Austerity Olympics please
When the Greeks put on such a lavish show at the opening of the 2004 Olympics, I asked my Greek friends who exactly was paying for all this. "The EU", they said smugly . . , well, chickens have come home to roost. In more ways than one. Many of the great Olympic venues in Athens are now rotting (as you see on the right). So much for sustainabilty.
So after these jingoistic parades of the last couple of decades (the Greeks weren't the only ones), I was hoping for a great return to the Austerity Olympics (as of1948). Wouldn't it be a great idea to cut all the crap, forget all the nationalism, and just have a simple parade ofthe athletes without all the glitzy, meretricious and evanescent razzmattaz.
But David Cameron just hasn't got the bottle. He's just doubled the budget for the opening.
I dont really understand how Cameron et al can look us in the eye when they now propose spending 80 million quid on that opening ceremony.
Are the unemployed supposed to cheer?? And do we believe it will bring in huge investments if we make a great display? Of course we dont (or, if so, foreign investors are more easily impressed than I ever thought..oh great Helmut (or Yang YIn), love the show, lets invest a few billion).
Has everyone in the government forgotten the "less is more"motto? Or any sense of self-deprecating self irony?
I think that most of the world would have cheered to see the Olympics brought back down to size as a sports contest, and not a jingoistic display of jumped up, empty national pride. And most of the country would have felt it better not to squander millions on a single PR occasion while our pensions, jobs etc were being removed very unceremoniously.
The truth is that everyone has a soft spot for London 1948. Couldn't 2012 have done the whole world a great good turn, and reassured those who were suffering that millions of pounds were not being squandered on fireworks.
Why oh why, a firework rather than a school or a hospital?