Last week I was wondering whether or not to write this post. Not really in the mood I was going to leave it at that.
However on my way to work one morning, I changed my mind having picked up a letter addressed to me from London Underground advising me that in a few weeks time I will be unable to use my normal tube entrance at Earls Court to get to work, I should expect to wait at least 1 hour before being allowed to actually board the platform and allow for 1 hour 30 minutes at least to leave the station should I actually want to go home in the evening. All this because a bunch of women in tight shorts and even tighter vests want to titillate men (and maybe women) in the name of sport at Earls Court. I needed to get this Olympic thing off my chest for once and for all, so here goes.
So what does the Olympics mean to me and my friends, in a word absolutely nothing, except extreme inconvenience, loss of income and a complete lack of interest in anything to do with promoting the insufferable Sebastian Coe's career on the world stage, which after all is what this entire debacle is all about, NOT as we are asked to believe about promoting sport and providing much needed sports facilities in poor inner city areas. Greatest sporting event my a***!
Already disillusioned with the interminable recession, being ripped off and laughed at by bankers and M's and our phone-calls listened to by bored journalists, we normal Londoners (yes there are some of us left) are doing our best to keep going, have to put up with this sporting folly which we cannot afford to go to even if we managed to secure tickets, which the majority of us have not. Instead we'll be subjected to wall to wall coverage of the aforementioned Seb Coe, Tessa Jowell, MP's, celebrities, minor royals, Pippa Middleton and like minded hangers on who definitely have not paid a penny to attend the games, myself and fellow cash strapped Londoners have already paid for from our Council taxes, rates etc.
Never have we felt so disconnected and disillusioned by an event and more dangerously from the people who govern us. In April I was in Paris and a taxi driver actually started laughing when he mentioned the Olympics to me, he told me Parisians were delighted that London won the games so they did not have to be bothered by it - schadenfreude or what. We are actually being laughed at for letting Seb loose to host his series of sports days across London in the first place. If he wants to host a sports day let him do it in his own house at his own expense. I'm not usually in the habit of paying for things that I am not allowed to go to and I'll wager neither are you, so why are we putting up with this now!
I tried to leave the city I love while the games were on, but I need to work, if I do not work I do not earn. No-one I know is going or wants to, one person I know got coveted tickets to the opening ceremony at great expense and handed them back when he discovered he needed to be at the venue by 8.30 in the morning for an event that starts at 8 and could not bring in any food or drink to keep him going. I bet Prince William et al won't be subjected to that treatment and they get in for free! Reminds me of a modern day Versailles, with the proletariat locked out and the hoi polloi laughing from within and eating cake and look how that turned out!
So my advice to our esteemed leaders, movers, fraudsters and shakers (take your pick they are all the same), the next time you have a bright idea to host a sports day/week/fortnight at others expense, have it at Windsor, Qatar, the grounds at Eton, Chequers, Seb Coe's house, Chipping Norton, Balmoral, Dubai, or Highgrove (where lets face it they have the space and the money and the time to organise it), think of the rest of us for once instead of yourselves and leave us to get on with our lives in peace in the world's greatest city.
Remember that's what we pay you for!