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Can you imagine the dire state of any sports club patronised, and I believe that's exactly the right word to use, by Bliar, Red Ken and Tessa Jowell? It'd probably be quite well funded with her on-board, though no-one would know by who or from where..
I'm not so sure about their commitment to the sporting side of things either. The way the government seem determined to stamp out academic (let alone sporting) excellence, competition and selection in schools I doubt that whatever sports club is unlucky enough to be selected by that motley trio for being patronised is actually going to be able to get involved in anything so "last century" as competition anyway for fear of telling some kids they're no good.
As a Londoner all my life I recall the GLC being in control (sorry, charge would be more apt from what I remember) and Ken hasn't changed much. Like the other two, he's a politician at heart and all he cares about is doing what he wants and telling us it's what we want. Did any of you actively want them to spend £12 million of YOUR money to bid for the games? I know I didn't and I don't know more than half a dozen people who did. I don't know anyone who still wanted the olympics once they learned that Vancouver is STILL PAYING for the games held there in the 1970's, none of the subsequent venues made a profit either. All of them have left local taxpayers carrying a mountain of debt whilst the IOC and the governments concerned carry on regardless of what the people affected by their decisions want.
Having read the last 50 posts, I don't think killing the pledge 'cos the government, especially the three of them represented here, suck elephant-wang is the objective. I think more people are surprised that, having had 9 years in charge of the country and therefore nearly 3,500 days when he could've made this pledge (and in his official capacity rather than just as Tony from Sedgefield - ha ha ha), he only makes this pledge when he's on his way out and unlikely to lose any votes by this falling flat on its' face than he'd make if it came off. Plus the fact that he's so convinced of the worthiness of the cause he's only going to try if 99 other people agree to as well.
Can you still not understand people's cynicism about this pledge, Eddie, old chap?
The city of Sydney is still spending $100,000,000 every year to maintain the stadia built for their olympics (they haven't finished paying the cost of building the things either, but that's another debt, Greece spent $12Bn on the Olympics. Considering the state of the world now, can you seriously see our security bill being less than the Greeks? What about construction costs? Did you know Montreal smokers still pay 17c on a pack of fags to pay for the 1976 olympics? 1976!!!! Greece, Canada, the US, Spain and Australia are all countries where there's more emphasis on sports than here. They all have fantastically expensive Olympic stadiums that serve no useful purpose whatsoever once the games are over.
The real problem with this pledge is not the idea, sports clubs need more patrons who can promote them. The real problem, I think, is who made it, when it was made, the pledger's expected likelihood of actually having to put his money where his mouth is and his total lack of commitment to sport for the last 9 years he's been running the country. It just doesn't wash.
Phew!Gerard, 11 years ago.