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Olympics: ‘what fresh hell is this?’

London’s Olympic preparations – and British attitudes – have been pilloried by the international press.

Olympics: ‘what fresh hell is this?’

‘Whinging, as Britons call the persistent low-grade grousing that is their default response to life’s challenges, is part of the national condition – as integral to the country’s character as its Eeyoreish attitude toward the weather.’

But now, with the OIympics fast approaching, ‘this degree of distress has a different tone to it,’ continues Sarah Lyall in the New York Times. The American-born London correspondent attributes part of this to numerous ‘we-told-you-so accounts’ in the press, not least the the Daily Mail, ‘whose unofficial motto appears to be “What Fresh Hell Is This?”’.

Us Brits, and our moaning about the Olympics, are not only being pilloried in the US press. Spanish newspaper El Pais notes that the British press has been more focused on doubts over security and transport than actual sports. Rival El Mundo sees ‘seven black storm clouds’ over the Olympics, from rain to disappointment that David Beckham wasn’t selected for the Team GB football squad.

Marco Evers of Germany’s Der Spiegel writes that ‘London and the Olympic Games are clearly not made for each other.’

‘The British celebrate their Britishness with gusto and abandon... But the Olympics have nothing to do with Britishness… And that's why the British are showing so little enthusiasm for the games,’ says Evers.

And some Chinese social media users, as conveyed by the Wall Street Journal’s China staff, have even bizarrely questioned whether ‘London’s pre-Olympics woes give China’s authoritarian model a ringing endorsement?

‘This Olympics is overly discordant – the British empire should learn from the management here (in China),’ a reader from Zhejiang province wrote on the Sina news portal, according to the WSJ.

Some Brits seem to think they are living under authoritarian rule anyway. ‘It’s like living in a police state,’ said one business owner quoted in Lyall’s piece, as he bemoaned the litigation companies are threatened with if they attempt unlicensed use of the word ‘Olympics’.

The most futile act is attempting to change these attitudes, extensions of Britons’ ‘persistent low-grade grousing’ as they are. What these international news stories don't pick up is just how deeply many Brits revel in this warm familiar glow of disgruntlement.

‘Let's not call it a soggy Olympics, let's call it a great Olympics,’ said prime minister David Cameron. How thoroughly un-British that would be.

43 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Jul 20, 2012 at 12:57

Thankfully I am far enough away from London for the Olympics to affect me.

Maybe its my imaginiation but there doesnt seem to be any sense of excitement about the games apart from Lord Coe and his pals.

What gets me is that McDoanlds and Coke seem to be doing a lot of sponsorship. Wonder how many of the athletes that are taking part would endorse a Big Mac and fries.

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Mike the red

Jul 20, 2012 at 13:42

I make no apologies for my anti Olympic stance. It is nothing more than a circus for the well heeled (Blair's circus, in fact) and is far removed from the original ethos of sporting competitiveness undertaken by amateur sports people.

The reality is that it is now nothing more than a giant pageant that offers the large multi nationals the opportunity to poison minds with their products and impose their autocratic ways on the punters. It seems dictatorial to have to eat McDonalds or drink Coca Cola with no alternative available. Maybe they should go the whole hog and feed everyone soylent green.

The whole thing stinks of corruption and once again shows the ability of this country to steer heavily over budget on a major project (remember Wembley and the Millenium Dome?).

Sadly, the people of the uK have been slowly de-sensitised, choosing reality TV, beer and drugs rather than getting off their arses and kicking back at the corrupt officials that run this country. One day the penny will drop and hopefully there will be some kind of restitution. I just hope that it is not carried out by some further right stormtroopers of extreme left extremists.

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Rose G

Jul 20, 2012 at 13:52

If it is griping you want, let me make my contribution to it.

