These shambolic, divisive and political Olympics

This is long and no apologies for that.

There were some pro-Games comments which looked at the way many of us are portraying the people behind the Olympics and they disagreed with our take:

I think I was watching a different ceremony to everyone else.

and:

Everyone I have talked to was pleasantly surprised by the ceremony and thought it was wonderful.

One of those who commented made a curious statement though:

I await the closing ceremony with eager anticipation, not least to see if the Queen could at least try to look ever so slightly interested for a change. I do sympathise with her though, having to watch such an odd cast as the people of modern Britain cavorting before her puzzled eyes.

What’s this? Could someone from that side of politics actually accept what is being said by the majority of pundits?    The thing is, there is a side of politics which singularly fails to see what is actually happening. “I think I was watching a different ceremony to everyone else” could well be extended to mean “I think I’m watching a completely different society to everyone else.”

And what is everyone else seeing?    Well where do we begin?    Maybe gently, with Wiggia [at Nourishing Obscurity]:

The recent articles here in the blogosphere and in the MSM regarding the opening ceremony have attracted comment ranging from – it was complete b—–s – to fantastic show.

As individuals, we are all entitled to an opinion whichever way it falls    For the record, I thought the light show side of it was very good and one or two of the content themes, the rest I failed to see the point and thought the whole thing went on far too long.

Aspects of the show – and it was a show – had political overtones.    This will sway a section of the viewing public, depending on their political leaning.

And this is precisely what the blogosphere is saying and which the commenters at the top have singularly failed to see, simply because they are of a certain political persuasion which steadfastly fails to see these things.    Could it be that everything coming below in this post is utter hogwash and that everything is milk and honey with the Olympics?

Another section showed a multi cultural Britain many would not recognize.   An excuse for that has been proffered that it reflected Newham, the site of the games and it could rightly be argued the show, if promoting Britain should do just that and not be just one London borough whether the games are being held there or not.

Many aspects of the show could be criticized in a similar vein or for just not being very good.

Amen.   And I have now seen as much of it as I could stomach.   Wiggia continues:

There is of course another angle to this. Since the Rome Olympics, no holding nation has been satisfied with a dignified torch ceremony, an athletes parade and a program that was enough to show where the games was being held. They have all been in a race to ratchet up the ceremony into an endless spiral of one upmanship with political overtones or otherwise no country wants to be the first to have the show that is deemed “not as good as the last one”.

So when we won the right to hold the games on a budget that was never going to be adhered to despite the monetary problems of the day and an opening ceremony that in the words of a one D Cameron “we will not and could not compete with Beijing”, he then authorized, a few months ago, a very large pot of millions to be added to the opening ceremony budget so that it would not fall into that very category of being seen as ‘not as good as the last one’.

Double amen.

The political angle to all this is always there starting with the Berlin Olympics, largely condemned by all as a showcase for Hitler and his Nazi party aspirations.

Several of the later games have also been manipulated by the political party of the day to show their importance in the scheme of things and despite the claims previously that this games ceremony would have no political slant, yet only today [this was sent to me days ago - JH] the Labour party are apparently “chuffed” with the leftish viewpoint that they and others saw the other night.

Precisely. If nothing else negates the view in the comments at the top of this post, that does and a large number in this society do NOT accept the global socialist, PCist grip we are currently in, spiralling downwards towards this insane, unachievable and tyrannical socialist dystopia.

Strangely if there was one thing apart from the military style organization to admire about the Berlin games it was the torch ceremony – very simple but hugely impressive and surely what the Olympics should have.

Is there a solution to all this?

Yes there is but it won’t happen as long as political ego and money to be milked come into the equation. Many people said after the Athens games that it should be permanently held there.

No, it’s not the perfect solution in that the IOC and its spreading of the Olympic ideal ever more world wide would come to a halt, but the Olympic ideal was dead in the water once amateurs started to take the shilling and countries started to pay in various forms the same “amateurs” to win medals for the glory and bragging rites they could claim for themselves.

