oh, how I look forward to it. I’d really, really be looking forward to it if I lived in London. Well, I’d really be looking forward to getting anywhere else on the planet. “We’ve only got self-catering in Mogadishu left sir”. “I’ll take it!”
I saw Seb Coe wittering on about it on the telly box this morning. He was on about how it was already helping everyone. He noted it was currently employing 12,000 people. Lord Coe or Lord Keynes I wondered? Quite frankly they could employ 12,000 people to clean the highways of Britain with toothbrushes to much the same effect. This is not productive work as such. Indeed most of the facilities will be at least partially dismantled after the sports day is over. Seeing as the total cost of this caper is allegedly £12 billion to the taxpayer my modest proposal would have just to have given 12,000 random Brits a million quid each to do with as they will. Some undoubtedly would spend it on slow horses and fast women and the rest would squander it (maybe settting-up businesses and such). That’s a stimulus I can believe in! Oh and we could have tossed the ball over the Channel. Paris really wanted it. I guarantee whilst our humble pie might not taste as sweet as the cake they’d be eating it would ultimately be more nutritious.
But what about the regenerative effects for the local area? Well, Olympic 400m gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu who hails from that neck of the woods doesn’t seem to think it’s engaging the interest of local kids which is a shame because getting kids into doing sport was a primary stated aim of the whole boondoggle. And then of course if you are a local water-borne resident you’re out because you make the place look “untidy” and might upset the “dignitaries”. I seem to recall hearing something like that happened just last year in South Africa for the World Cup in case Mr Step Ladder got upset and became Mr Slack Bladder.
I hate the way the Olympics is conceived. It is pure bread and circuses (without the bread) run by and for the air-con, 5*, Learjet elites. It is quite simply the most absurdly top-down thing. It’s like the circus coming to town, demanding you pay for the big-top and the wages of all the clowns whether you want to see the whole ghastly spectacle or not. I mean is it even possible to enjoy watching the 10,000m? A load of folks going round and round and round whilst Brendan Foster drones on interminably about “tactics”.
I’m maybe being unfair to circuses here. They, like the Olympics, promise the “Greatest Show on Earth” yet do it off their own bat don’t they? Surely if that Olympic promise is true then the games could be run at a profit?
P T Barnum managed it.