Olympics Update 2: News reaches TheLab™ that the cost of staging the 2012 Olympics in London has now ballooned to a staggering £9billion GBP ($17.5billion USD) up from the previously forecast total of "only" £2.8billion GBP ($5.4billion USD).
Over £2billion is reserved for contingency funding just in case the whole thing blows up the faces of those responsible or the builders need another few hundred million to fix the screw ups they made with their plans. Ironically the last government orchestrated sports boondoggle is just about to open, also in London.
That one is called Wembley Stadium and is currently running some £500million over budget. With that in mind you can imagine that confidence in the Olympic venue construction effort is riding high.
It is fitting that the opening event at that particular stadium is George Michael, a pop-star famous for being found in his car unconscious from the effects of drink and drugs, clearly the same substances the people in charge of the Olympics are snorting every night before they climb back into their coffins.
The cost of the Olympics has economists up in arms and the events fanboys rushing to defend it with all the bluster they can possibly muster. (You're a poet and you don't even know it! Ed!)
Sane minds are demanding that the money be used to fund sports throughout the country, sports that normal folks might actually be able to participate in. The other side of the fence, populated by sports journalists, politicians and building contractors, justify the monstrous cost by saying that the Olympics is a national event that will positively re-enforce the publics collective psychological well-being, because let's face it, who doesn't enjoy a £9billion party?
When it comes right down to it just 90,000 people will be able to watch, as it happens, the finals of the Olympic track and field events, which, apart from the gymnastics, is the only part of the whole thing anybody actually cares about.
Paying for this fiscal atrocity will be Londoners, taxpayers and the National Lottery. We don't care that taxpayers money is being spent but we do care what it gets spent on and this volume of financing demands that other things are going to be cut or held at a standstill in government funding terms and the arts is probably near the top of their list.
It's unlikely that The Royal Opera House or others of that ilk will bear the brunt of any cut backs, the smaller arts organisations are the ones that will probably sink below the waves. This country is actually rather good at dance (the artistic kind) so supporting it makes a huge amount of sense. On the other hand we are so bad at sports we should be compared to the skinny kid in the big shorts that always gets picked last for the football team on a Sunday.
We would helpfully suggest the the Olympics should be located in four fixed locations around the world and cycle between them every four years which would drastically reduce the cost of staging this event. There would also be the added bonus of not sending the host country into bankruptcy just so we can all, allegedly, feel better about ourselves.