They were called shamateurs, but little has changed in many sports. Athletes are, through elite programs, sponsored by the state on taxpayers’ money, mostly sports that very few athletes could make a living at as real professionals ie making a living out of being sponsored by a commercial firm and/or from winning prize money.

To me, the Olympics has become an all devouring monster that is still striving to have all and any semblance of a pastime vaguely associated with “sport” under its umbrella, ever more stadia going to waste world wide and huge debt put upon the native taxpayer so that officials, whether IOC governments or whatever can claim that ours was bigger more expensive than yours and that the cost was worth the medals.

Having a permanent venue would go a long way to solving all that and a slimmer catalogue of events and sports would also bring back some sanity to the proceedings.

It would also stop the bankruptcy of the cities that have taken on the games – we have no idea what the true cost here is, yet I would suggest it’s a lie that “the games are being delivered within budget”.    It’s being said by people who habitually lie about almost everything.    We may never know – after all it’s other people’s money, why worry?

This morning [remember that this was days ago - JH] I heard Tessa Jowell [now a Dame ?] replying to the question of empty seats.    She said in defence of the “Olympic family” and its ticket allocation arrangements that they had every right to them as it was their games.

No it isn’t!

It belongs to everyone who put their hands in their pockets willingly or by demand through taxes.   The people of this country paid for these games’ sponsors also but the bulk was from taxpayers many who could see better ways of spending this vast sum of money at a time of austerity and the same politicians who make inane statements like that should be forced to take part in sports that were part of another very popular games that used to held in “full to gunnels” arenas some time ago in places like Rome.

Amen a third time, Wiggia.

Lord Somber [in the States], sends this article: Why London Is Yawning Over the Olympics – Have Western countries finally outgrown the sports socialism of the Olympic Games?    It has a slightly different angle:

On the eve of the 30th Summer Olympics, the most striking thing about this city was the complete lack of street buzz. In contrast to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when all of China was mobilized for the games, there was no discernible excitement in the air.

Commercial establishments are not planting new flowers or scrubbing old buildings to impress foreign guests. There are no giant screens in public squares hyping the extravaganza. Streets aren’t lined with posters of British athletes. Among the few signs that something is afoot—besides roving armed troops—are tacky plastic runners wrapped around park fences depicting stick figures in various sporting poses (a decoration more worthy of a high school prom than an international event).

Many Londoners I’ve spoken to—taxi drivers, dry cleaners, residents—consider the whole thing a “bloody nuisance” that they are planning to observe from some other European city far from the traffic snarls and the madding crowds.

No doubt the many snafus in the run-up to the games have dampened public enthusiasm. But the bigger reason Londoners are so unmoved is that the era of nationalistic fervor whipped up through mega-projects is over in the West. The West, quite simply, may have outgrown these games.

And:

The London Olympics, like every Olympics before them, are hopelessly over-budget. The city has already blown its original $4 billion budget target four times over on obligatory new stadiums and athlete villages. Meanwhile, G4S, the firm that was awarded the security contract for the games, failed to deliver enough personnel, forcing the military to be called in.

British authorities have also perched surface-to-air missiles on rooftops of private apartment buildings, scaring the living bejeezus out of residents. As if that weren’t enough, a scheme to award tickets via lottery went horribly wrong when overburdened websites crashed, leaving people who had paid thousands of dollars up front hanging for weeks before finding out if they were among the lucky winners.

Still, all of this would have been par for the course in the heyday of the Olympics, when no expense was too large and no inconvenience too great. The 1976 Montreal games took 30 years to pay off. The 1972 Munich Olympics turned into a total nightmare when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and killed Israeli athletes. But the Olympic spirit bounced back.

That’s now changed.

