The London 2012 Olympic Legacy (2)

L is for… Laws?  Laws Don`t Apply to Us!

The Torch Relay Convoy – red lights need not apply. Taken from BBC Torch Relay video

Here`s the problem.  In 2006, The Labour Government shoved a steaming pile of legal shit through, called the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006, specifically for London 2012.  Feel free to browse that document as it contains a multitude of gems, including:

  • The ability for police, or “enforcement offer” – make of that what you will – to enter private premises – your house, if you like – if they don`t like anything visibly on display.  That could be a tatty copy of The Sun newspaper, an anti-Olympics poster, a teddy bear with Nike rather than Adidas.  Whatever they deem fit.  Entry, to your private property, based on their judgement.  This became law.
  • Suspension of Sunday trading laws, for emphasis, suspension of laws – to allow shops to open longer on Sundays to ensure shops can squeeze as much money from THE EVENT as possible.
  • Not only have public roads been turned private for several months to facilitate the charade, but even basic motoring laws, such as obeying red traffic lights, have been dismissed (see above).

I ask you – is this really a good use – or abuse – of UK law?

 

L is for Look! A badger! Nothing to see here…

In order to portray London in its best light to the world as a whole, the powers that be have been doing all they can to plaster over London`s multitude of arse cracks.  This includes:

  • Zil lanes

London is an absolute nightmare for private cars and public transport.  However, one way to ensure the Olympic high and mighty make it from A-to-B is to shove the commuters, residents, and tourists to one side, and slap a fine on anyone daring to use the roads that, until a few weeks previous, they were fully entitled to use.  Zil lanes – one way of showing London who`s boss.  Here`s an interesting video with poor quality sound:

As someone who pays income tax, council tax, and road tax, I find the idea of ~40,000 people (“The Olympic Family”) taking over the roads disgusting.  Around 1/4 of those are the actual Olympians, so with some careful maths, around 30,000 people are freeloading and shoving the rest of us out of the way.  The Olympic Family.  Like a shit Mafia.

  • Roadworks

There are areas of London where roadworks, affecting journeys for several years on occasion, are mysteriously vanishing overnight.  Yes indeed, the pain London has had to endure for years will be swept aside for the privileged few in the “Olympic Family” to ensure they have painfree journeys.  Ridiculous.  It just goes to show how quickly the Government and councils can pull their fingers out when they know the world will laugh at London`s frankly pathetic infrastructure.  Screw the taxpayers.  It`s very strange that the people who fund the roads cannot use the roads, and had a nice big fine dangled in front of their collective nose should they dare use the roads.

  • Tickets

We were guaranteed a show like no other.  On budget, and on time.  A spectacle.  Spectacle is certainly close to the mark.

If you can`t sell the seats, remove the seats, and you can sell out every venue!  Watch the wheels of the PR machine spin up to Bullshit Speed and turn this into the greatest sporting success story since I broke my Kempston joystick playing Daley Thompson`s Decathlon on the ZX Spectrum.

  •  Fact versus Fiction

Screen grab from The Guardian

In 2011, the BBC began showing Twenty Twelve, a spoof documentary loosely based on the 2012 Olympics.  However, the show has been much too close to the mark, and often several months ahead of time.  Head on over to The Grauniad and take their London 2012 quiz.  See how ridiculous things became.  I had wished the BBC had repeated the entire series before London 2012.  However, given how close it`s been to reality, I`m sure the IOC and LOCOG wouldn`t have been so happy.

  • The Empty Seat Fiasco

Shortly after beginning, it became apparent that through LOCOG`s disaster of a ticketing system, coupled with free tickets for the “Olympic Family”, there loomed large the tiny issue of hundreds – if not thousands – of empty seats.  It looked like the very people given free reign over London had abused their freebies and decided not to bother turning up.  Perhaps the free use of the roads came in handy for a spot of shopping.  Yet Sebastian Coe proclaimed venues as “stuffed to the gunwales

“Stuffed to the gunwales” – Empty Seats – Belfast Telegraph

“Stuffed to the gunwales” - Empty Seats – The Guadian

“Stuffed to the gunwales” - Empty Seats – The Mirror

“Stuffed to the gunwales” - Empty Seats – The Telegraph

  • Another UK Government Sell-Off

It`s difficult to imagine much of a sporting legacy for the UK kids.  Having been inspired by the likes of Jessica Ennis and Bradley Wiggins, they`ll need to kickstart their sport careers in the nearest Tesco car park as school playing fields are sold off.  Another Olympic Legacy triumph.  Still, I`m sure at least some of those school playing fields will be turned into Tesco car parks.  The circle of UK life, and the true legacy of London 2012.

