The London 2012 Olympic Games have been a triumph of wastefulness, nannying government, corporatism, deceit and incompetence. Our writer Lawsmith asks, how could our political class have gotten it so wrong?
The first and only time I've met Boris Johnson was when we were on our bicycles at the traffic light at the bottom of King William Street in the City. I stammered: "Uh, good morning, Mr. Mayor." Play it cool. After a brief (and awkward) exchange, he pushed off, away from my sight and into eternity.
Months later, as the tangible effects of the Olympic Movement's month-long occupation of central London started to make themselves felt, my thoughts once again turned to my cycling buddy. After reminding yourself for a moment that Boris once gave some constructive criticism to the city of Portsmouth by saying it was "too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs," and that barely two months ago he referred to the BBC – which, like that brainchild of the Blairite Labour Party, the 2012 Olympics, is state-run – as “corporatist, defeatist, anti-business, Europhile and… overwhelmingly biased to the Left”, I take the view that BoJo -- currently the Games' biggest cheerleader -- would be doing one thing, and one thing only if he were in opposition (if he were so inclined).
He would tear the government, the media, and anyone even remotely associated with bringing the Olympics here to shreds.
In his absence, others have tried. Most have failed to make a dent. Dominic Lawson, writing for the Independent, fired the opening salvo of reason against Olympics fever last month — writing a fairly broad-brush piece which covered most of the general criticisms of this circus (cost, inconvenience, armed police), he scored his best points at the ‘leftist’ BBC's expense: "[news coverage of the Games] really does make one feel as if this is North Korea,” he wrote, “rather than a country supposedly characterised by individualism and nonconformity."