To be fair, he wrote that long before the games actually began and certain aspects have grabbed people for sure.    My own posts are following the women’s volleyball team which has had to pay its own way and seem the true amateurs in their excellent attitude.    The rowing was exciting and not too many begrudge Wiggins himself, though they might Team Sky.    Jury’s out on Cavendish but the knowledgeable understand why, tactically, it went awry.

JD [at nourishing obscurity] emailed me to say I was secretly enjoying these games.   Well yes, certain things have been excellent, e.g. the sailing … and the Beeb, for all its well deserved brickbats for its coverage and Locog, the principals of whom should be behind bars now, nevertheless have an excellent live/video clip system in operation for desktops and credit where credit is due.

So, obviously not all bad and the excitement of the men and women actually competing does rub off.    In fact, at my appointment yesterday, I was actually shocked how few were interested.    Of maybe a dozen in that room, two girls and I enthused over some of the aspects – the rest smiled and weren’t interested, except to see the results in the news.

The crowds might be down but there were still many in the paid venues, e.g. at the rowing and sailing.   Look, these sorts of things are OK.

However, the bottom line cannot be forgotten. This is what these games are about [click links to view articles]:

Medals that are worth almost nothing: Raw value of metals in a bronze totals just £3
Jeremy Hunt in Olympic bell mishap

People travelling towards east London for the start of the Olympics suffered main line and Tube delays today

Olympic security farce as Wembley keys lost: First the G4S fiasco… now police admit to shocking stadium breach
Ticket fiasco at Olympic football event ‘appalling’
Cycling confusion blamed on Twitter fans: Officials say BBC’s shambolic coverage of road race was because spectators used site as riders passed
Security scare as Wembley keys lost

A ten-minute delay was enforced during the dressage event due to bad weather, which New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson branded ‘an absolute disgrace’.

Visa blames Wembley for Olympics card chaos
Ticket tout disgrace: Row upon row of empty seats… as passes sent to foreign VIPs turn up on the black market
Data-hungry crowds spoil Olympic TV coverage, archers alerted
Labour glee over its ‘best advert in years’: Party delighted at Games ‘socialist’ opening ceremony
Bill for policing Olympics will almost DOUBLE to £1bn
£94m cost of Olympics arts festival no one has heard of
Bob Costas joins in outrage as Olympics Opening Ceremony does not mention 1972 Munich massacre victims (and U.S. broadcaster NBC replaces tribute to 7/7 victims with bland Michael Phelps interview)
The painful truth about the great Olympics con
Olympic flame ‘goes out’ as cauldron is moved
Tessa Jowell: ‘sort ticket fiasco today’
Police score own goal and lose Wembley keys
G4S boss Nick Buckles ‘could quit’ over London 2012 Olympics
Britain stays within a tradition begun by Adolf Hitler and cemented by the Beijing fascists. Politicisation added to the shameless commercialisation of the Games.

The Olympic opening satire

Until last night I thought Danny Boyle was the respected director of a film about smack-heads. But after seeing the Olympics open …

Olympics debacle may cut G4S’s credit rating
Apology for North Korea in wrong flag row
Wembley security blunder
Locog calls in the Army (again)
Scotland Yard defends arrests of ‘Critical Mass’ cyclists
‘Ridiculous’ Wembley queues after problems with tills
Lord Coe claims Olympic venues are ‘stuffed to the gunwales’
Parents of athletes turned away in ticket confusion
British man rescued off French Atlantic coast after being overcome with Olympic mania and trying to swim to America
India demands Olympic Games security probe after imposter joins its team at Opening Ceremony parade
The Brazilian women’s football team is fuming that British authorities failed to replace a broken down bus for more than five hours, stranding them on the side of the road the night before their big match against Team GB.
The overhyped Olympics: London visitor levels fall by two-thirds over fears of traffic chaos and high prices in massive blow to recession-hit economy
Olympic female badminton players charged

And of course, we could go left field here and look at the arcane aspects. The symbolism at the games has been commented on by many, including the real meaning of the torch and despite all the pooh-poohing and claims of tinfoil-hattism, many do see some unsavoury things going on.

