We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Carr launches his ‘No Olympics’ bid

On the same day that Prime Minister Tony Blair launches London’s official bid for the Olympic Games in 2012, I hereby announce the start of my ‘No Olympics’ campaign.

“The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will enhance sport in London and the UK forever,” said bid chairman Barbara Cassani.

And, by curious coincidence, ‘forever’ is about how long we are going to have to spend paying for it. No. Non. Nein. Njet. Let the French have it. Or the Russians. Or the Brazilians. Or somebody. Anybody. Just not here. Go away. Sod off. Scram. Sling your hook. Get lost.

I think I shall call a press conference.

UPDATE: The French have also launched their official bid. Apparently, they are the favourites. Good. I support the French bid. Vive la France!

20 comments to Carr launches his ‘No Olympics’ bid

  • Jacob

    You are too pessimistic.
    When the games were held in the US, in Atlanta, and LA before that, they actually managed to make a nice profit on them. So it all depends on the management.
    Of course, you wouldn’t expect a Labour government to turn a profit, but maybe it would be possible to get some private impressario interested in staging the event ? Privatize the Olimpyad ! That should be our slogan !
    “No. Non. Nein. Njet.” – sounds too negative.

  • S. Weasel

    It should go back to Greece, and stay there permanently. Problem solved.

    If anyone’s lonesome for that every-four-year travelling circus, how’s about we shuffle the UN all around the world every few?

  • F451

    If the Atlanta games made a profit, it escaped my notice.

    What I remember most vividly about the Atlanta games was the way my wife (technical professional for a certain large soft-drink company) was drafted by said company to act as a parking garage security guard for the duration of the games.

    And we had a spot of right-wing domestic terrorism to remember the event by, too. The possibilities for terrorism in the present day are so much more varied.

  • Good luck Carr, I think this is a wonderful campaign. Vive Paris! indeed.

  • I suspect Olympics can’t work for citizens in huge honking cities where real life has to go on regardless.

  • Here’s to the French Olympic bid.

    Your campaign has my complete support, Mr. Carr.

  • Russ Goble

    Atlanta (or rather the private/public hybrid committee that ran the games) did make a small profit. And because of that, the International Olympic Committee hated us for it. There were, horror of horrors, street vendors. And they did totally screw the pooch on the bussing situation (we Georgian’s have always been a little challenged when it comes to public transportation).

    But, what I do know is we got several pretty nice stadiums and a fantastic downtown park (in a formally blighted area that has been incredibly transformed) out of the deal that are all pretty much paid for.

    Atlanta was quite guilty of rampant capitilism and that’s why Samarach and the rest of the eurocrats were not too happy with us. In fact, they made it a requirement that public financing of the Olympics be the major portion for any new bids (street vendors with Olympic licenses are apparently just too much for European sensibilities).

    So, yes, the Olympics would likely do far more damage to your wonderful country. I think Samarach’s reaction to Atlanta is guaranteeing that the future of Olympic bids will resemble Montreal (which is STILL paying through the nose for a stadium, among other things, that everyone believes should be torn down).

  • Verity

    Russ Goble: Sweet. But “our wonderful country” is not London. London is the capital city of our wonderful country.

    To all those fine folks in Atlanta: you have a new city (only around 100 years old) and it’s a city of freeways and is easy to get around. On-ramps, off-ramps, easy grid. London is around 2,500 years old – perhaps older – with a patchwork of little titchy streets and winding lanes, plus a population that doesn’t give a stuff about the ghastly Olympics. Ugh! Does anyone think that, other than hotel keepers and Mohammad Fayed, anyone in London actually *wants* these people flooding in and wrecking commuters’ lives? And pushing up restaurant prices? And clogging up the streets? And jamming the Underground so they won’t allow people onto the platforms? Are they mad?

    Bonne chance à vous, Paris! Bonne chance!

  • Does anyone still watch that show ? Loved it when I was a kid. Bores me to tears now.

  • And London has this nasty tendency for large capital projects like railways, stadiums, roads and similar to take far too long to build and to cost three times the original budget. I believe that in London it would cost twice as much to build all the facilities as it did in Sydney. Revenues for a London games would be larger than Sydney, but nowhere near large enough to compensate for this. Despite this, the Sydney games made a loss that was covered by taxpayers. The size of the loss has been deliberately buried in opaque accounts, but the number I have hard is around £500m, which was substantial but enough to pay off pretty quickly. I cannot imagine a London games making anything other than a large loss.

    As for the facilities, the Olympic village was sold off as private houses, the main stadium is used frequently for other events (and the recent Rugby World Cup could not have been as large scale an event as it was without the main Olympic stadium), some of the other facilities are used a fair bit, and some are white elephants (no, we really didn’t need a world class equestrian centre in the western suburbs).

    Might I also wish the French bid well.

  • Hey, maybe President Bush can get his permanent human presence on the Moon in time to bid on the 2012 Olympics. It would probably cost no more than that infernal International Space Station.

    I can’t wait to see basketball in 1/6 gee.

  • mike

    As a target shooter I’m appalled that the UK can even consider hosting the OG when 3 of the sports are illegal for UK sportsmen to participate in, i.e. Women’s 25m pistol, Rapid Fire pistol 25m, and 50m pistol. The British teams train abroad, for chrissakes! In Switzerland! But that would _never_ have occurred to our masters.
    Well, I live in Holland now, so I can train…

  • BigFatFlyingBloke

    Three little words…

    Vive La France!

  • Andrew

    In all serious, this meme needs to be spread. The Olympics coming to London would be truly disastrous, not just in day-to-day terms (as the city itself can’t handle it), but also long-term, as I personally will pay more tax. The question then becomes: How do we spread the word beyond the (relatively) small world of the blogosphere?


  • Paul Marks.

    To waste taxpayers money on an Olympic bid that has no chance of winning (and it does have no chance of winning) is crazy – but then there are so many crazy projects going on.

    Still it would be worse if the bid had a chance of winning. For the bid to win would mean MANY BILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers money spent in order to create even more chaos in London than there is already (as has been pointed out by others here).

    “Negative” – the truth is often negative. Mr Carr is quite right in opposing the insane idea of having the games in London.

  • Andrew McGuinness

    I’d be a little more sympathetic to having the Olympics in this country (though possibly not London) if they dropped all the stupid pointless sports that nobody here participates in or watches. I mean stuff like track & field athletics. Just leave in the genuinely popular sports like cycling, swimming, clay-pigeon shooting and badminton. If they swapped sprinting for snooker I might just become a supporter.

  • Mark

    Is there a site to register opposition to the London Olympics bid? I live here and don’t want to pay, whereas i might be quite nice if Paris won. We could pop over and watch it and leave our good friends the French with the bill. is the best thing just to register your support on the Paris site?

  • Andrew Goodman

    This UK Olympic bid is insane and fuelled by ‘parties of interest’ – not the least being the Rt Hon Lord Coe: OBE, DSO & Bar etc etc.

    My intense opposition to this ‘wonderful opportunity’ to immerse ourselves in debt forever is driven by the sure knowledge of the cockups that will occur due to an intoxicating blend of cronyism and official incompetence -look at their recent track records!

    Added to that of course, is the certain knowledge of the pitiful lack of effective resource invested in the glue that really should bind our society: transport, health and education.

    And what’s more – Oui! Vive la France and their own lovely 2012 logo.

  • Kevin

    Well done for starting this. Also, many thanks to RB for the link to Paris’ bid – if we can’t vote against the London bid, this is the next best thing. Sign now!