 

L is for Lunchbox

And who could have forgotten The Sun asked a worker to smuggle a fake BOMB (their emphasis) into the Olympic Park.  Yes, those bastions of taste, decency, and top-notch journalism, The Sun provided a step by step plan on the best way to sneak fake explosives into an Olympic venue.  What`s more galling is that no action was taken against The Sun or Captain Sneak (BOMB MAN).  Compare with Paul Chambers of the Twitter Joke Trial.  It really makes you wonder about the judicial system in the UK.  My advice is – if you`re looking to BOMB the Olympic venues, you could do worse than Follow The Sun.  A weak Lennon/McCartney reference there.  It probably goes some way towards the reported 500,000 people being security checked before they can work at the Olympics.  When you find out the UK Home Office will be carrying out the checks, the sinking feeling sets in.  Money and incompetence aplenty.  If The Sun`s GUIDE TO BOMBING doesn`t work, you may have more luck applying for a job as Bomb Planting Technician (III) and using the name Ivan Ounceofexplosive; chances are the muppets at the Home Office will be equally clueless.

Mid-July, and the security setup went arse over tit with the – surprising? – revelation that G4S, responsible for providing security for The Event, had cocked up, weren`t able to provide enough stuff, and had to grovel to the Government to ship in the British Army to police The Event.  G4S`s motto is “The world’s leading international security solutions group”.  I call bullshit.  This company will also be in the running to begin privatisation of the UK police forces.  Should G4S manage to take over, you`d best run.  I guess this chap just fell down some stairs, all by himself, guv.  If you thought the UK`s police forces verged on “slightly dodgy”, wait until these bozos take over.

Humiliating. Shambles.

Things aren`t going so well for the (previously) sole provider of Olympic Security…  ever considered a job as a Mike Read stunt double?

 

L is for… Look Elsewhere To Live

It didn`t take long, but the property moguls of London started trying to cash in, renting their properties for a small ransom.  Well, why let morals get in your way when you can earn several months` salary by upping rental prices or kicking your residents out.  Which is why I had to laugh when wankers asking for £4000 – £10000 per week drew a short straw.  Aw diddums.

The laughter didn`t last long.  It seems our illustrious Playmakers have also seized the opportunity to remove as much riff raff from in and around London.  Real classy, guys.

 

 

L is for… Laser Guided Missiles

Missiles on your roof?  How would you react if someone asked “Oi Guvna!  Can we bung some missiles on your roof?”.  I can`t see too many people being happy with that.  I can see them being slightly more upset had they not been asked at all.

Yes, folks, another lesson of the London 2012 Olympics is the military plodding in with its shiny shiny jack boots.  The UK Ministry of Defence thought it would be a brilliant idea to use residential locations in London as missile launch sites.  From the beeb, these locations include:

  • Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets
  • Blackheath Common
  • Oxleas Wood in Eltham
  • William Girling Reservoir
  • Enfield Barn Hill in Epping Forest

Journalist Brian Whelan came across a bunch of this military equipment, just lying around, waiting for the terrists to pick up.  Those naughty terrists.  If you want to screw something up, just get one of the UK`s finest to do the job for you.  Unfortunately for Mister Whelan, his unhappiness seems to have spread to his landlord, who also became unhappy, and will result in a termination of Mister Whelan`s tenancy.  There can`t be a link there.  Can there?

It`s nothing short of ridiculous that this is the best plan the authorities can come up, stooping so low as to plod on without even consulting the residents of these newly militarised areas.  Perhaps they thought nobody would notice.  Until showered by shards of an aeroplane and a humble “Oops – we thought it was terrists”.  Even after a trip to court, the courts agreed the public could just fuck off and put up with it.  Wonderful; the management of a sporting event stomping all over the rights of the population.

 

 

L is for… Loose Accounting

Here in the UK, we`ve been told time and again that the Olympics are on time and on budget.  It`s a mantra, and if repeated often enough, people may start to believe it.  However, it`s very easy to ensure a project stays on time and on budget if you start revising the budget when you risk overrunning.  £2.375 billion was the original cost of the Olympics.  On time and on budget.  Yet somehow, in May 2012, we approach £10 billion.  I`m no mathematical genius, but I do know that there`s a slight wobble in those figures.  Some estimates put the price of this charade as high as £25 billion.  One thing I`m pretty certain of – the public will never know the true financial – or moral – cost.  Even now, some 50 days before the event kicks off, tickets are left unsold.  Perhaps not so many people give an active shit about this event?  Faced with the choice of a £200 ticket in a pot luck lottery, spending 10 quid on a (vegetarian) burger and 8 quid on a pint of beer, is it any wonder so many people may just watch from home?  Given the transport chaos around the corner, it could be the best £200+ you didn`t spend.