Ian Parker-Joseph doesn’t necessarily embrace the following but he does write: “Received today… make of it what you will:”

Security plans for the 2012 London Olympics are flawed.

An independent investigation of the G4S security contractor by Ben Fellows has revealed that the company is implementing measures that are inconsistent with their stated security objectives. G4S is reported to have 200000 casket linings on standby – a measure that indicates a plan to fail at security.

G4S is reported to have plans for evacuating London – another indicator of planned failure. G4S is well documented as failing to provide adequate security staff. The combination of these factors suggests that instead of providing qualified security staff to prevent attacks, G4S has been focusing on controlling the effects of an attack. Mitigating large scale disasters is usually handled by the government.

It is suspicious that a company that fails at its direct responsibilities expends its limited resources on measures that are outside of its competence and stated objectives. These indicators are especially alarming, since security contractors have privileged access and are therefore well placed to carry out large scale terrorist operations, to plant false evidence, and to destroy real evidence.

The threat indicators present at the 2012 London Olympics are consistent with the false flag terrorism operations carried out in the past. The film “7/7 Ripple Effect 2″ provides a thorough analysis of a recent false flag operation in London and provides a publically available primer of some of the tradecraft that may be used for other false flag operations.

Some examples of documented tradecraft include using security credentials to manage subversive agents, using security operations to stage equipment for attacks, using security credentials to place false evidence, using security credentials to destroy real evidence, and fabricating public reports. These examples of tradecraft match the threat indicators present at the 2012 London Olympics and support the concerns for the safety of the public.

False flag operations are typically conducted to manipulate public opinion. False flag operations are frequently used as pretext for war.

Finally

Let me quote The Slog:

This orchestrated attempt to make the modern Olympics likeable is beyond parody.

It’ll all be over by Christmas you know, this, um, debt thingy. Things will be sorted out, and everything will be nice again with God in her Heaven. But in truth, the inability of otherwise intelligent people to see what bonkers ideas derivatives, the euro, globalism and deregulation were is inextricably linked to why I deplore almost everything about the contemporary Olympic Games, and all the insistence by those who ruined them that we should carry on enjoying ‘the spectacle’.

In 1948, the BBC paid 1,000 guineas for the right to televise the event. Every last competitor was an amateur whose sole sponsorship consisted of blagging some understanding employer to give them time off work to train, and some under-the-table help with the cost of getting to the host country.

The opening ceremony consisted of the athletes walking round the track perimeter and waving at the crowd. The very simplicity of the occasion gave it gave it an awesome, glitz-free quality.   The very amateur nature of the struggle to be there was an integral part of the personal endeavour involved in reaching the heights.

In a nutshell, the Games used to comprise a nationally hosted theatre of amateur-status giants from around the world at their peak. What the Olympics have been for some years now is a State politicised goldfish bowl of amateur-night organisation bankrolled by fascist brand globalism, and performed by OCD athletes who may or may not be using preformance enhancing drugs .

Indeed, it is I think very telling that Locog’s ambition in preparing the Games was obviously – despite protestations to the contrary – to outdo Beijing’s self-glorification of State-guided growth with a twee, luvvie-leftie history of Great Britain, and glorification of its State health service. Danny Boyle’s creatively arid and politically altered version was really nothing more than a reflection of why we are hosting the Olympics this year: because an empty waster called Tony Blair wanted us to.

The first gangsters to see the Games as a vehicle for State bollocks were the Nazis in 1936. Riefenstahl filmed the athletes as a platform for Aryan superiority complex, Goebbels exploited the event as a way to make Nazi Germany smiley and acceptable, and Speer lit the whole thing as only a hubris-driven architect might.

