This ought to be filed under “not exactly a surprise really”.
Now, I am recalling this figure from memory but I have a vague idea that the Global Sports Day (and undoubtedly a Mecca for terrorists – especially if we join the Septics in Tomahawking Persia to no discernible effect other than to make those fuckers more Irate than Iran – is set to cost 20 billion quidlings.
But it’s an investment innit? And the first pay-back is that sports fans from the entire globe shall descend upon London. Now call me silly but I have lived in London (Stepney E1) and during the summer London is packed to the rafters with tourists. My wife did her MA at the University of Westminster and her flat over-looked the epic, nay Biblical, queue outside Madame Tussard’s. My point is that there is more than enough stuff in London to keep Herr Hamburger of Hamburg and Fukushima-san of the Japanese Radiological Wastelands occupied. Hell’s teeth Dr Johnson (of dictionary fame) once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. Exactly. London is the finest city on the planet (of those I’ve been to anyway) and I love it dearly because I honestly can’t think of anywhere else with quite the vibe.
…a survey by the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), which suggested the UK capital could suffer a slump in visitors next summer.
The survey of 28 of its leading members, responsible for two million tourists a year, indicated tour operators to the UK were experiencing an average 90% downturn in bookings during the London Olympic Games.
So where is the payback on this “investment”? The big stadium (a snip at half a billion – a couple of destroyers at least surely?) is going to be partially dismantled after the month-long caper is over. Or given to West Ham or something equally ghastly (thanks Tessa!). Of course we now have Jeremy Hunt riding the noble steed that is Culture, Media and Sport. Oh, what epic wank! I mean if the Tories really wanted to be different they would have chucked that cabinet post on the scrap-heap. But it’s terribly important Nick! Yes, it is, and that is why government ought to have nothing whatsoever to do with it. Anyway Newcastle are third in the premiership and that has nowt to do with anything other than scoring more goals than the opposition. Jeremy Hunt scored none of those goals. Jeremy Hunt is his own rhyming slang.
But let’s face facts. When London won the Olympics Jonathan Pearce of Samizdata (and a Pimlico resident) summed his feelings over this Great Privilege up in two words. I think they were, “Oh fuck!”. A hit, a palpable hit. Now the linked article is of Scottish origin and our jockulent cousins see London 2012 as an opportunity. Well, fair play to them! Certainly I am more likely to go North than South next year. Or possibly to Croatia (or maybe a “Dracula trip” to Romania and Bulgaria. I have kinda a Euro tick-list and I have seen most of it. I have actually been to Croatia but that was commie at the time and extremely dull. Though the ice cream was good. General principle of communism – 95% of everything sucks but 5% is done extremely well.