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Pulling for the Parisians

You know how people are always saying that complaining about the state of the world (and the world of the state) is all well and good, except that it never achieves anything? The UK’s Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, thinks that the great British public is about to prove those people wrong, as “whingers” put London’s Olympic bid in peril.

BRITAIN’S chance of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games is in peril because of “whingers”, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell sensationally warned last night.

Doom-and-gloom merchants risk wrecking London’s hopes just six days after the capital was shortlisted, she said…

She told The Sun: “Whingeing pessimism and hostility will not stop our campaign but it will hand votes to the cities against which we are competing. It is whingers who will weaken our national will. At this moment, optimism, self-confidence and ambition is what we need. Let that win, not the whingers…”

Ms Jowell urged the nation to get behind the UK’s bid to stop the International Olympic Committee handing the games to Paris.

Nah. For perhaps the first time ever, I and many others are fully backing the French to win. Let’s hope a continued stream of bitching and moaning about this ridiculous misuse of taxpayer money will see them through to victory, and bring about Britain’s glorious defeat.

34 comments to Pulling for the Parisians

  • Jacob

    If the contest is just between Paris and London, I’m afraid the games will be in London.
    Nobody likes concrete roofs to fall on them in airports.

  • Chris Josephson

    Boston, MA. ‘WON’ the right to host the Democratic National Convention. This July. What an honor!? => NO. What a horror.

    Roads will be closed. Traffic delayed. Tons of people will descend upon Boston. Going to cost lots of money and inconvenience (to say the least) people who live and/or work in/near the city.

    I wish another city had this great honor. I can imagine how people view London and the Olympics. If I lived there, I’d be against it. Hopefully, this Olympic ‘honor’ will go to France.

  • Percy Dovetonsils

    The Olympic Organizing Committee and Paris are a match made in hell. They deserve each other.

  • WJ Phillips

    That’s a relief, I thought I was the only Briton who didn’t want this circus to come to town.

    If Eastenders deserve better sports facilities, transport links and housing, it should not be as a byproduct of putting up foreign sportsmen for a fortnight.

    It’s never been quicker to get to Paris, if you are hell bent on attending this drug-sodden nationalistic jamboree.

    Chris: At least no NE Seaboard city has ever been daft enough to host the Olympics.

  • Rob Read

    Help, I agree with WJ Phillips (and Gordon “Prudence” Brown), ug, can someone persuade me I’m thinking straight? 🙂


  • Guy Herbert

    Perhaps the French olympic bid committe could be persuaded to support a rally/party for Londoners Against the Games. If we applied to hold it in Trafalgar Square, which is Ken’s private entertainment venue these days, then much joyous publicity could be got out of his refusal.

  • Guy Herbert, I like the way you think!

  • Guy Herbert

    One can register support online or here.

  • Slowjoe

    > Perhaps the French olympic bid committe could be persuaded….

    No sooner said than done.

    They’ve got a contact form here,
    of which I’ve already made use…

  • Verity

    Jackie – Yup. Guy’s a clear thinker, all right.

    I think it is up to Londoners to point out that Haussemann’s boulevards could have been custom designed for the Olympics. Broad, apartments on either side, so French owners can retire to Martinique after renting them out for a couple of weeks, the Metro is very good, and the French will throw themselves into putting on an absolutely splendid show, including designing drop-dead chic new uniforms for the Gendarmes.

    London has narrow streets. Ken Livingstone has a taste for appearing on television and speaking in a cocksure, whiny voice that may irritate some of the more short-tempered nations like Iran and Yemen. The tubes are mobile garbage tips. Resentment of the extra work will be spilling out of the brains of the Metropolitan Police. Tessa Jowell will be on TV very often. Tony Blair, if still in office, will be on even oftener and his strangely remote smile plastered on posters all over the capital. Crime will ping off the Richter scale.

    Also, the French will come through with better bribes and manage to make their patently false flattery sound more charming. For outlaw nations like Zimbabwe, France will still invite the leaders to formal banquets and Jacques Chirac will give them face by welcoming them with a kiss on both cheeks, but no tongues.

    France is a contender. London, with any luck for Londoners, is a no-hoper.

  • I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone living in a big city would want to put up with all the Olympic hassles.
    Yoan, con todo respeto, pero es mejor que den las olimpiadas en otro lugar, que el transito en el turnpike esta que pela.

