Wednesday, July 6

All that glitters is not gold

Supporters of London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games reacted with joy and surprise to the capital's shock victory on Wednesday while France struggled to comprehend how Paris had lost.

The brutal truth is that we are saddled with the corrupt, over blown, corporate hystera that the modern olympics have become.

"We are taking home the biggest prize in sport," said bid leader Lord Coe, twice an Olympic champion on the track, after London beat Paris by four votes. Oh well, we shall soon see that all this is a poison chalise but clearly not today.

The Queen sent her "warmest congratulations" to Lord Coe. She hosted a dinner for an Olympic evaluation commission at Buckingham Palace in February to show her support for the bid.

"I couldn't bear to watch (the final announcement). It is not often in this job that you get to punch the air, do a little jig and embrace the person standing next to you." said Tony Blair.

Later on Wednesday that person is likely to be French President Jacques Chirac when the leaders meet at the G8 Summit in Edinburgh. Any words of congratulation or commiseration there are likely to be uttered through gritted teeth.

Paris had been the favourite throughout the bidding process and its failure, its third in 20 years, left French supporters floundering for an explanation.

"It's hard ... it's a great disappointment, a great emptiness around us all," said French Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour, a former Olympic fencing champion.

In London the news was greeted by a huge roar from a crowd packed into Trafalgar Square.

A ticker-tape explosion surrounded Nelson's Column, standing proud in the bi-centenary year of Britain's greatest naval victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets.

London, of course, does not need any more tourists. The capital is overrun with them, anyway, for, contrary to the many idiotic statements about the Olympic Games putting it on the map, London has been on the map for some centuries.
The Olympic experience in Australia and Greece shows that the arrival of the Olympic razzmatazz drives away the other tourists (as well as many of the local inhabitants). That is something in its favour, though whether the various hotel keepers and restaurant managers will think that is doubtful.
London’s record on building new things and staying within something vaguely resembling the original budget is not good. Think Crossrail, Wembley Stadium, the Dome. So what is it that made the IOC decide in London’s favour? Of course, we do not know precisely what all that feverish last-minute lobbying involved but shall, no doubt, find out eventually, when the country’s debt skyrockets.


Sarah-Jane Hollands said...

Be ready for a huge exodus of Londoners north, where the council tax will not be rocketing at quite the same rate, while we here in the capital foot the bill when the circus comes to town!

Alphonse Yeo said...

Very nice. Keep up the good work.