I live in London, and work outside of inner London because I cannot face the hordes & masses on a daily basis. The underground is an experience to have just so you can appreciate what hell must be like - a furnace, no less!. Everyone on the road in a hurry to their oh so important job, or appointment,

Hundreds of black cabs choking you to death with the stench of their emissions. Buses keen to use the highway code to ensure that they never let the car behind them get in front.

No courtesy on the roads, constant hooting from mindless numbskulls sat behind the wheel of their unnecessary cars on the road, where the cyclists seem to think the rules of the road does not apply to them. Now that we have the lympics coming to town, for the last 2 weeks some new sort of traffic light phasing means that a journey of 45 minutes has doubled - why would I not grumble about it?

Thinking that I would plan ahead as I understood that my route to travel to work will be affected, I have taken 2 weeks annual leave, with the open option of taking unpaid leave for rest of the next 4-6 weeks, alternating with the option of staying with friends who live closer to my workplace in the opposite direction.

The huge crowds can be avoided if I am on a peaceful island in Greece, which I expect to be until the whole furore dies down.

As for LOCOG, & its brain child, Seb Coe, I would gladly see both in hell for the chaos they are inflicting on us. Can anyone tell me what and who the lympics committee think they are - they have run rough shod over local people, have claimed lanes for their own exclusive use, while the rest of us who actually have to pay for the maintenance of these roads, are expected to sit in endless traffic.

G4S could not handle the job they already have of transferring prisoners from one location to another successfully, but they were deemed capable of undertaking the massive amount of security required for the event and now they have demonstrated of how utterly incapable they are of doing any kind of job for the millions they are being paid - an no, they will not give up their payment.

The stupid government with its austerity package, insisted on job losses in all departments - police, immigration officers, army personnel all who face redundancies or lost their jobs, have to be re recruited to their jobs again - how much is all that going to cost? Who can blame the immmigration officers for getting on the bandwagon of striking so they too can get a bonus for working during the lympics.

I hope it rains on their parade for making me grumpy and almost suicidal as I sit in traffic for the next week before I can escape from the madhouse that will be England.

Then there are the residents of Boxhill who will be almost quaranteed for 2 days, and not allowed to use the roads in their vicinity.

People & businesses in Stratford, one of the poorest boroughs in London, facing compulsory purchase orders, losing their homes and businesses, just so BMW, Barclays, McDonalds, Coca cola can all claim their moment of glory in the lympics.

The trauma of having to cope with millions more people on our streets, roads and everywhere on this small island just is beyond me. Off course, further down the line we will hear stories of all those who came to watch the lympics and decide not to go back to their countries of origin will add to the problems we have, and off course, with regulations from the EU, or the European Human Rights brigage, we will not be able to get rid off because it is their human right to stay on in Britain, having spent their millions trying to get here and to get the tickets.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK not succeeding in gettting tickets to their favourite sports, but hundreds of thousands of very pricy tickets all now available at an online source near you.

I thought the fiasco about the queen bee & her entourage was bad enough and was delighted at how the weather turned out then, maybe lympics will be a wash out.

The conspiracy theorist in me is clamouring to also talk about the impending good weather we will apparently have in time for the lympics - off course, knowing the idiots who planned all of these lymping events, who have the latest technology courtesy of the military from the USofA. Altering weather patterns - read all about it on the web - HAARP is here and it is being used against us, how many other catastrophies were as a result of HAARP? Flooding in New Orleans, earthquakes abound, tsunami here and there?

We are indeed entering a time of unprecendented corruption from all our leaders both here and in USofA - will we all survive this catastrophy we are being forced to witness? Frankly, I have lost the will to live as more revelations are being made as I write.

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Rob Walker

Jul 20, 2012 at 14:03

....and here's some more. That Olympic torch is NOT News, BBC. We all can find out the planned route for every day, we also know the poor misguided sods who are carrying it. Apart from getting lost in Nailsea / Clevedon it is all totally predictable. So why does it take up newstime? - well, it's a cheap story for cash-strapped BBC News, even though it adds more soporific fuel to the pre-Olympic apathy.

