I caught sight of the Olympic torch the other day….for about 10 seconds! So, thats what all my taxes paid for! As a kid asked is that it!. Now if youre lucky enough to have got tickets for the games, I suppose you get to see some events, although I was put off myself by the no-so-reassuringly expensive ticket prices, although Im personally planning to avoid central London during the games.
Channel 4s Dispatches did an expose recently about how many hotellers are preparing to fleece people attending the games by vastly inflating their room prices (at £60 a night room will cost you £285 sort of stuff). Also a number of the citys scum landlords (I was originally going to type in slum landlord but scum slipped out and I think its a more accurate description!) have also begun evicting tenants so that they can rent out flats to people attending the games. Meanwhile, despite assurances from the authorities it seems that if youre prepared to pay through the nose, you can still get Olympic tickets from touts. A dispatches reporter was offered tickets to the 100ms final for £25k each!
So it would seem the legacy of the games is lots of homeless people, some stadia that we wont use and lots of greedy immoral people getting rich off the back of them. Now call me all negative, but that doesnt strike me as value for money.
Another element of madness about the game is the governments insistence on installing surface to air missiles within the capital, much to the annoyance of local residences. I think all this policy demonstrates is that government minsters watch too many Hollywood movies.
When an aircraft gets struck by a missile, it does not explode into a massive fireball and disappear. No, it falls out of the sky on fire! Indeed modern SA missiles are rarely designed to actually hit an aircraft (think about it, trying to hit an object moving that fast with another fast moving object is the equivalent of someone shooting at you and you trying to shoot down the bullets!). No, instead they rely on fragmentation warheads detonated at a stand off distance (sort of like a cluster bomb) which showers the target aircraft with shrapnel, rupturing fuel tanks, severing control cables, destroying engines and avionics. The aircraft catches fire, stalls, its airframe begins to fail under the increased aerodynamic stresses and it starts to break up and you get lots of bits of flaming wreckage falling out of the sky over a wide area….ultimately landing on something….or inevitably in a major metropolitan area onto someone.
So this is really a waste of time. I mean if were going to be doubly safe why not deploy submarines on the Thames on the off chance Al Qaeda deploy their crack squad of suicide alligators….Or what if they sneak a box into the VIP section containing snakes….or they just sneak Ken Livingstone into Boris Johnsons box…..or maybe they could just use the missiles the MoD left unguarded outside some London flats recently!
In short, one gets the impression that the governments planning to turn central London into something resembling the green zone in Baghdad, another good reason to catch all the action on TV. An incident today, where it would seem that some guy smoking a fag on a bus triggered a major security alert should show how jittery they are.
Of course what worries me is that this will inevitably lead to some sort of tragedy. Where for example, a charter flight carrying people into London for the Games, from a foreign country gets disoriented over the capital (as anyone who has ever flown into London will know its often foggy and many flights go right over the city centre), strays into restricted air space, the spooks hear the pilots talking in a foreign language on the radio and shoot him down. So I wont advice taking any flights into or out of London airports for awhile!