My Olympic Legacy: I’m Skint


Given that you should never judge something til you try it, yesterday four of us did just that:

The author walks around Olympic Park ,unaided, during the Paralympics.

Baked Potato, Topped with Mayo………………………………………………..£6

Bottle of Water …………………………………………………………………….£1.60

275 m Bottle of Bulmers Cider…………………………………………………….£4.30.

A space in Park Live to watch British Airways adverts on tv……………………No Charge

145g bag of Cadbury’s Twirl…………………………………………………………..£3.00

18.7cl glass of (as yet unidentified) White Wine……………………………………..£4.80

Bench in front of huge BMW ads screen…………………………………..Complimentary

Pie & Mash…………………………………………………………………………….£8.00

Son queuing for 20 minutes for waffles, to be told they’d run out…………………..Free

Team GB mini umbrella………………………………………………………………£15.00

Signed copy of man laughing all the way to the bank…………………………….Priceless.

I expected to stand corrected. The athletes were marvellous, and inspiring. But I had woefully underestimated just how crass and callous Locog and Coe’s Corporate Carve-Up manifests itself once you get inside the gates. Disgraceful.

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“Now Vania, What Would You like to Be ?”


“Miss, when I grow up I’d like to be a 400m Hurdler”
“Really ? Do you think that’s wise ? I mean, what with your surname and all…?”

Vania stumbles over … Bulgarian athlete Vania Stambolova misses the first hurdle in the womens’ 400-metre event.

Personally, I can’t wait to watch Vasliy Dunmibakkin in the weightlifting later.

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I Say, Old Chap, Jolly Well Done


Saturday August 4th 2012. The day it all changed for British Sport. Hopefully. Maybe they’ll realise that with the right help and facilities, we Brits can actually win something ?  Perhaps they won’t knock it all down once the world’s cameras leave ? Perhaps they’ll think about keeping or even upping the funding of school and youth sports clubs. Perhaps. If we don’t grab this opportunity of the wave of sporting euphoria we will regret it for years and years to come.

Just fantastic footage of Colin Jackson (GB Olympic Silver and world record holder, 110m hurdles), Denise Lewis (GB, Gold, Heptathlon) and US golden god Michael Johnson giving a two-fingered ripple to Mo Farah, a Somalian refugee, now British citizen running for Britain. And isn’t it great to see Brits open up at last ? You never know, we might stop apologising when we win something.

Baron de Coubertin coined the phrase “It’s not the winning but the taking part that counts”. I think, finally the Brits may have put all that to bed.

Fine, have fun, take part, but win. That’s what GB sport seems to be saying this week. Finally “Play Up and Play the Game” seems to have been discarded in the same bin as walking when you know you’ve nicked it, owning-up to handling the ball in the penalty area, or admitting you were off your feet in a ruck. Probably for the best. Probably. For the first time in my life we seem to have a generation of sportsmen (and women) who won’t put up with coming second to his (or her) rival from USA or Australia. It’s all very odd, as Englishmen (or women) [alright, Stan, don’t labour the point] aren’t brought up to want to win games. Maybe it’s all changed ?

And while we’re at it, I have seen a lot of complaints about the French announcements at medal ceremonies. I assume this happens because the Baron was French and therefore etc etc etc…Thank your lucky stars he wasn’t Welsh: “And Fair Play to the Fablass Tidy lass in the third lane, butt”. I’d give back my medal.

But anyway…

The culmination of a sensational day for “Team GB”. Even some of the racists in The Shovel warmed to Mo as one of their own. Not all, of course. We still have more than our fair share of bigoted arseholes in Blighty, you know.

We haven’t changed that much.

Olympics for Dummies


I’m gonna take the incumbent out for a drink tonight, down to The Shovel (I may have mentioned it before.) But here’s a problem:  Although it’s not a very big pub, sometimes it’s very quiet, due to it being half empty. There are certain evenings when the Great British “Summer” doesn’t serve up the weather conducive to walking down to the boozer for a nice warm pint, leaving half-a-dozen or so of us to fend for ourselves, to create a buzz, and make an atmosphere.

