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Hear Hear, Sam, well put.
Leaving aside (as the Olympic Bid Committee obviously did) the dozens of schools, football, and other sports- and youth-clubs and local people walking dogs, out with their kids etc, that were actually enjoying using Hackney Marshes for free, can you really see the Hackney Regatta stealing punters away from Henley? Do you really think people will flock to the Horse of the Year show at the Leytonstone Equestrian centre like they do when it's held in Windsor? The legacy maintenance and security charges for the councils in whose areas these stadia are to be left dumped once the games are over will, as ALL recent Olympic hosts have found, be crippling. They can hardly manage what they've got as it is without half a dozen more white elephants being dropped in over the next few years. More Domes, anyone? Really?
If you pose the question: Who will win from London holding the Olympics? and come to the answer "UK Sports" ask yourself, once the games have been and gone, how likely is it that interest in sport will drop through the floor again? If public interest in sport is sufficiently great to justify this vast amount of taxpayers money being spent, why has sport been allowed to become such a low priority, in schools and in the country as a whole? Why are most, if not all, of our athletes having to get by on corporate sponsorship (somewhat defeating the Olympic amateur ideal) or pay for their own training out of their own wages from their day jobs? How do other countries' athletes manage? Where do they, with their inferior economies, get the money that we don't seem to be able to?
Who will have made vast amounts of money out of it? The construction companies and land developers flattening the houses, concreting over the marshes, building the stadia and putting in the infrastructure will do pretty well at the expense of the taxpayer, again. Hey, looking at how the building industry's gone the last few years, once again the Poles'll be helping us in our hour of need. For another quick skirmish with Edmund's WWII theme, and to misquote Churchill: How many more times, must so much, be owed by so many, to so few, for so little?
Sadly, I know I'm standing here with the stable door in hand, watching the horse's arse disappear. The only motive for this pledge I can see at the moment is, considering the relative obscurity of this site (no disrespect), one that can be quietly forgotten if nothing comes of it and if, by any chance another 80-odd "public" figures see fit to sign up and something good does come of it he can milk it 'til it's tits squeak, even though from day 1 he makes it clear he's prepared to do less than 1% of the work. Is this even less VFM than usual from a Blair?Gerard, 13 years ago.