A little more Olympics (bear with me, watch the bollards)

So, with the budget having somehow quadrupled, what does Hugh Muir in (I blush) the Guardian suggest?

And so to money. Is there anyone who doesn’t think we submitted a bid with figures massaged to impress the IOC, or that the IOC didn’t know that?

Er, me, actually, and pretty much everyone who last year on the TV and so on was burbling about the £2 billion cost of the Games.

A meaningful budget is now being drawn up

Oh well, that’s helpful, isn’t it? Will this one include VAT?

and when it is unveiled politicians and the media will scrutinise it. So they should. But let’s be mature about it. Staging the games will be messy, costly and turbulent, but isn’t that a price worth paying if it means that shamefully neglected communities will have better infrastructure and life chances than they have had for generations?

As the comments after the article say – no, it flipping isn’t. If you want regeneration, why not just pay for it because you think the area deserves regeneration – not using some idiotic flatulent games in the wrong place. Flipping heck, Manchester would have been the perfect place for it. Always assuming they’d got rid of the bollards from hell. Watch them in action:

And then Ken Livingstone weighs in. Nobody thought the congestion charge would work, he says. (I did, actually, Ken. It seemed an obvious and brilliant way to apply road charging.) Everyone still asks: why not just regenerate the place? And nobody answers.


  1. It seemed to me that these drivers, all accellerating, were trying to sneak in before the bollards rose. Perhaps I’m unjust. But they do have the same ones in Cambridge, and they are pretty obvious. There is also, clearly, a sign by them saying that entry is forbidden except for busses and other authorised vehicles. It’s a bit lik epeople who get caught by the large yellow-painted speed cameras: not only were they speedig, but they were driving without due care and attention. So, yes. I laughed, though the couple with the baby were not funny. Why was he clutching his head? Presumably from whiplash against the head restraints.

  2. I have an expression: ‘there’s always one’. There’s always one who tries to beat the traffic lights, overtake on a blind bend, park on a double yellow line with the hazard lights flashing and so on. Now, it seems, we have them trying to beat the bollards. But unlike the aforementioned individuals who normally get away with it, the bollards seem to win every time!

  3. I echo your thoughts Michael.

    What amazes me is the need to put in barriers like this. In Derby the main road through the town centre was made “buses/taxis/cycles only” about 2 years ago. It was well publicised and enforced by a few police who stopped disobediants during the first few weeks. There’s probably a few cars a day go through but you don’t often see them, and I reckon they are mostly tourists who miss the signs.

    I suppose it’s different int’ proper cities!

  4. For the record, I also always thought congestion charging would work. However, I was *also* always vehemently against the Olympics’ coming to London. I wish I didn’t have to feel so justified…


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