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Jul 20, 2012 at 14:08

Your imagination PensionMan, if you have seen any of the coverage of the Olympic torch you will see how many people in the UK are genuinely excited about the Olympics.

Thankfully you are far enough away not to impose your views at the venues and can sit sit and moan at home whilst working on your pension and reading your copy of the Mail and agreeing with their latest moan! Though of course if the UK wins any medals their patriotic fervour will suddenly come out from under the covers.

All big sporting events have large sponsors who the actual athletes may not actually have anything to do with, tis the nature of the size and cost of these modern events that the companies with the large marketing budgets sponsor these events, and yes of course they might not endorse a "big mac and fries" but they are not being asked to and at the end of the day does this matter?

And as for Mike the Red - are you against all modern sporting events? "circus for the well heeled" "stinks of corruption" what a load of tosh.

"Shows the ability of this country to steer heavily over budget on a major project" - this has been happening since the dawn of time, people celebrate the Victorians building programmes but most of those went way over budget, the railways bankrupted many people. And do you think that is unique to the UK? No of course it isn’t.

"A comprehensive study of cost overrun published in the Journal of the American Planning Association in 2002 found that 9 out of ten construction projects had underestimated costs. Overruns of 50 to 100% were common. Cost underestimation was found in each of 20 nations and five continents covered by the study, and cost underestimation had not decreased in the 70 years for which data were available. The Suez Canal cost 20 times as much as the earliest estimates; even the cost estimate produced the year before construction began underestimated the project's actual costs by a factor of three.[1] The Sydney Opera House cost 15 times more than was originally projected. When Boston's "Big Dig" tunnel construction project was completed, the project was 275 percent ($11 billion) over budget." Wikipedia

As for your "de-sensitised" comments and your hope that change is "not carried out by some further right stormtroopers of extreme left extremists" well life is too short to bother commenting on your ludicrous comments mixing up all shades of the political spectrum.

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Jul 20, 2012 at 14:10

Moan, moan, moan. So far everyone on this board is just backing up what these tittle-tattling foreign press say about us. I wouldn't want to live in ANY of the countries whose media are apparently taking a pop at us. Spain thinks we're not focused on sport? Best if they do focus on sport - might take their minds off their economy. China thinks their authoritarian regime is getting a ringing endorsement? Dream on, slaves! And Germany thinks ‘London and the Olympic Games are clearly not made for each other’? Er, when did they last host the Olympics? Memorable indeed - Hitler's notorious 1936 Games. Best they all keep their heads down in my view.

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Jul 20, 2012 at 14:12

The games since post war more or less, have been totally commercialized.

The answer is to hold the 4 year world games where it all began, Greece.

The Olympic games belong in Greece. They started it!

This would cut out all the nonsense of building expensive and quite unnecessary structures, stop all this commercialization nonsense and hopefully the athlete's would be able to get on with what they are supposed and meant to be doing.

The games are for those who wish to excel on the world sage and that can quite easily be done every 4 years in Greece.

If uprated tracks and superstructures are required those countries sending athlete's can foot the bill and that way it should stop all this hyped up nonsense. .

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Jul 20, 2012 at 14:19


FYI - I read the Telegraph.

Its nice to see someone defending the Olympics - even if I dont agree.

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Jul 20, 2012 at 14:34

Apologies PensionMan.

I just think that we have it now and so might as well make the most of it.

And it evidently means the Spice Girls are re-uniting so there is a positive side to the story ;) I'll tell you what I want what I really really want...

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J Thomas

Jul 20, 2012 at 15:04

I just wish all non patriotic people living in our Great British Country would simpy leave....NOW.

The critics are simply jealous. I have visited all the Countries mentioned in the article and I would not wish to live on a permanant basis in any of them, especially China. The most polluted and corrupt Country in the World. According to BBC News last night over 60% of China's new Billionaires wish simply to emigrate, and where do you think many of them will end up?

