Wednesday, November 22, 2006

London 2012 set to be most cynical games of all time

London has been congratulated by the International Olympic Committee for the most cynical reponse of any nation to ever host the games.

Picked out for special commendation was the UK population's complete unwillingness to 'go with the flow'. Jacques Rogge stated that 'We knew that the British were world renowned misanthropes, but this level of whingeing could only ever have been dreamed of at the IOC offices in Geneva'

Ms. Tessa Jowell's announcement that the budget was to increase by £900m to £3.3 bn overall took over 12 hours to be fully clarified as a result of the amount of tutting that her speech recieved. One journalist said that he only caught about 20% of her announcement because Tim Shipman of the Daily Mail spent the entire hour repeating the mantra 'I told you so, I told you so, tsk what do you bloody expect.'

The Olympic Delivery Authority's pronouncement that the Olympics would provide, a new transport infrastructure for London and the South East, the regeneration of the most deprived area in the UK, housing for 40,000 people, a 6 to 7 year job boom and at the end of it all a 2 week party was met by the throng of hacks sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting 'La la la la la, we're not listening, we're not listening'

67 comments:

Gavin Corder said...

I admit to being Ebenezer Corder about the Olympics, it's all humbug. I'm with the hacks.

Six Years Late said...

I'm afraid I just don't get it. I can't think of another on-going project that will get the level of return in terms of revenue generated than this Olympics. The west Coast mainline upgrade which is costing £8.4 bn has been proved to be inadequate, but there is about a 1000th of the moaning about that.

Anonymous said...

How much revenue precisely??
(Or even approximately..??)

Six Years Late said...

Well let's think about it. 40,000 homes to be sold, approximately 100,000 jobs created in the next 2 years and over 300,000 jobs reliant on the Olympics by 2010. Over 1 million tourists expected in the two weeks of the actual games. Profile of London hugely boosted to attract additional tourism in the future with the facilities to be proud of and keep them coming back.

Transport to aid business communication and increase cost efficiencies. Hang on I'll keep on going in a minute.

Sarnia said...

I agree with you, Six. All this negative whingeing is so predictable and unproductive.

As a Londoner originally, I'm PROUD that London are hosting the 2012 Olympics.

Paul said...

Sorry to burst the Olympic bubble but there's a lot of cynicism outside of London. Sure London's profile will be raised but it's already at 11 on the Tourism scale. Jobs for Londoners, homes for Londoners, blah, blah, blah Londoners.

I'm with Sarnia I think it's great, when I look at Sydney and their games I think yeah bring it on. The problem is only about 25% of the U.K population live within an hour of the M25 - that means you have to convince 75% of the populus that they will get some benefit out of London getting all the attention.

Curmy said...

Just watch your council tax rise, Six !

Six Years Late said...

Curmy I am on record as saying I'd be happy to pay extra in my council tax. Having said that I'm now moving out of London so i won't get clobbered. It's nice to have principles that you don't have to actually carry out.

Paul, there are three large building firms down in the South west one in dorset and two in devon who have secured contracts to provide make ready parts for parts of the stadiums. these contracts are occurring all over the country. Yes the focus will be on London, but the country will benefit. many of the stadia are actually being disassembled following the games and shipped out to the regions.

The Uk wouldn't have got the games if London hadn't guaranteed a very small footprint to ensure the security risk. It is arguable that manchester or Birmingham would have been glamourous enough for the IOC. I guess this argument is a little chicken and egg, because I wanted the games in the UK and I live in London so mines a win win. If you didn't want the games and you live in cumbria i guess you would be pissed off. I still maintain that there will be net gain for the country as a whole though but do concede that it will benefit London most.

Paul said...

I agree Six. I have a client who is hoping to benefit.

My personal worry is Weymouth, it's not designed to cope with the numbers the organisers are talking about - it took 30 years for the relief road to be built and during the summer it's still nose to tail. When we were in France in August we saw the French sailing team competing and you got to the venue by a Land Train - Weymouth will need a simiar sort of arrangement.

Anonymous said...

And how long will those supposed 400,000 jobs last, exactly?

