The excitement mounts! The Olympics, what can you say, mind you, are we allowed to use that word? It's fair to point out that this blog has been lukewarm from the start. In May 2008 we wrote this and not of word written all that time ago would we alter. The Olympic venues are all so distant from here it takes a London based reporter, and most of them are in London, to bring the story to life. This was done in a very dramatic way by the Spectator . The paper edition of the magazine carried an article by Nick Cohen which Fraser Nelson reviewed online. The basic point to note here is that Parliament passed the legislation making what Cohen calls ‘corporatist dystopia’ possible. Despite all the hog-wash from Tony Blair and Ken Livingstone local people were not only ignored in the negotiations but now find themselves taken for granted as well.
It's a weak excuse, not a reason for the aggressive logo protection moves, that sponsors have put large sums of money into the Olympic games and so deserve some form of protection. However, the UK public had no option, no chance to debate and the amount of public money spent on the games is an even larger sum, but who speaks for them?
What to do about wiff waff? A long time ago Boris Johnson stood with his jacket open, feigning impatience whilst waiting for the Olympic flag. This would have been at Beijing and during the closing ceremony of the 2008 games. This little incident amused some and annoyed others. I remember a comment on behalf of the latter in the Guardian, (where else?) to the effect that the Chinese were very upset. Oh dear, can't have that can we? Never mind they'll get over it. Even for those who thought Boris's jape was a bit of giggle there are now doubts. Soon only the most insensitive, crazy sports junkie will see London's 2012 obligation as a benefit, while the rest of the nation will, correctly in my opinion, see it as a curse. But to remind ourselves of the high point of hope and humour click on the screen below.
The Olympics, and ours not theirs, could turn out to be for whoever is Mayor of London (MoL) on the due date, 2012, a mixed blessing and we should not assume, automatically, that Boris will still be mayor. During the hustings for the election of MoL 2008 did anyone hear Boris, Brian or Sian say a word about the 2012 event? If the answer is no then this was not remarkable as it is a done deal and to speak out would have made the candidate look a bit like King Canute attempting to hold back the tide of the inevitable in a futile gesture.