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Pike Bishop

Jul 20, 2012 at 15:07

A disgusting waste of public money, overseen by the venal political classes.

Coe and his flunkies, absolutely unfit for purpose. The Olympic shambles.

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Jul 20, 2012 at 15:16

Ladysaver, Germany. Munich 1972, when a number of competitors were killed because of their pathetic security, so they have to gripe to distract from their failures, which also harked back to the early 40's.

And then there is the great buying competitive advantage and being able to infringe the 'uman rights of the locals by stifling free enterprise with the menace of being sued if you, a local, deign to advertise your wares anywhere near any of the events.

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Bernard Steel

Jul 20, 2012 at 15:17

Totally agree with Gristybeasty- Olympics belong to Greece. It would help the economy, the weather is ( generally better) and they might stop moaning about the Elgin Marbles!

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Rose G

Jul 20, 2012 at 15:29

Mr Thomas

I wish all those who support the london lympics are cursed & end up with a big wart on their nose, but that is not going to happen.

The lympics in Engeland should have been sited some where it will be a pleasure to go to, not in the arsehole of London, which is Stratford & Hackney, pimples on the face of the earth.

I believe that it is in these particular areas as they have the most ethnically diverse and poorest in our society, with unemployment in these areas topping the league table.

If you think the lympic head honcho & LOCOG actually employed these people, think again - Seb was actually boasting that LOCOG actually employed 15% of local people - hooray!

The organisations responsible for these games are doing it not for the glory of the sports, but the money they will get from it. Other olympic games have had corruption scandals, and watch this space for the corruption scandals to come: -

For a start:

* how much are the officials organising this event being paid

* are they being paid by the sponsors or is this public money being used to keep them in comfort?

*what level of bonuses will they be getting

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Jul 20, 2012 at 15:29

OMG, Snoekie - you're spot on. I'd forgotten the ghastly Munich shambles. I'd say that stuck with the legacy of Hitler '36 and the horrors of Munich '72, German scribblers had best keep their mouths shut. Or their pens unquilled, whatever.

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Jul 20, 2012 at 15:36

Just for the record, those"notorious German Olympics" in 1936 did at least leave a lasting legacy. The Olympic Torch, about which so many seem to get excited, was first used at the 1936 Olympics, anyone cheering it should at least recognise the lasting memento of dear Dr. Goebbles, or perhaps the late unlamented Adolf himself!

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Jul 20, 2012 at 15:54

Rose G

Every time I read something from people like you I thank God that I was born with some happiness in my soul. Have you thought about becoming a Daily Mail hack ?

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Jul 20, 2012 at 16:23

Moylando - totally agree. Although with her spelling 'lympics' (sic) perhaps the Grauniad? She also appears to be living in the middle ages in her wish for curses and warts!

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Ruth Colvin

Jul 20, 2012 at 17:01

I think the Olympics are the ultimate vanity project. The only benefit from them is to have kept Seb Coe in gainful employment for some 10 years. I so hope he will retire after this so he can do no further damage. The government could have regenerated the whole of east London with just the security budget if we had not had to have the Games. I wish they had gone to Paris.

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Guy Thompson

Jul 20, 2012 at 17:21

I am looking forward to the Olympics and bitterly regret not getting tickets when they were offered at affordable prices. It is certain there will be some memorable events.

And I enjoy loving near London and often going to central London on one of the many methods of public transport available.

I've had some bad experiences (few worse than getting home in the driving rain after the Jubilee river pageant ) but that's life - get used to it!.

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Jul 20, 2012 at 17:43

A BMW following the torch bearers! Hitler would have been proud.

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Andrew S

Jul 20, 2012 at 17:47

Fat cat Olympics

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Jul 20, 2012 at 18:40

Looks like the foreign press have got it about right if all these comments are anything to go by.

I'm going to enjoy whole razmatazz and you lot can go to Greece! Good luck. Take a load of cash, coz nothing works there you can be sure.....

