Brand rules


         I wish to make it clear at the outset that this site does not wish to associate itself in any way with an important sporting event soon to happen in the UK, as I have no wish to infringe brand rules. I will not of course even mention the logo, let alone seek to reproduce it to illustrate this piece. Five intersecting circles are rightly  the proud possession of the movement concerned. Their award of special coins in various coloured metals with ribbons are  theirs alone.

         I understand that this sporting event is being supported by Acer,Adidas,Atos,BA,BP,BMW,BT,Coca Cola,Dow, EDF,GE,Lloyds TSB,Macdonalds, Omega,P & G, Panasonic,Samsung and Visa. I understand that there are a number of banned words, that only these noble official commercial supporters can use. I am trying to write this piece while observing the brand requirements. I would like to say a big thank you to these public spirited companies for putting up some money to help organise this event, alongside UK taxpayers who will be putting in rather more.

        I want this big event to be a great success and to bring pleasure to all those who watch it or are involved.  I wish to point out that I have received no free or discounted tickets, and have no privileged access to any part of the festivities. Like many members of the public I applied for tickets. I was turned down for my first choice, the sailing, but did manage to buy a couple of seats for one morning of rowing near Eton.

          It was not easy receiving the tickets, as they were delivered one day when I was not working at home but for some unknown reason needed to be signed for.  They  had to be retrieved from the local Post Office. I have received several communications telling me I must on no account seek to go to this event by car. There will be no parking near the site. I have also been told not to  ask friends to drop me off or to splash out and take a taxi, because there will be no set down allowed. The event takes place about thirty minutes drive from my home. When I last attended rowing at Henley, they used nearby fields to allow car parking close to event and that seemed to work well.

         When they sent me my tickets, to my home address, they included a railway ticket to the event from the centre of our capital city. That was not very thoughtful, as I would have to spend a lot of time and money getting trains into the centre of that city in order to get more trains out again. Indeed, as they wish me to be at the venue by 8.30 am I would have to travel the night before to carry out this double train journey.

        If I go by train from the station nearest to my home I will need to leave home at 6am in order to get to the venue by 8.30, with a long walk, three changes of train and a shuttle bus needed to complete the journey. I am told I need to allow one hour to stand in the queue they plan at the venue prior to  getting to my seat. When I last went to Lords to watch some cricket the queue mangers promised us that we would have a maximum wait of fifteen minutes for security, and they kept their word. People with tickets to the main stadium are I hear told to be there two and a half hours before. This either assumes dreadful queues, or gives them more shopping time before the games begin.

       I intend to enjoy the event despite the strange rules and arrangements. I do not plan to buy any product from a supporting company when at the event, as the brand rules do  seem a touch over the top. I will spend a happy morning without eating and drinking. After the event I will let you know how I got on, to the extent that the rules allow.


(PS I do not think they ban you using the banned words in your replies)


  1. Adam5x5
    July 18, 2012

    The more I hear about the upcoming sports day, the more I am glad I don’t live anywhere near the capital and don’t watch TV.

    So now they’re saying don’t bring a car/don’t get a lift.


    With the state of public transport being as terrible as it is, as you point out with having to leave the night before if you take their suggested journey, I expect to hear about events being half full.

    This is going to be a national embarrassment.

    1. A different Simon
      July 18, 2012

      It would be no bad thing if it was a national embarassment , the nadir for the U.K. ; something to hit us between the eyes and force us to face up to the failure we have become .

      The UK needs to concentrate on the bread and butter , not vanity projects like the games and the millenium dome ; a golden calf if ever I saw one .

      We import almost everything we use day to day , including workers and have filled the Govt with people who have never done anything and are incapable of doing anything .

      The addition of the CC bit to the Department of Energy and eventual subservience of the DE bit is the icing on the cake .

      If there was a discipline in the Laffalympics for Governance the UK would not even finish by virtue of running off in the wrong direction .

    2. uanime5
      July 18, 2012

      Don’t forget about people not being able to get through customs, which now has fewer staff, and not being able to figure out which train to get. Also events may be delayed while they try to get the required number of security staff.

      1. lifelogic
        July 18, 2012

        Why does some hotel in Salford need so many security staff? Any more than say a full bus in Barnes or a full tube in Tooting? What guarantee anyway is there that the hastily recruited security staff do not actually increase the risk rather than reduce it?

      2. zorro
        July 18, 2012

        Reports seem to indicate that they are throwing a lot of money at drafting in barely trained civil servants from other departments to fill the desks so they should be able to put people through. The question, however, remains on how effective a control will be in operation. Will standards (sic) be maintained?


