My ears pricked up this afternoon when I heard the phrase “stockpiling essentials” on the radio (LBC). That phrase is fast becoming my personal dog-whistle or tinkling bell. As I turned up the volume it became apparent that it wasn’t conspiracy nuts talking about the 2012 Mayan calendar but the local equivalent for Londoners: Olympics 2012.
The disruption to Londoners and London business will be so great that the transport infrastructure will only be able to cope if a third of Londoners stay away from work and don’t use it. The Docklands Light Railway will be diverted, some Underground Stations closed, roads blocked off and routes for freight transport will be unreliable.
We’ve already been told about the most sweeping security lockdown this country has ever seen, the zil lanes and the road closures but now we’re openly being warned to walk to work, stockpile food and either go on holiday or stay inside and lock the doors. On top of all that there’s a good chance that mobile phones won’t work either.
The cost of the Olympics so far is around £12bn, the price of a Walnut Whip each according to former Mayor Ken Livingstone, but I think we all know that Londoners will be paying for this for years to come. London itself will count the cost of lost working days in billions of pounds and I don’t see that being recouped from ticket prices, particularly when the majority seem to have been given away free to insiders and chums.
The IOC contract for the Olympics was so restrictive (French/English signs; Olympics flags everywhere; hotels; zil lanes and so on) that any normal, rational person wouldn’t have agreed to the terms in the first place. Good old Tony Blair! He also supported the country for the World Cup in 2014 – imagine if we’d won that too. Nightmaresville.
“Rogge revealed the winner, after a nerve-wracking wait, at 1249 BST.” Perhaps he was waiting for a cheque to clear.
Another “legacy” scrapped.
“Work at home” – ST (£)
Hop, skip, jump & you’re British – ST (£)
Meet the mascots
The day of the Opening Ceremony will be a “momentous day” indeed: truly, it will be A Peoples’ Day (TM Tony Blair). Comrades, we’re all in this together and it’s for the good of the cause so pay up, shut up and go away.