Tomorrow’s an exciting day
Tomorrow’s the day I’m going to find out if I’m going to help fund the 2012 Olympics.
It might cost me hundreds of pounds. It might cost me a few thousand.
I really don’t know. Nobody really knows.
The International Olympic Committee are voting in Singapore to decide which city gets the ‘honour’ of hosting the games. Will it be New York, Paris, Moscow, Madrid or London?
It’s so exciting.
Top marks to the New York bid team for having a sense of humour though. Those boys must be a real laugh, thinking anyone's going to stage an international anything in America in the current World Climate. Well, maybe the occasional arms fair. Sorry guys, you'll just have to content yourselves with continued hosting of World Series' attended by American-only teams for the foreseeable future.
We’ve been told that if London wins the bid, whole chunks of the city will get desperately needed new housing and improved transport infrastructure.
It must be such fun being part of a team of 116 unelected, unaccountable people voting on the location of an international sporting event, and incidentally getting to decide the socio-economic destiny of entire cities along the way.
And the fringe benefits can be significant. Apparently, I was also going to help bribe, sorry, offer incentives to IOC members to help in the decision making process.
I was chatting with a friend in France today about the likely outcome of the vote. He reckons that enough hints have been put out to suggest that Paris will win the bid. I’m more sceptical. Tony Blair’s been working his charm in Singapore over the last few days and the IOC members might be sorely tempted to give London the games just to punish us for electing him.
That would seem fair. Besides, we should never underestimate God's martini-dry sense of irony.
Being a connoisseur of woefulness, I’ve always savoured the impact hosting an Olympics has had on other people’s cities. My personal favourites are Sydney (Tracy enjoyed her tour of derelict Olympic stadiums immensely), Montreal (they can’t still be paying for the 1976 games can they?) and Athens (5% of a country’s GDP expended on a two week sporting event – hmmm, impressive)
It’s significantly less funny when there’s a chance your own city might be on the chopping block.
I suppose it’s a bit of a shame that I didn’t get a chance to vote on whether I wanted to help pay for a gigantic, corrupt, multibillion pound fuck-up. Mind you, it probably wouldn’t have mattered much. My local MP, the former Sports Minister, thinks the London 2012 Olympic licks donkey balls as well and she hasn’t had much joy either.
Olympic bids are very much like wars. You have a dumb powerless bunch of bozos and a significantly smaller group of more powerful bozos, spending the first group’s money on promoting something huge, disastrous and woeful. If the promotion is successful, Group B can continue to rob Group A blind for a decade or more.
Democracy is wonderful thing. I just wish I had some in my life.
PS Earlier today I was reading up on my local MP, an outspoken critic of the London bid and I came across this extract in Wikipedia ...
... She was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office from 1998 to 1999, and Minister of Sport in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from 1998 to 2001. She continues to be active in promoting Olympics 2012 in London and sport in schools, as well as gun politics in the UK...
So, some of my money also seems to be being spent on buggering up the Internet in support of the London bid. Marvellous.
I’ve just popped a wee note off to her office …