I must say, I was somewhat hostile to the Olympics initially for the following reasons:
1) The initial estimate for the games being a quarter of what it has turned out to be.
2) Seb Coe's supercillious grin and smug attitude.
3) The fact that I'll be paying more Council Tax until the end of time.
4) Seb Coe lecturing me on how I should get to work.
5) Mcdonalds, Coke et al not paying any tax.
6) The institutionally corrupt Olympic Committee.
7) Impending traffic and public transport chaos.
8) Seb Coe
9) Frontline coppers being used as security guards (at extra cost to the taxpayer).
10) Drug cheats getting in to the GB team.
11) All the big sponsors getting the good seats.
12) Greedy tube and bus drivers wanting more money just for doing their job.
13) Lord Coe
Now I know that a track-suited individual will be running within five hundred yards of my house with a glorified Zippo lighter, all of my hostility has disappeared and I have a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach.
You'll be lucky to see the torch and runner as they tend to be an afterthought sandwiched in between big trucks that come fore and aft for Official Sponsors Coke, Lloyds TSB, BT, Adidas, BMW etc.
The Independent reports yesterday: "Wearing purple caps and tops, the experts in trading and advertising working for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are heading the biggest brand protection operation staged in the UK. Under legislation specially introduced for the London Games, they have the right to enter shops and offices and bring court action with fines of up to £20,000.
Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including "gold", "silver" and "bronze", "summer", "sponsors" and "London""
Anyhow, crawling back into my Olympic-proof bunker now.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The impression was created that there was a genuinely independent, competitive process to sponsor the 2012 games, yet - surprise - some of the 'usual suspects' are involved once again, and (among other ironies associated with this event) the biggest sporting event in the world is being sponsored by manufacturers of junk food. Mixed messages?
In a sense we, (via legislation passed by our government acquiescing in the face of heavy lobbying) have facilitated a situation where the global corporates will enjoy a legally enforceable monopoly. There has been no genuine competition based on providing better quality services to the public. The money has talked, and meanwhile those 'partner organisations' will also benefit from generous tax breaks (McDonald's and Visa have a temporary exemption from both UK Corporation Tax and Income Tax for the duration of the games). The claims that local businesses will benefit from the games has a rather hollow ring to it.
We've paid for this circus, I hope it's a success, though to avoid having to make up our own minds we will undoubtedly be told that by Lord Coe anyway.