  • David Gillies

    A communiqué from Marshal Teresa Jowellska, Directorate of State Culture:

    Comrades! Strive to maintain National Unity! Fight against the lickspittle running dogs of Paper Tiger revanchism to secure the 2012 People’s Olympiad for Oblast VII Blairograd [formerly London]! Comrades! The will of the great Soviet British People cannot be defeated! Fight with the Party to demonsrate the mighty Three Represents of Tony Blair Thought! Comrades! Do not let wreckers and saboteurs deny the expression of the People’s Will!

    I personally will be organising patriotic activities with my Block Captain to ensure the glorious award of the 2012 People’s Olympiad to Oblast VII. I urge all Comrades (especially Young Pioneers) to do the same. Long live the Three Represents! Long Live Tony Blair Thought!

  • WJ Phillips

    London’s already had the Olympics twice. We’ve earned eternal remission for good behaviour.

    If Third World governments are so keen on the publicity, confine it to them. South America has never hosted it once, the slackers. Nor has Africa: Tripoli must be in with a shout now Gaddafi’s within the pale again. Singapore would relish the chance of flogging thousands of foreign devils for spitting on the pavement or buying a prawn cracker from an unauthorised stall.

    And let’s think really big: Antarctica for winter sports.

  • R C Dean

    Jacques Chirac will give them face by welcoming them with a kiss on both cheeks, but no tongues.

    Ah, so Jacques would back off on the usual French sophistique diplomacy for the Olympics, will he? Or whether he slips a little tongue in depend on which cheeks he’s kissing ?

  • Verity

    David Gillies – That was so good it was scary.

    WJ Phillips – Third world? Singapore? No clichés like the old ones, eh?

    No, they don’t “relish” the thought of flogging people. Sentences of flogging are announced in the newspapers under Notices. People who break the law and qualify for flogging get flogged – there is no flogging if there is no criminal activity.

    But in Singapore, unlike Britain and the rest of the Union of European Socialist Republics, if you are found guilty of committing a crime, you get punished according to the penal code. The police and the courts are on the side of the law-abiding. I know this is an exotic novelty to the British. But it works.

  • David Gillies

    Fight with the Party to demonsrate the mighty Three Represents of Tony Blair Thought! Comrades! Do not let wreckers and saboteurs deny the expression of the People’s Will!

    Top stuff!!

  • Peter Melia

    It doesn’t matter where they are held as long as the poor bloody public doesn’t have to pay. Rule 1 in the IOCC book should be “Rule 1:-Every Olympic event must be entirely self financing, this rule is sometimes known as the Los Angeles rule”.
    Then Ms Jowell would be obliged to find non-taxpayers money for her project, which might cause her to reflect a little before proceeding further.
    Vive la France!

  • WJ Phillips

    Verity: I’ve no beef with Singapore. Perhaps I should have written “Fourth World”, defined by Philip Larkin as backward countries that are richer than we are.

    Apart from anything else, Lee Kuan Yew like most Chinese is a thoroughgoing race realist, and the Singaporean government has tried some very interesting eugenic ideas. Just the venue for unnaturally disciplined displays of evolved characteristics that render particular ethnic groups unbeatable (e.g. Kalenjin or Berbers in marathons, West Africans in sprints) which is known as an “athletics championship”.

  • Mr Phillips, I’m surprised to find you of all people singing the praises of Lee Kuan Yew as a “thorough-going race realist”. After all, he did force racial integration of government housing programmes.

    Back at the topic, I must join the chorus of those lauding David Gillies’s take on the nonsense Tessa Jowell’s been spouting. Hilarious, and spot-on.

  • I don’t care about sports really, but I do want the Olympics in Paris to speed up the bankruptcy of the French state.

    Every little bit can help.

  • Laurie K.

    Dang, I wish they’d bring the games back here to L. A. The traffic has never been better than it was during the games, and I believe the venture turned a profit.

    Laurie K.

  • Verity

    WJ Phillips – LKY tried no racial experiments. If you read From Third World to First, you will see that from the moment of independence from Malaysia, LKY was intensely aware that Singapore’s neighbour just two minutes across the Causeway was Muslim and native Malay (Bhumiputera) and he sought to integrate the Malay population in Singapore by, as Jackie D rightly notes, integrating public housing plus integrating the police force, the armed services and the intelligence services.

    In public housing, there is a strict formula: each race gets the percentage of flats equal to that of their presence in Singapore over all. End of story. This has not only produced rare (public) harmony, but has ensured that the more successful Singapore does not inspire chips on shoulders in Malaysia. Also, if a Singaporean has need of a police officer, it’s the uniform and the reputation they respect, and they are indifferent to whether a Chinese, a Malay or an Indian turns up at the door.

    (BTW, the Singapore government would never be so stupid as to have even a fleeting thought of hosting the Olympics.)

