The Phantom Rants AGAIN…

Anyone seen that rather odd article in Time Out this week where they, somewhat spuriously IMHO, postulate on what would happen if the Olympics were cancelled? (What next, I wonder – “What would happen if London had a plague of toads, the Thames ran blood or the Martians landed..?”)

The article, a featherweight piece clearly borne of the silly season, doesn’t really seem to address the issue at all – with many of the movers and shakers interviewed not seeming to be directly answering the question, making me suspect it was cobbled together out of a bunch of old interviews. The equestrian events in Greenwich Park – the one place that many actually WANT to see stopped – isn’t mentioned at all. Not once.

Interestingly though, one of the talking heads is Chris Roberts. “It doesn’t worry me,” he boasts. “We’re taking responsibility for the legacy as a borough. Councils must remember, after 2012 there won’t be an Olympic Delivery Authority or London Organising Committee, so it’s up to them and the residents.”

Darn tootin,’ Chris. The very fact that they know damn well that they won’t exist after 2012 gives bodies like the ODA and the LOCOG no incentive whatsoever to create anything that will last beyond 2012. They will be expecting the councils and the government to clear up their mess as they plough through anything and everything to get their own goals achieved.

So what if a few trees get uprooted? We gave you a good Olympics. I know we said that we had ‘no plans’ to cut down trees or dig massive holes – but ain’t you heard of Contingency, mate? It got to the eleventh hour and they had to come down. It’s a shame and all that, but – well – you wanted the Olympics. You can grow some more. We delivered it for you on time. So what if there’s no legacy? Not our problem, mate. All you asked us to do was get you to the ball, Cinderella. We got you there. Now it’s struck midnight; the party’s over. You find your own Prince Charming. We’re off to collect our fat cheques and then going on a well-earned holiday. Sweep up that glass from that shattered slipper, will you, eh..?

There’s a protest rally this Sunday in the park, organised by the Facebook group Stop The Olympics Destroying Greenwich Park. Meeting at 2.00pm at Blackheath Gate, expect a lot of angry people. I tend to be of the opinion that even if you hold the milder view that if the Equestrian events are going to happen inthe park, they must be heavily-regulated, it’s worth going along. Bargaining is always about asking for more than you actually want, so you can concede small points to get big ones….


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