Thank Goodness it’s called the London Olympics

I feel really sorry for all our athletes, cyclists, horse riders, swimmers, volleyballers and all the other men and women who have been practising, sometimes for years, for this summer’s Olympics.
All their endeavours has been overshadowed by the fact that the London Olympics, like most of the Olympics before it for the past 3 decades is not a magnificent sporting event but a tawdry, tacky, commercial event where it’s the fat cats that get the cream and the tax payer picks up the bill.
What do we know about the Olympics? Well there are two good points:
1. There will be at least some regeneration of a part of London that needs it. Whether the development of another Westfield centre, itself the epitome of tasteless bling, is of long term significance I doubt but there will be some social housing, a few permanent facilities and a few permanent jobs for local people.
2. There are all those men and women mentioned above who are doing the decent things and slaving to represent our Country.
And that’s it.
Just look at all the negatives:
1. Tight control about which brand of disgusting American fizzy drink you can take into the Games.
2. No national beer just a bland import.
3. You can’t even buy proper chips. Only McDonalds French Fries are available.
4. It’s cost about three times as much as predicted in the bid
5. London is being closed down with many companies meeting massive expenses to keep going during the games.
6. The security is farcical with G4S coming over almost as badly as the politicians who appointed them. At least they are providing us with a salutary lesson that the private sector is not always best. They are also showing up Theresa May’s continuing incompetence.
7. Hotels and others hoping to make a killing from the Games are reducing bed prices and still not selling them.
8. Many tourist companies have given the UK a miss for the whole year because of anticipated problems and hiked costs around the games periods.
9. £60 million has been provided just to build two facilities that will be knocked down days after the Games.
10. London traffic has been and will be seriously disrupted again at an unknown cost to individuals and companies.
These Games are not about sport but about testosterone charged politics. It’s a man thing, you see because to many politicians it’s size that matters. These Games were about winning for politicians and not athletes. These Games were about votes not medals.
For the 2 weeks of the Olympics followed by the Paralympics I will be urging our UK teams on like everyone else. But afterwards we need a true accounting of the costs and a true accounting of the benefits. If we do that we can avoid the mistakes of bidding for big prestigious and risky projects and get on with the job of improving sports and community facilities all over the Country to give us permanent benefits for community, sport and health.

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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. UK representative on UCLG Finance Committee, Executive Bureau and World Council. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperon on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and three grandchildren.
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2 Responses to Thank Goodness it’s called the London Olympics

  1. Kris Castle says:

    couldn’t agree more, and what about the ridiculous tax breaks given to the major sponsors…

  2. Alan Swindells says:

    Just so.
    And another minus point- just try buying your fries and fizzy drink with a Mastercard and see what happens.

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