London 2012. Sports minister’s daft remarks on dissidents

If you’re badly in need of an adrenalin shot or a boost to the wrong people,  this is the announcement for you – and just as the events schedule and ticket prices are unveiled. More blurted out than premeditated?

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  • Held in one of the most deprived parts of London its sad not many of the locals will not be able to go.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Theres a long tradition of levelling whole areas of poor peoples dwellings to facilitate the Olympic Games………. a curious event in which people already rich will get richer…….by the interesting method of encouraging “volunteers” to perform menial functions for no payment.
    A vision of the Big Society.
    But surely the organisers will look twice at volunteer applications from West Belfast and South Armagh, anxious to act as volunteers at Volleyball or Dressage.
    I suspect that the Sports Minister mentioned Irish dissidents as a security threat (and indeed they are) because it would be less controversial that suggesting that folks in Leeds, Bradford or East London itself might be security threats.


    England is in a pre 1969 mode vis a vis NI.

  • Run this one past me again.

    First there’s this nonsense (quite neatly hotlinked by Mr Walker):

    “The security situation is very uncertain,” Robertson told reporters.

    “When we started talking about this probably two years, 18 months out nobody foresaw for example the rise and threat from dissident republicans that they are facing across the water. It is a threat to the Games.

    Bear in mind that London was awarded the 2012 Olympics on 5th July 2005. Remind me why 7/7 is engraved on the subconscious of every Londoner riding the underground or a number 30 bus through Tavistock Square.

    And they’re starting to worry about security now?

    Second, did we ever have a moment’s doubt that hoi polloi would be welcome at any event they couldn’t sell at premium prices? Like women’s football kicking off in … Cardiff?

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Blatant attempt to help explain away miscalculation of costs by talking up the dissers.

  • Brian, where’s the meat on the dissident threat? That’s a fairly bald report from Reuters.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The 7/7 attacks in London two days after the awarding of the Olympics to London no doubt made many Londoners wish that Paris had won after all.
    Clearly there will be massive security concerns next year. But I cant help feeling that any potential attack will be international or “British” islamists rather than Irish dissidents.
    But pointing up the threat coming from within “multicultural” Britain is a no-no.
    Therefore the British Government will talk up the Oirish threat.

  • fitzjameshorse1745 @ 12:26 pm is wholly correct as far as this London household is concerned. We fully intend to spend a fortnight as far away as possible from this fandango.

    Two further points:

    1. For once the whole construction programme seems to have progressed admirably. Whoever was responsible for those contracts deserves congratulation. While this thread focuses on the security aspects of the National Audit Office report, we also discovered that five of the 24 projects are complete, the whole business is 79% done, and only the schedules for the Aquatics Centre (I think that means “swimming pool” in English), which is due this July, and the Athletes’ Village (which I think means the accommodation blocks), due next January, are regarded as “tight”.

    The better part of a billion (out of the adjusted £2.75 billion taxpayer’s contribution) remains unspent. That looks suspiciously good until one recalls the whole cost is actually £9.3 billion. Say it quickly and it doesn’t hurt as much: remember that nearly a quarter of the cost comes from the National Lottery, and a further eighth (as I well know: a supplement for eleven years, starting in 2007-8) is on London Council Tax.

    2. This additional £282 million is to “secure the perimeter of the Olympic Park” (on a recommendation from the Tories’ in-house securocrat, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones), so it’s only a matter of time before we get the old one about a “ring of steel”. Notice that is security for the building project, not the Olympic events themselves. The total security costs are now put at £1,043 million (the 2007 estimate was £954 million).

    As always in these matters, we are either blinded by statistics or baffled by bull-shit. These different, and to me contradictory, numbers are as un-opaque as they are bogglingly ginormous.

    Similarly, I see unofficial estimates of the security costs of the royal hitching range between £20m (which seems to have been the ball-park figure for the G20 meeting) and £80m. The “official” figure is a measly £5 million, so everything is relative.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Government is under pressure over costs probably had a meeting and told eveyone to come up with a list of factors that can explain the overun – mad Paddies are always handy in such circumstances.

  • Neil

    I would rate the dissident threat to the olympics as less than their threat here in NI. Probably chicken pox would be a substantially higher threat, with Muslim fundamentalists coming in highest of all.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    And I agree with Mr Redfellow who agrees with me.
    The citizenry of London are less than thrilled. My own relatives in Woolwich & Rotherhithe will also be deserting the City.