One of my more minor claims to fame is that donkey’s years ago, when I first got digital TV, the lady in the shop made the assumption that, because I’m a bloke, I would be wanting the full sports package. She was genuinely shocked as I was the first man she’d met who turned it down.
Competitive sport bores the arse off me. I think it comes in part from having been forced to “enjoy” playing rugby in the pissing rain on a Wednesday afternoon. I went to that sort of school, you see – grammar turned minor public, playing fields of Eton and all that bollocks!
Nowadays I try and live in a largely sport-free household – or as close as I can get these days with saturation coverage of the Olympics going on 24/7.
I’m sure I’m not alone in being fed up to the back teeth with 2012 and all the hoo-ray-henrying – although, at least, I don’t have to share the fate of my friends and colleagues who live inside the London boundary and, as a consequence, have had their council tax bills hiked to help pay for it all.
I’ve actually been fed up with it since it was announced.
I’m fed up with the BBC being unable to get through a day without some “news” story about the Olympics, no matter how tenuous the link.
I’m fed up with the constant calls to all pull together and make this a great national occasion.
I’m fed up with the assumption that I’m in any way interested.
I’m fed up that we, the cash-cows, weren’t even asked if we wanted this hugely expensive folly.
I’m fed up that, in a time of “austerity” we’re shelling out billions that could have been spent on more worthwhile projects.
I’m fed up with the in-built assumption that teaching people to be competitive is necessarily a good thing. You can accomplish so much more when you teach people to cooperate.
Most of all I’m fed up with being lied to. In 2005 we were told that it would cost £2.37 billion. That’s now over £12 billion and rising. By the time you factor in all the other public funded expenses that don’t appear on the balance sheet the cost will be WAY higher.
Here are just some of the examples that have pissed me off over the last few days:-
In order to cope with the influx of visitors, UK Border Force, which recently sacked about 1,000 front line staff, will be transferring 700 staff from desk jobs to border control for the duration. They have been given three days training, as opposed to the usual three months, and extra allowances and/or expenses.
Roads that are normally only of interest to a few hikers, dog-walkers and the odd member of the National Trust are being resurfaced for the Olympic cycling route. Meanwhile, other, much busier roads are left to deteriorate. There are potholes galore in the side roads around Dorking, one of which claimed a front tyre last week, but we’re told that money’s too tight to repair them.
Who foots the bill for the road closures and policing costs for the road races and the torch relay? And while we’re talking about the torch, Culdrose to Land’s End by taxi costs about fifty quid. Why was it necessary to have a taxpayer-funded helicopter to fly it twenty miles?
I wish I could hibernate or go abroad until October.