So it begins! The estimated costs of putting on the London Olympics in 2012 have already started to get completely out of control. An announcement yesterday informed us all that the estimated cost of £2.4billion GBP ($4.5billion USD) to construct the Olympic Village - not stage the games themselves - will have to increase by another £900million GBP ($1.7billion USD).
Some estimates have put the total cost of this nonsense at over £8billion GBP ($15.1billion USD) and reassurances from the mayor of Gotham City*, Ken Livingstone, that the Olympics will make a profit, eventually, are likely to fall on deaf ears.
I mention this here because the cost of the Olympics is expected to have an effect on arts funding during the next government spending review. There are strong fears that the arts is going to take a big hit to pay for a two week sports event a full six years from now.
There is of course a rampant outbreak of political talkingpointitis spreading among anybody and everybody connected to the Olympics and the key phrases of 'urban regeneration, community investment and good for the country' are making the rounds ad-nauseam.
Being anti-olympics is of course frowned upon and is seen as nothing less than hating your country and all that it stands for which is of course complete gibberish. I can think of plenty of better reasons to hate this country and all that it stands for thank you very much. (he's kidding! I think? Ed!)
Sporting competitions in and of themselves are fine but the Olympics has long since spiraled out of control with an ever expanding portfolio of 'sports' being included and the catastrophic costs involved to the host nation creating division among the population. Such divisions are the very antithesis of what the Olympics are supposed to achieve.
Here in TheLab™ we would suggest that if you are going to spend billions of pounds on sports then building sports fields and sports centers around the country alongside massive investment in sports and health education might be a better way to go. Sadly you can't give that a logo and sell the TV rights to it, nor can you use it to puff up the ego of the Mayor of Gotham* or have lots of meetings where you look at 3D computer models of the Olympic stadium.
It is suitably ironic that the London Olympics are being organised by a man who spent most of his life running around in circles. Little did Sebastian Coe realise how much his professional career would be preparing him for this part of his life.