  • Verity

    Dissident – You shouldn’t have long to wait. France’s economy is collapsing faster than Charles de Gaulle.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Keep the Games in Greece.

    WJ Phillips: for “race realist,” read “racist”.

    Sure you are not Guessworker or that Copeland bloke in disguise?

  • Someone should start a site or blog called Londoners for Paris to campaign for Paris to win the Olympiad. Besides an asteroid strike (ala Armageddon) Paris getting the Olympics would be the best thing to happen in a long time.

    Laurie I think LA was the only Olympics to actually be a benefit (financially especially) to the city it was help in…possibly Sydney made money as well.

    There is one other ray of hope. Seb Coe was useless at helping to get his “judo partner” into 10 Downing Street, lets hope he does as well with London.

  • Bolie Williams IV

    I live in Houston and, unfortunately, we got the Superbowl. We were making a bid for the Olympics, but we got cut early. Thank goodness.

    At least the Superbowl is only one day.

    Bolie IV

  • blahhhh

    In order to suppor the Tres-whatever of the Frogs’ campgain, can we provide them with more motivation and announce that if they win they also get the honor of hosting the UN HQ for eternity?

  • Verity

    BTW, what is a Culture Secretary? Is it on the same level as, say, the Foreign Secretary? Do Americans have a Culture Secretary?

    Why is a Culture Secretary deemed necessary or even a good thing? How does it contribute – given that it doesn’t produce wealth? What would a Culture Secretary actually do when it got to the office in its chauffered car in the morning? Set up a lunch date? OK a press release about culture? What does Tessa Jowell actually do that contributes to the wealth and wellbeing of Britain? Why are British taxpayers paying for her salary, her car and chauffeur and bonzo pension?

    What does a women’s minister do? Why are women not counted as people? We’re a subdivision of people and we need Patricia Hewitt. Isn’t this a bit … abnormal?

    But in the effeminate Labour government, we have a further subdivision: children. So why has this Hewitt apparachik been allowed to get her firm gums clamped onto the taxpayer teat? As in, what does she do for a living?

    Tessa and Paricia. Shudder. Tony and Imelda. Shudder.

  • David Gillies

    Verity, I was partially lampooning the spooky collectivist quality of a ‘Culture Secretary’ in my comment above (as well as the hectoring quality of Jowell’s words). Contemplating non-entities like her, or the egregious Chris Smith, I start to to think Hanns Johst had a point (“wenn ich ‘Kultur’ höre, entsichere ich meinen Browning”).

  • Katherine

    Verity, we don’t have a Culture Secretary, but we have a Secretary of Education….that’s bad enough.

  • Verity

    Oh, Katherine, we also have a Secretary of Education! The bossy Brits would never miss out on having an Education Secretary to propagandise young minds.

    Yes, David, I got the point of your posting. It was brilliant.

  • David:

    Wasn’t it Goering who said that? (using “pistole” instead of Browning”)


    Yes, the L.A. Games made a profit, the Angelenos had an incredible time, as did all the athletes.

    Notably missing from all this was the heavy hand of Gummint — all the above occurred because of private enterprise and an incredible executive, ie. Peter Ueberroth.

    Hosting the Games, as Athens is finding out, is not the time to make infrastructure improvements — it all has to be pretty much there already, which was the case in L.A. Only the fixtures (stadia, indoor arenas etc) were missing in some places, and corporate funding took care of any shortfalls.

    Lots of room to spread around, too. Greater Los Angeles is vast — L.A. county alone is 4,000 sq. miles, and Orange/Riverside nearly double that. Compare that to Greater London’s 600 sq. miles, and for Paris, 900.

    And having driven in London myself… oy. I can’t begin to think what would happen if the Olympics came to town.

  • Julian Taylor

    Given, I hope, that Tessa Jawohl will by then be a rather dusty footnote in the history of Gauleiter Blair and his All Singing All Dancing Troupe of Authoritarians then I would actually rather like to see the Olympics in London. The prospect of finally actually having some use for the ill-conceived Stratford Channel Terminal (I know! Let’s build the terminal for the crosschannel raillink on the OTHER side of the Thames, then we’ll need ANOTHER tunnel to get trains to it .. the public will never suspect we’d put a station there!).

    All that waste land around Stratford just cries out for yet another massive government “private finance initiative” where they end up bailing out Taylor Woodrow yet again – so yes, let’s have the Olympics in London and show the world that we Brits can build great stadia as well – just don’t mention Wembley, The Dome etc etc …

    (can I have my money now Mr Samaranch?)