Greatest Show on Earth?

Posted: July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Rather than go over ground well trodden by better men than me in the blogosphere, I thought I’d just throw a few questions into the air regarding the ‘greatest show on Earth’, coming to a capital city near us from tomorrow.

Wasn’t economic success one of the justifications for blowing such an extravagant sum of money on this event? If we, the taxpayer have forked out over £9 billion in order to stage the Olympics, and corporations have provided just over £1 billion, shouldn’t taxpayers have nine times the voice that said corporations have, considering the proportional contributions? Would most taxpayers rather a corporate Gestapo ensured small businesses, the kinds that need to recover in order for the economy to also recover, were not even allowed to mention words or pictures evoking the event they are supposedly free to maximise the ‘commercial opportunities’ from?

You’d think for the sum of public money, there might be enough to actually pay for people helping to run the thing, but, actually, no. The prestige of the Games has been enough to entice some 70,000 people to volunteer for administrative and transportation roles. As a volunteer you are provided with free public transport and meal vouchers, which is nice. Though you will not be compensated for your travel to and from London, nor offered accommodation of any kind. And don’t even think about free tickets to any event.

Because of course, it’s nice for the little people to feel involved in the Games, even if they missed out in the ticket lottery, and clearly can’t afford the remaining ticket’s prices. Those which haven’t gone to the dignitaries or foreign business leaders being entertained in the VIP section. We can only imagine these will be free as a gift, which suggests one thing. If corporations have contributed far less to the Games than taxpayers, and foreign business leaders do not bring any guarantees of investment, then it is not the investment of funds that counts, but the potential of wealth. A suitable analogy would be kissing the ring of the King in the vain hope that the vulgar genuflection would persuade him not to have your forest home pillaged and burnt to the ground. It’s old-fashioned arse-kissing at its crudest.

A bereft cogitation perhaps, but could we not have found more suitable sponsors for the Olympic Games than Coca Cola and McDonalds? What a sporting legacy to leave kids: hooked on junk. It’s also quite disheartening to hear stories of Visa (another official partner) being the only debit card allowed for payment inside venues. We often hear bleating of the ‘free market’, and yet here we have a flagrant case of Olympic organisers pissing all over its principles of ‘competition’, which seems particularly pathetic when it comes to Ronald McDonald apparently terrified at the prospect of his fries being outsold by a little chippy down the East End.

I’m not here to say the Olympics is a farce, but it’s sickening that every major event seems to take corporate bribery and investment bootlicking to new levels, with the It Crowd lording it from VIP whilst making the citizens feel grateful simply to be herded in with the cattle. Here’s to the Greatest Show on Earth eh!

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