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]


to London.

13 comments to Condolences

  • Yeah, no kidding. I was so happy to hear that NYC didn’t win the bid (I live not too far away in central Jersey).

  • A_t

    Bah humbug.

    Stupid Olympics.

  • Ron

    This jolly jape by The Sun is funny, though…

  • James

    As I said on another list, I think there’s another side to this. Aren’t you all forgetting all the badly-needed publicity and tourism that this will bring to London?

    As a New Yorker, I’ve occasionally heard of London, but I never quite knew where it was. “Is London, perhaps, in Switzerland,” I’ve wondered, “somewhere on the shores of Lake Lugano? Or perhaps it is in the Walloon-speaking regions of Belgium.”

    Then there’s all the confusion of the name. London? Not New London, Connecticut? Not Londonderry in Ireland or New Hampshire?

    Now I know about London, England, and that it belongs in the company of important cities like Athens, Salt Lake City, Sydney, Nagano, Atlanta, Lillehammer, etc.

  • Julian Taylor

    Aren’t you all forgetting all the badly-needed publicity and tourism that this will bring to London?

    We covered this in an earlier post. Most of the people coming to the UK in 2012 for the Olympics will not be your normal ‘tourist’, rather they are more likely to be friends and/or family of competing athletes. As such a very large number of hotel beds will be taken up by people who will not be doing the usual touristy things, The Tower, Stonehenge, Bath, Stratford-Upon-Avon etc,. but rather just visiting Stratford-upon-Livingstone, and thus revenues from tourism will very likely drop as a result, especially given that the games will be held during the peak tourist season.

    I do recall one of Ken The Scumbag’s earlier fanciful plans involved requiring those Londoners on holiday during the Olympics to hand over their house keys so that families from poorer nations could be “billetted” there for the duration of the games. Of course I would just love to hand over the keys of a large mansion flat in Cheyne Walk (current value £895,000) to the family of a Somalian Wrestling team member …

  • James

    I know that ironic and even sarcastic humor is not popular in England, but I was joking about London needing the publicity and attendant tourism. Even most of us in New York have heard of London. As children we learn nursery songs about bridges there, for example. 🙂

  • Johnathan

    The Olympics, other things being equal, will probably add to tourism overall. It would be interesting to know whether much economic analysis has been done on how such gains would make good the inevitable costs imposed to build the stadiums, transport links, and so forth.

    It would be really nice to know if the Games could be financed entirely via the free market. I would have no issue at all with the Games in London if it could be done the capitalist way.

  • I do recall one of Ken The Scumbag’s earlier fanciful plans…

    Is there any record of this plan anywhere? Was he actually serious, or was it just a throwaway remark? Even if the latter, it is rather worrying.

  • JuliaM

    “As children we learn nursery songs about bridges there, for example. :-)”

    Is that the one you bought & had shipped to the desert & reconstructed, thinking it was Tower Bridge? :-)!!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist…..

  • Julian Taylor


    As I recall Ken The S used this veiled threat last year when announcing, in conjunction with Jabba The Prescott, the ‘Empty Homes Database‘ initiative. Despite some exhaustive googling I have still not been able to turn up the reported transcript of his/its speech.

  • Tim


    In a free-market set up, you could run the Olympics at something close to break even or maybe profit. In fact, LA did it in 1984.

    How? They didn’t put some daft “regeneration” (read: building white elephants) tag in. They used existing roads, stadia etc. where possible.

    The olympics of the past were more “cobbled together”, like make use of what you’ve got + build a stadium and olympic village. I remember the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh – they basically just used facilities they had.

    The trouble is now that the politicians inflating their egos (surely “creating a legacy of regeneration”) don’t want a simple profit making/small loss making games, they want something grand and glorious. So they all bid big, offer a multi-billion dollar answer and because everyone else is doing it, you have to do it too. And of course, the IOC love it, and can pick the nicest solution.

    If politicians really wanted a good games, they’d bid on the basis of the games basically paying for themselves, or the loss being an acceptable loss because of tourist gains that cover it. In other words, they’d take a balance sheet approach (and none of this vague “extra non-financial benefits” nonsense).

  • zmollusc

    Government: “OMFG No Way! Billions of terrorists are trying to sneak into the country and attack us. We must eradicate civil liberties in order to protect ourselves!”
    Subjects “What? Really? Well, i suppose these draconian police state measures should stop foreign terrorists in filtrating our Orwellian landscape…..”
    Government: “Woot! We have managed to get the Olympics held here, now tens of thousands of foreigners will be flooding into the capital! ”

  • John B

    LOL. That was really good. You should do those more often zmollusc. I’m still laughing.