Extinguish the Olympic flame!

The front page of the London paper for April 28 (London has only one paper, the Evening Standard; the rest are national papers) had a huge headline saying that Occupy, the group that formerly targeted St Paul's, has moved on to the Olympics. (Oddly enough, the only other stories I've seen about this were a follow-up the next day in the Standard, and one story in the Independent. I don't know whether the news is being actively suppressed, or whether our free press and broadcasters are just too gung-ho Olympics to print or broadcast this news.  But what wonderful news it is.

At last those good souls plus their fellow-travelling agitators, troublemakers and those just looking to make mischief, have a worthy goal. Disrupting the 2012 London Olympics before it cripples the national economy, brings London traffic to a stand-still and makes the entire place (even my broom-cupboard-sized flatlet in green and pleasant Hampstead) unbearable for three weeks, plus some more for the disgustingly patronizing Paralympics, is very worth doing. I wish I were young enough or brave enough to do it myself.

         It is the wretched Games that are siphoning off money that should be directed to the arts, and that are making good arts administrators prostitute themselves and pretend they are making a contribution to culture, when all they are really doing is providing a smokescreen for the unparalleled rape of public resources by the corrupt, sometimes depraved members of the IOC and the various bodies charged with "delivery" of Olympics projects. The opening and closing ceremonies have a budget of £41million!

         What do we get in exchange for this wodge of cash? Save for Barcelona, no country has ever had any "legacy" from hosting the Olympic Games. And we will be no exception. We already know, for example, that the housing being built for competitors will have no kitchens. Can they be converted into flats after the Games, for housing-poor London? An acquaintance tells me that they are all 3-bedroom apartments, and that, after the Games, one of the bedrooms will receive a slot-in kitchen, making them into useful 2-bedroom flats  (that is, if any middle-class person who can afford one of them wants to live in that dreary part of London). I wonder, especially as I've heard rumours that the builders have failed to provide mains services necessary for kitchens. I hope the rumours are false, but no degree of incompetence would come as a surprise to me.

         We have already been warned that it will be impossible to travel around London during the Games - we're told to avoid hotspots, such as Tower Bridge tube station. But as the imbeciles who run London transport are closing the Mall to traffic, and as special lanes, exclusively for Olympics bosses and cadres, are being instituted on many main roads, we already know that London will be one big traffic jam. I've asked each of the London cabbies who have driven me for the past few months whether he's going to work during the Olympics? We're talking dozens and dozens, but only one, a single enthusiast, said he was certain he'd be on the job come July. The authorities are encouraging Londoners to stay at home during the Games - it will be like the War: "Is Your Journey Really Necessary?"  In fact, you'll have no choice, unless you can walk everywhere you need to go.

         I suppose that means Londoners will be more fit as a result of bolding the Games. But with the prospect of theatres and concert halls going dark because the audiences can't get to them, and restaurants either empty because of the absence of their regular patrons - or else full up with foreign plutocrats, who'd choose to be a Londoner this summer?

April 1, 2012 10:21 PM | | Comments (0)

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This page contains a single entry by Plain English published on April 1, 2012 10:21 PM.

Pilgrimage to the British Museum? Don't Bother. was the previous entry in this blog.

Should the Press preview the play? is the next entry in this blog.

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