On the fifth day of Christmas...


My true love sent to me: five gold rings. It probably means the first five books of the Old Testament, but to me five rings means the Olympics, which are coming to London in 2012.

Well, they say that. But it's a typical government-led project, so who knows? The London bid for the games put the cost at £3,375m, but in March last year Tessa Jowell revealed that the cost had risen to £9,325m - a tripling of the costs in just a few months. Something of a black hole, which the hole-vaulting Culture Secretary explained as due to VAT, inflation, and a whopping £2,700m 'just in case things go wrong' fund (a figure larger than that the original estimate for building the entire Olympic Park). And that's unlikely to be the end of it, since officials are said to be working to a £12bn target. With the credit crunch, private financing and sponsorship deals now look shaky, and after Mumbai the cost of security has been ramped up, so taxpayers are likely to find the Olympics rather expensive.