What to do ….? hmmm….

I know ! Thanks to The Telegraph today, I know just what I’ll do:

I’m gonna pack a spare cardie, a pair of moleskin troos and me wellies. I’ll keep popping in-and-out of the loo, changing my clothes as I go. No-one will ever know. If I can persuade The Incumbent to put a spare frock in the bag, we can have a four-handed game of cards. THE PLACE WILL LOOK PACKED TO THE GUNWHALES !!!! What fun ! You can say what you like about that Seb Coe bloke, but he comes up with stuff that no-one would ever dream of.

I hear talk that we are to enter two donkey jackets, a pin-stripe suit and a set of overalls into the marathon to make up the numbers. Jacques Rogge need never know ( he’ll be too busy counting his money anyway).

Nice to see that Boris got down of that wire .

A Group of 4 Completely Unrelated Stories


“Prisoner escort company hit by more blunders: Group 4 press conference called to allay public fears undermined by loss of inmates.
THE INDEPENDENT. FRIDAY 16 APRIL 1993

A carefully stage-managed press conference called in an attempt to allay public fears over Group 4’s ability to transport prisoners to court was undermined last night when it emerged that the private security firm had lost two more inmates.

These latest blunders, following the escape of three prisoners and the mistaken release of a fourth during the first week of the company’s operation, will fuel criticism that the private escort service has been a ‘chaotic shambles’.”

“G4S boss: ‘I’m Sorry’
ITN: Tue Jul 17 2012 17:27

Nick Buckles, the man in charge of beleaguered security firm G4S, insisted he was the right man to run the Olympics security contract.

The company’s chief executive has faced a Home Affairs Select Committee in Westminster over the on-going security debacle caused by G4S’ failure to deliver “as many Olympic guards as possible”.

Mr Buckles said he was “sorry and deeply disappointed” that his firm failed to meet its targets.

The scandal has resulted in the emergency deployment of soldiers and police officers and seen £400 million wiped off the market value of G4S.

There is now mounting pressure on Mr Buckles to quit his £830,000 role.”

Mr Buckles agrees security is a shambles.
The G4S chief said that his firm still planned to collect its £57 million management fee despite the ongoing Olympic security debacle.

ITV News Tue 17 Jul 2012

Nick Buckles – who insisted he was the right man to make sure the company delivered as many guards for the Games as possible – told the Home Affairs Committee:

“We’ve managed the contract and we’ve had management on the ground for two years.

We still expect to deliver a significant number of staff.”

Mr Buckles apologised and said he was deeply disappointed after the firm – which is running the £284 million contract for the London 2012 Games – failed to meet its targets.

G4S are now aiming to provide a minimum of 7,000 security guards, a long way short of the initial 15,000 promised.”

“Olympic security not compromised by G4S shortfall, says Lord CoeLondon 2012 chairman says ‘prudent and judicious’ plans have been put in place, as Jeremy Hunt refuses to criticise G4STHE GUARDIAN 

“700,000 Olympics tickets unsold.
Capacity across venues to be reduced by up to 500,000 tickets across the tournament

THE INDEPENDENT TUESDAY 17 JULY 2012

Around 700,000 Olympics tickets are yet to be sold while capacity at a number of football games has been reduced, organisers said today.

Locog said 250,000 football tickets were currently on sale while 50,000 tickets are available to buy for other sports at the moment.

In addition to this, 200,000 football tickets and 200,000 tickets for other sports are due to go on sale after being returned by Olympics committees from around the world.

Organisers said there had been around one million football tickets left but these have been cut in half by reducing capacity at stadiums.

A spokesman for Locog said: “We are planning to reduce capacity across the venues by up to 500,000 tickets across the tournament.”