Hurray for the London Olympics!

I really feel like London was cheated out of a cheerful honeymoon period of harmless excitement between winning the bidding for the 2012 Olympics and the start of the inevitable gloomy stories about spiralling costs. Cheated because, of course, it was the morning after we won that a bunch of devout young men from Leeds hijacked the news agenda.

It was always going to cost more than predicted — it’s a big capital project run by policitians. That’s what happens. And it was always inevitable that there would be a lot of whining from dismal killjoys. But the enthusiast, pro-Olympic side of the argument lost all its momentum just as it should have been drawing people in, and so we’re going to have the six years of gloomy pronostication without having had the chance to enjoy the initial moment.

4 replies on “Hurray for the London Olympics!”

I agree, I was doing work experience at the Sunday Telegraph that week and the difference in those two days was amplified tenfold by being at a paper that went from writing ecstatic articles about the Olympics to trying to cope with an event so huge and affecting as to be almost beyond rational reporting.

I know the Olympics will be good for London but it is hard to remember how much we all wanted it when all our memories of that time are of the horror of having our city attacked.

It still frightens me that it is that easy to cripple our city. And all it takes, as you said, is a couple of misled blokes and a backpack full of explosives.


Oh pshaw, London wasn’t crippled. Inconvenienced. I do think it’s important not to give these people too much importance.

Even minus the terorist action, the Scottish Parlaiment suffered a similar fate. After years of dreams, when we got devolution, the papers did nothing but whine about its design, the dramatic increase in costs, and now the costs of maintaining it.

It’s pathetic. I mean, there has to be accountability for what’s spent and what’s necessary to spend, but you’d think people would know by now that things cost money, especially if they are done well. Let’s get back to the harmless excitement! The Olypics will be a great event and is fantastic for the city of London.

The Scottish Parliament did run really quite dramatically over budget. I think part of the problem is that these construction projects take a long time and everyone has time to stew over them. I mean I’ve tried to be upbeat about the new Wembley Stadium — I’m not sure we *need* a national football stadium at all, but it looks like it’ll be spectacular when it’s finished, and in a few years, after some great football matches there, who’ll care about the cost — but the drip-feed of negative press over a period of years really doesn’t help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *