Dead Men Left

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ken Livingstone's greatest miscalculation

Ken Livingstone, confirming a long-held suspicion of mine about the Olympic bid:

Livingstone admits London's transformation from an outsider to a potential winner since the bid was launched in 2003 has surprised him.

"Four years ago, I thought with all the fiasco of the Dome, Wembley and Pickett's Lock that we didn't have a chance of winning this, but we'd get resources for London out of it," he said.

I always thought Livingstone saw the Games as ruse to squeeze central government for more cash, secure in the knowledge that a combination of crumbling transport, generic incompetence, and (if all else fails) crap weather would spare London the immense burden of having to host this monstrously overblown athletics contest. He must be kicking himself that it has all gone so horribly wrong, and that London is in with a shout of winning.

It's possible sanity will prevail, Hackney won't have to be turned into a car-park, the rest of us won't have to foot the bill, and Paris - wonderful Paris, everyone likes Paris, who wouldn't want to go to Paris? - will be graced with the Olympic presence.