Did you know, the only card that can be used at Olympic venues, even in ATMs, are Visa cards?

Should you have been “lucky” enough to be able afford tickets, and make it to a venue on time, make sure to bring plenty of cash to avoid being stung by The Exclusive Visa Card Con.  Yes indeed, not only do you have a limited choice of food/drink vendor – and their prices – you also have the choice of 1 way of obtaining cash once you`re inside.

Thinking about this, perhaps loose accounting doesn`t actually cover the truth of the matter.

The chancellor, Gordon Brown, yesterday played down the significance of the unexpected £250m VAT bill that could be faced by the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics.

Read that again, if you like.  An unexpected VAT bill of £250M.  Words fail me.  How on earth could someone get their sums so wrong? What a farce.

 

L is for… Lose Your Benefits

The Queen`s Diamond Jubilee has just passed by, like a fart on the wind, and already details are emerging of the steward “volunteers” at the event having been dumped in the streets and given no access to toilet facilities for some 14 hours.  I don`t know about you, but after hour 7, I`d have been using the nearest plastic bottle and lobbing it at Her Maj.  Why exactly did these poor sods have to come from Bristol, Bath, or Plymouth in the first place?  Anyway, let`s see if Two Jags gets his inquiry.

Of these, 50 people under the age of 25 were paid the government’s standard rate for apprentices of £2.60 per hour and the other 30 either accepted the same rate or refused payment because it would adversely affect their benefits.

Well that`s OK then.  Close Protection UK.  What a name for a company.  Cheap Labour F.U. more like.

 

L is for… Loss-Making Merchandise

Those bastards Wenlock and Mandeville, the Olympic mascots.  Are a child`s worst nightmare.

With a metallic finish, a single large eye made out of a camera lens, a London taxi light on their heads and the Olympic rings represented as friendship bracelets on their wrists, they resemble characters dreamed up for a Pixar animation.

… if Pixar were shit, unimaginative, and – shit.  In keeping with the London 2012 logo, the design team pulled out all the stops in an attempt to create some equally bullshit merchandise.

A camera lens?  Does that represent tourists?  Or does it represent the number of CCTV installations in the Capital, watching every move of the residents and visitors?  Speaking of CCTV, have a look at this.  Good luck to anyone thinking of having a nice time in London without the watchful eye of a camera within every square inch.  If you`ve nothing to hide, you probably don`t want to visit London.

Did I say they were bastards?  Oh yes.  Still, I may write some Wenlock and Mandeville erotica.  I haven`t been able to find any on the Internet.

 

 

L is for… Logo – The Racist Logo

And who could forget the general shiteness of the 2012 motif being skipped over and heading straight into the Racist Materials box?  How anyone could a) devise and b) accept such a piece of crap logo is frankly beyond me.

 

London 2012 Logo

London 2012 Logo

 

L is for… Lies

On 13th June, bastion of morality and judicial process, Jeremy Hunt – one to watch in the next month or two – proudly bleated that the 2012 Olympics had come in some £500M under budget.  Lies, damned lies, and more lies.  As I`ve said several times, it`s easy to come in on budget if you revise the budget when needed.  Let me just put this in context.  Hunt reckons that the Olympics will come in £476M under the £9.3Bn budget.  The budget was £2.375Bn.  By my reckoning, that makes the Olympics – at the moment (mid-June 2012) – £6.449Bn over budget.  So that £500M is barely enough to cover the sneeze of an ill-mannered Tube commuter.

Yes folks.  Take your pick…
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget
£2.375Bn London Olympics budget

L is for… L-in Summary

The London 2012 Project has been something of a disaster in terms of what it`s brought to London.  Nobody can argue against the world`s greatest sportspeople competing to be crowned The Best.  However, every other aspect of this event has the stink of a 46 day old kipper tucked behind a radiator.  I wouldn`t be surprised if tales of brown envelopes begin surfacing after the world`s media have gone home again as many of the bodies involved in the event shouldn`t have been be trusted to scratch their own arses.

From BBC

 

Your legacy is to

  • Wear what you`re told to
  • Travel when and where you`re told to regardless of how much you may pay towards the roads, pavements, and other public areas
  • Eat drink and sleep what you`re told to
  • Pay your taxes and shut up
  • Watch as parks are destroyed in the name of a short term event
  • Experience the greatest corporate circle jerk ever devised

 

It`s not 100% negative however.  The organisation has been atrocious, and the organising bodies a joke.  The opening ceremony, was excellent, and Team GB astonishingly good.  Hopefully these will be remembered whilst the mess that the IOC and LOCOG created is cleaned up over the next 5, 10, 20 years.

 

< Part 1

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