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Jul 20, 2012 at 18:56

Great Britain has had some notable success stories over the years, her creative womb has given birth to sheer genious, such as, Itma, The Goon show, It's a Square World, Hancock's Half Hour, and Up Pompei.

Just one or two flops and cost overuns, such as the Ground Nut Scheme, Bristol Brabizon, TSR2, and the Millenium Dome, but nothing we couldn't get over, given time.

I'm sure the Hulympics will be a great success, after all we've got Dad's Army in charge of security.

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alan franklin

Jul 21, 2012 at 07:36

Some great, caustic comments on here. What a disgusting, money-fixated festival of greed and manipulation the Oylmpic mess is.

Our group of friends has a fixed fine of £5 in the charity pot for any idiot who starts droning on about any event at this farce.

So far it has made our son late for work in Isleworth and added greatly to the stress of his already stressful journey and work - half an hour at least each way from Fleet during the M4 cracked bridge fiasco.

London itself, as so many people have noted, is treated with contempt to allow Russia-style mafiosi-types to glide past on special traffic lanes in their black limos. Boycott BMW for backing this!

The countries with the most money will push athletes way beyond what is good for their bodies to strain for years in over-the-top training to get unnatural performances just once in their lives. For what- so-called glory?

There is nothing about sport in all this. It is the most disgusting thing I have seen in many years. Rain on their stinking parade! I am hoping for monsoon weather and every competitor to come last (!)

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Jul 21, 2012 at 07:58

Caustic comments - diatribes by offensive people (well the last one anyway). Fine if your not happy with the Olympics, the money spent on it etc then this is all area for legitimate debate (although as I have said before we have the event now so it can't be undone so either get on and enjoy it, leave the country or just ignore it). But when people make comments about hoping every competitor comes last and the pathetic comment about the athletes training for "so-called glory" makes me wonder what sort of sad life they and their friends live? Certainly not one where they have ever achieved anything in sport, presumably he was the one who got a note from his mother to cry off sport at school so he could sit on his own in a dark corner like some modern day smeagol...and the fact he says "most disgusting thing I have seen in many years" - well it doesn't start till next week so you can't have seen it and when it does rather than bellyaching why not get on and do something else instead? I am sure you and your "friends" can find something else to do? No one is forcing you to watch it!

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D via mobile

Jul 21, 2012 at 08:10

How very sad it is to read all of this. Whether you agree with it or not, it's happening, so you may as well embrace it. Your kids will remember it for all their lives.

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mike d via mobile

Jul 21, 2012 at 08:47

I'm british and cannot wait for the olympics! Proud we won, know our athletes will excel, and know that we'll show the world one of our greates strengths - creativeness!! Unfortunately whilst in principle the freedom of speech is a gift we should appreciate, our collective media and press chose to print the doom and gloom every every time!!!! Then the rest of the world can only be bothered to read Britain through the press. And let's face it, there's a bit of envy in most countries about the brits and the fact we won the games. Bring on the games, ignore the press unless its about the sport and well done Lord Coe - a brit doing a superb job, who truly understands the games despite the hope from the press that there will be failure

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Poor pensioner

Jul 21, 2012 at 09:43

I think Rose G's brainwave of referring to this event as the "lympics" is the perfect answer to the over-zealous pursuit of the letter of the law which is prosecuting people for, for instance, putting ther ring doughnuts in the limpyc ring formation, and I think we should all adopt it to highlight the ridiculous lengths our litigious culture will now go to. Apparently even the word games is now copyright - crazy! Mind you, there's not a lot else she says that I can support. However, it's this total abandonment of common sense which will scupper the event if anything does. Also, the crazy rejection of our public services which have the expertise, experience and trained personnel (even if hampered by bureaucracy) in favour of private sector firms whose only motive is profit. And what's this about the lympic torch getting lost between Nailsea and Clevedon? I live only about 10 miles from there and heard nothing about that, possibly because no reception for regional news from Bristol, only Plymouth.

