I just missed the Olympic Torch passing by. Deliberately.
Working just off the Kings Road in Chelsea I encounter all kinds of posh lunacy every day, but few of those can rival the squandering of money, time and democratic freedoms that characterises the 2012 London Olympics.
The torch passed by about an hour ago, 20 yards away, at the end of the road; but I alone in the office elected to give it a miss.
Sure, I felt a bit like Scrooge, but not much, because every time I read about the security measures and the cost and the whining of commercial sponsors and the Olympic lanes and the transport chaos and the missiles on top of council blocks and the shameless grasping for profit by private security firms and another “Official [insert inappropriate, tenuous product here] of the Olympics”…
Every time more of this is revealed my cynicism and exasperation with the whole damn thing grows.
And this is before all the bloody sport begins and my home city’s transport system is clogged with people who don’t know what they’re doing or where they’re going. And even if they did know they couldn’t get there because half the roads have been reserved for executives of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.
Every morning this week I have seen police armed with automatic rifles when I got off the train at Charing Cross station. Who are they protecting? Is it us, or is it the money behind the games?
Private sponsorship of the Games is bugger-all compared to what we, the public, have paid; but still McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical get to dictate who can come to the games, what they can wear, eat, drink and even say.
That’s why I didn’t cheer the Olympic flame today.