As a trained political historian, yes, I admit: it makes me thoroughly miserable to realise for the nth time that even apparently civilised and sophisticated observers truly cannot grasp the obvious parallel, or even ask themselves the simple question, “What on earth has British socio-political history got to do with the Olympic ideal?”

We should reverse that phrase, and ask ourselves what the ideal Olympics is today for the commercial, political and media elites. This too should be not so much a pause for thought, as something perverted enough to make the neck-hairs stand bolt upright.

It wouldn’t be right to run The Slog’s post in full here so please follow the link if you haven’t already done so and read it all there. Suffice to say that the sentiments of those good souls [and I know them to be good souls, salt of the earth] who opened this post with their comments and were suggesting that everything was wonderful and all their friends think so does not appear to have been embraced by all.

I’m in two minds.    Obviously the above sentiments are agreed with and yet some things such as the actual sport, particularly something amateur such as the women’s volleyball team, are rewarding.    But to try to make out that these games are a “success” must surely have us trying to define what is meant by “success”.

5 Responses to “These shambolic, divisive and political Olympics”

  1. Rossa August 2, 2012 at 13:22 Permalink

    I’m not usually an apologist for the BBC but some of the criticism of the coverage isn’t warranted. They are not filming the events. It is a LOCOG company that is filming and supplying the ‘live’ feed to the BBC. This often happens at live events.

    My cousin has just got a job as a camera engineer with one of Bernie’s F1 companies. They film the race and the footage is then sent out to Sky and other channels around the world. He previously worked on live snooker and Big Brother, both times for independent companies not the TV channels.

    So the BBC has no control over what comes through. Which to my mind has made the commentating excellent most of the time. I like the fact that we are using previous Olympic champions to help with the coverage alongside some more experienced presenters. I can’t stand Lineker anyway but then I’m not a football fan and for me he’s been outclassed as an anchor by Matt Baker, Jake Humphreys, Sue Barker and Clare Balding. Ian Thorpe has been very entertaining and knowledgeable too!

  2. Wolfie August 2, 2012 at 14:11 Permalink

    My wife asked me last night why I wasn’t interested in the games at all. “Its not my games, it’s not for me or people like me” I replied, she knew what I meant after sitting with me through the opening ceremony.

    I’d offer you some more in-depth analysis but in case you haven’t noticed we seem to be living in an environment where people offering their opinions in electronic media seem to be the recipients of quite a lot of extreme back-lash, if they are lucky or judicial enquiry if they are not.

    The wise remain silent and I think I am far from alone in taking this position.

    Besides, while you are all glued to your TVs I am rather busy at work with emergency changes to the grading models for sovereigns, financials and pension funds.

    Something bad this way comes.

  3. James Higham August 2, 2012 at 17:25 Permalink

    Rossa – with the sailing, it is indeed so – they are knowledgeable sailors they’re using and in some other events it’s also so. In the cycling, it was quite appalling and I believe, in the football too.

    Wolfie – yes, it’s far wiser, for safety, to remain shtum but one gets to a certain age perhaps when one doesn’t give a damn anymore – we say it, the trolls come in. Goes with the territory.

  4. Rossa August 3, 2012 at 07:53 Permalink

    Only one of the commentators on the cycling was any good and that was Chris Boardman as at least he appears to know what he’s talking about. And he’s been good when riding the course before last Saturday’s race and the technical info about the bikes and helmets. Well he is head of R&D though is now retiring.

    I suppose one of the problems facing any commentator on a long event like the road race or time trial is coming up with something to say over a 1-4 hour period. The feed from the motorbikes was very patchy. Easier in the Velodrome when a lot of the events are sprints or pursuits.

    And not sure they should have used Mark Cavendish yesterday as his accent was a bit too broad. Fine for me, but my Mum kept asking what he’d said.

  5. James Higham August 3, 2012 at 09:28 Permalink

    is coming up with something to say over a 1-4 hour period

    John Arlott never had any problem with that, Rossa. Or Brian Johnson.

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