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Jul 21, 2012 at 10:00

It's correct that "no one is forcing us to watch it"-merely pay for it.

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Jul 21, 2012 at 10:33

To all the people who are trying to suck the joy out of the Olympics - "tough"

Go back to your miserable lives and read back copies of the Daily Mail - oh and don't forget to really snarl if you ever see anyone enjoying themselves.

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J Thomas

Jul 21, 2012 at 12:28

I cannot believe all the negative comments on this forum.

I for one am overjoyed Britain is hosting the Olympics and hope we perform very well and honour our athletes.

Ignore the Daily Mail - a newspaper which supported the German Govt in the period 1936/37.

Our athletes should embrace their rich British heritage, their forefathers and mothers including The Picts, Celts, Romans, Vikings, Danes, Saxon Germanic tribes, Normans. Also Jews fleeing persecution from Tsarist Russia and the Nazis, more recently Caribean and Asian emigrees from our glorious Commonwealth, and our polish friends free at last from Communism.

Our athletes have the blood of Nobles flowing through their veins, One thousand years ago The Holy Order of Templar Knights from these shores wrested back The Holy Rood from the Saracens, bringing democracy and womens rights for the only time ever in the Middle East.

Since then we have repulsed the Spanish Armada, thwarted Napoleons ambitions at Waterloo, denied both the Kaiser and Hitler victories which would have made slaves of the free world.

So to all those who critics, enjoy your free speech, it has been dearly paid for by your ancestors.

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Jul 21, 2012 at 13:52

Wow Mr/Ms Thomas,or may I call you God? I didn't realise how lucky we are to the the people chosen to be the target of every tinpot terrorist even "polish" citizens.We will obviously be a shining example to the rest of the World.

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mike via mobile

Jul 22, 2012 at 09:54

Wow - gobsmacked by the intense negativity burning deep in some people! Well, I loved the Diamond Jubilee, Euro2012 and can't wait for the Olympics! If I do bump into one of these people who believes the whole world is hell and is plotting their downfall, I will try to give you a big smile and say there is a brighter side to life. Thanks for all the corporates supporting the olympics, and yes I hope you thrive and make sore profit - think that's the basis of a successful economy isn't it? Helps us with our plasm TV's, apple devices, cars and all those other things that the corporates sell us, and for which we pay to make us happy. Still if these things, nor the olympics make you happy - then there's always the Daily Mail that sees the world the same as you, and the special edition of East Enders on Xmas day where I'm sure you may see somebody even more miserable...

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Jul 22, 2012 at 10:21

Mike -

You are spot on. Don't worry you will never have to come across these sad paranoids. They hardly ever go out. They even get their Daily Mail delivered

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Rose G

Jul 23, 2012 at 10:49

When your daily routine has been disrupted even before the games have started, when your journey times are being trebled even though the traffic has not increased, while the authorities are phasing traffic lights to cause congestion to deter people from entering London, then you know that the world & its madmen have descended on us, forcing us to stay home or go abroad to avoid the merriment.

I would have been happy for the lympics venue to be somewhere where the infrastructure can actually cope with the hoards & masses.

What beats me is that we are supposed to be close to bankrupt, we have had cuts to the arym, cuts to police force, job cuts to other public sector workers, and yet we can host an event whose cost has nearly trebled since we got the go ahead to host it in London. & in the midst of this all, we have had tube & train & bus drivers all threaten to go on strike if they did not get more money to work during this period, while the rest of us cannot even get to work or get home from work because of the many changes imposed on us - talk about a free society. The free society we live in allows big businesses to take over proceedings, create havoc and chaos for the rest, while they drive in their reserved lanes - who the fcuk are they, the lympics committee, apart from imposing their will on the countries who agree to host the games - London does not have the infrastructure for millions more using the transport network, yet that is where the lympics are based - could they not have chosen some area which needs the business, London has sufficient businesses already taking up vast space.