At what level of cost would you begin to believe the returns were too low?

10bn? 15bn?

Six Years Late said...

Anonymous - I think I've already said. We're not talking jobs for life here, (but then what job is these days) but contracts beteen 2 and 6 years generates both a level of personal wealth and tax revenue that will be beneficial to both individuals and the country.

Personally if it costs £10bn I don't think it'd be an issue. Seeing as we're overspending £7.9 bn a year on CFISSA which is a complete white elephant that no one seems to even know about then £10bn for something tangible seems a snip.

Six Years Late said...

Apart from anything else, it's actually not about returns. It's about spending money for the good of the people of the nation. You only have to look at the benefit the sydney Olympics had on that sport obsessed nation to realise what copuld be achieved.

Of course you could see it as £10bn spunked up the wall. Well if that's the case, i'd still say go ahead.

Anonymous said...

Where should I look to see the Sydney Olympics benefits?

Links?

Six Years Late said...

Don't know and I can't really be bothered to look. Who are you anyway?

Chris Carter said...

(1) Just look at the benefits to Sydney.

(2) Where should I look?

(1) No idea and can't be bothered!

That's the way to win 'em over!

Six Years Late said...

Chris, my blog isn't of a political nature. The post was meant to be a satirical (however weak) take on my perception of the UK as a bunch of miserable misanthropes. I'm not about to start researching the subject deeply as I'm not planning to become some London 2012 ambassador, I've got better things to write about, like my miserabe experience with my lodger.

I think the Olympics will be great I seem to be in a tiny minority which I find deeply saddening. I don't see many people looking for absolute value for every tax pound they spend on other things and if that is what people are worried about, there are hundreds of better examples of waste than the olympics are likely to be.

Paul said...

Six I think one of the problems here is that as a nation we don't really rate international sport's comps until they happen or they are exceptional in the bigger scheme of things.

Look at the Ashes, this has been in the papers everyday since the Oval in 2005 but how many people turn up at county games which is where the grounding is done.

You mentioned Crystal Palace this week, how many people go there when it's not hosting an international event or an Olympic trial, apart from my sister-in-law and her family?

You can look at any sport and people will talk about cost rather than the spiritual value (in the true sense of the word) it gives.

The ODA haven't done themselves any favours either so far, nobody has talked about funding outside London for the other events.

Infrastructure in six years, it won't happen much as I would like it to.

As regards the financial side of things I think people are questionning because of Wembley and the Dome to name but two.

It can work and it will work but at the moment there seems to be plenty of people taking their cut and not much work done.

IsobelMagsBuchan said...

Six, I agree with everything you say. And just to add many other areas will benefit from say training camps. I know that the dear old Brummies are hoping to catch the big teams such as Russia and China. They will be in the city for between two and three months meaning lots of dosh for local businesses. I dare say that cities like Brum, Coventry etc will get quite a kick from hotel business during the games themselves because it's just as quick to travel from the Midlands to East London as it is to travel from West to East.

Bring the games on! Can't wait....I'm registered as a volunteer. I shall be doing my Norris bit, you just wait and see!

Chris Carter said...

"It can work and will work"

Well, of course I hope so - I admire your enthusiasm (naivety?)!

But with swimming pools being closed / run down, playing fields still disappearing, the hypocrisy of the whole commercial (crooked?) Olympics ballyhoo - "plenty of people taking their cut" as you say - makes me sick.

Chris Carter said...

You might want to look at Simon Jenkins in today's Grauniad.

One excerpt:
"There is no evidence that hosting the Olympics helps a nation's tourism or its economy. Sports tourists tend to deter other tourists, as Germany found during the World Cup and Australia did after its Olympics. The latter even launched a desperate tourist advertising campaign entitled, "So where the bloody hell are you?" According to figures from the European Tour Operators Association, not one Olympic city has seen a lasting visitor surge that can be attributed to hosting the games. The chief beneficiaries are the contractors and consultants sucked in by the cash gusher; in Britain's case this will be mostly a subsidy from the provinces to London."

Read it all!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1955949,00.html

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