As for the security, yeah, being almost strip searched to enter the games venue must be a really thrilling experience. As for the people of Leytonstone who have weapons of destruction situated on top of their living quarters, that must be really reassuring.

If we were not so keen to go to every war that America choses to without question, why should we not face terrorism, our behaviour is hardly exemplary, is it?

Why should we not be able to voice our concerns and be called names for not joining the band wagon. I, as an individual prefer to choose my own way in life, not be forced to do something because the rest of the lunatics think it is ok?

As an individual, I do not go to mass rallies, because I am not someone who follows the masses, but determine my own path in life, not needing the clowns in government to instruct me.

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Graham Barlow

Jul 23, 2012 at 11:58

Who gives a toss what the rest of the World thinks and says about Britain? All I know that 90% of the World's population seem to want to get here by hook or by crook to live. God knows why if it is so Awful. We are entitled to bellyache and moan about the antics of our appalling Politicians and inept inefficient Civil Service. We do live in a Police state whether we like it or not. Political manipulation is rife, and there are so many laws it is impossible to even know you are breaking them. The antics of the Olympics demonstrate the pandering the Government think we all want. It is so juvenile and patronising, whilst cynically selling out the very name to Fat wallets of Coca Cola and Mcdonalds, making an infringement a criminal offence. If this isnt a Police state What is?

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an elder one

Jul 24, 2012 at 12:43

On the matter of budget overruns; it is simply that producers - engineers, competitive businesses of all sorts - deliberately minimise their estimates in order to succeed in their endeavours versus the controllers of finance. Those seeking finance know the likely full measure of cost involved, but quote the minimum as a matter of commonsense.

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John Carroll

Jul 24, 2012 at 19:48


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Jul 24, 2012 at 20:02

The best place to have the olympics would have been in another country at their expense. We should have not been spending money that we can't afford on Coe's and Cameron's egos.

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Graham Barlow

Jul 25, 2012 at 09:54

Sport is the show Business of the World we live in. There is nothing wrong with succeeding in Sport ,but it is very low down in the list of Human achievment. Yet it is celebrated as if it were the pinnacle of everything. Every year somebody wins the Tour de France, but it is really nothing more than a personal achievment. Next year there will be somebody else, and if it is an Italian or a Dutchman they will hardly get a mention in Britain. The achievement is fleeting and the adoring admirers fickle in the face of disappointment. Success in Sport must be tempered with modesty to be enduring. Bradley Wiggins has that quality and is already preparing for his next attempt, but he is a realist to know that he cannot stay at the top for long. The Government's job is to support the Games .but not to exploit it for its own Political ends, and turn the Olympics into a World show business contest as to who has the biggest fireworks display. The size of the Olympics is now so large as to restrict the holding to just a few Countries to the almost exclusion a great proportions of the World. The rest of the World will always critisize, we all remember the Pollutions scares about China last time This is all part of the Razama taz that goes with it . Let's hope the next 3 weeks slips quietly by, and we can all get back to lovely normality.

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Jul 25, 2012 at 10:39

Graham Barlow - I enjoyed playing sport and still keep fit and I enjoy watching it. I will enjoy the next 3 weeks, I suspect more than you will.

However I wholeheartedly agree with your articulate words about the disproportionate importance of sport in human endeavour. I cringe when I see grown men sobbing at the result of a football match but not as much as when I have to listen to the madness that passes for sports commentary and punditry.

What are they on ?

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Graham Barlow

Jul 26, 2012 at 18:56

Moylando, Darts must take the Gold for Sports punditry for sure. I always remember Bristow taking the World title between swigs and the odd fag. The commentator proclaiming his 180 as "What an Athlete", and again as he finished off his opponent with two treble 20s and a bull "Like a whippet up a drain pipe". Maybe I am missing something in Sport generally I should get out more perhaps watch the Beach Volley Ball (Ladies)!

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