  2. norman
    July 18, 2012

    Government in this country really does have a knack of making a mess of everything it touches. This should be a celebration of the potential of the human body with all being accepted and competing as equals and instead every story I read is about crony corporatism and draconian laws being used to hurt small business owners or Zil lanes for apparatchiks.

    Equality? Fairness? You’re having a laugh.

    As far as I’m concerned these two weeks can’t pass quick enough. I’ll be in no danger in breaking any laws by talking about the event or watching the no doubt wildly over the top reporting from slavering idiots on the BBC.

    Well done in turning off huge swathes of the population and building resentment at us having to pay for it. Tough to acheive but the government has pulled it off with ease.

    1. lifelogic
      July 18, 2012

      Indeed a fake superficial agenda of greenness, sustainability and equality but in reality zil lanes, millions flying in from all over the world, stadia build for just a few day of use, lots of burgers and coke sold and countless inconveniences to the public who have to lump it and pay for all the absurd nonsense for years to come.

    2. zorro
      July 18, 2012

      There’s us thinking that they were no good at anything……


  3. Single Acts
    July 18, 2012

    I applaud your faith in bureaucrats to efficiently organise transport, but cannot share it.

    I fear the evidence to date may not be fully supportive of that position. If you do get stuck somewhere, be comforted by the knowledge, many members of the IOC and their friends are being safely driven to the locations you aren’t allowed to be.

  4. Mick Anderson
    July 18, 2012

    I’m quite happy for the athletes to have their moment of glory, as long as I’m not forced to be affected. As it is, I’m tired of the blanket TV and media trailers.

    As I understand it, the umbrella organisation is doing this for profit, but expecting the host country to spend a lot of money for the dubious privilige. This seems a little wrong – rather similar to all those massive subsidies to rail companies and windmill sites to make sure that the shareholders can make enough profit.

    So, all of the stadia that have been built or upgraded should have been at the expense of the Commitee – they could leave them behind in payment of the ground rent for the years it takes to build them. If they want to have exclusive use of our roads, we should be renting them out per lane, per mile, per day.

    A friend was invited to help marshall some of the sailing. He was expected to supply his very expensive RIB, pay for all running costs and his own accomodation, and give two weeks of his time to look after the safety of the competitors. The only payment would have been a small contibution to travelling costs, but only because he lives more than 100 miles from Weymouth. He declined.

    A private company should be treated just as it is. No favours, especially big, expensive ones!

  5. Simon_c
    July 18, 2012

    The attitude of LOCOG put me off ever since they would only take visa to pay for tickets, but they couldn’t actually say how much or when they would take money from my account. Under normal circumstances, that would be against all the card processing rules.

    The oppression of free speech and freedom of expression is ridiculous and the latest news that only McDonnalds can sell chips at Olympic venues is ludicrous.

    And don’t get me started on the cost !

    Than I found out the torch relay wasn’t actually being ran around the country, but was going to spend most of the time in a minibus. Then that actual runners are only running 300m! Then that there are 8000 torches, not just 1 and a few spare !!

    There is an antidote to all this negative feelings though. A runner in Cornwall setup the Real Relay to organise amateur runners from around the country to take a GPS baton around the country following in the torches footsteps. (and tyre tracks!)
    A true “big society” move I think.

    It would be great if Mr Redwood could use his influence to lobby Lord Co to allow the Real Relay to finish in the stadium !

  6. lifelogic
    July 18, 2012

    Totally absurd, I hope you still enjoy your day, but I very am glad I am not going to anything. I would prefer to go for a walk or perhaps to listen to some chamber music at a local church or just listen to my Ipod in the garden and read a book. I would also have preferred that Londoners and tax payers did not have to pay for your mornings “enjoyment” and the bloated event for the next 10 years of so.

    I would also be grateful if the BBC did not go tediously on and on about it all at every turn every day.

    James Delingpole has his usual excellent blog today.

    I agree fully with it particularly this part:-

    “Indeed, one of the reasons our state sector is now so bloated (and ruinously expensive) is because for decades our national broadcaster, with its compulsory licence fee and quasi-monopolistic stranglehold over television and radio, has been propagandising on its behalf. Of all the organisations that have contributed to Britain’s economic and political decline, there is probably none that has done quite so much insidious and long-term damage as the BBC.”

    He is also sound on the jumped up sports day and the absurd distortion of the insurance market for flooding I see in his earlier blogs – Spelman’s new absurd flood insurance tax.

    One absurd policy every day from this government I see. The only “good” news seem to be inflation is down very slightly due to the weather and the fact that no one has any money left after the government has destroyed many jobs and taxed them to destruction.

    1. lifelogic
      July 18, 2012

      I just listened on radio 4 to Cameron’s problem family Tsar – Louise Casey. In a long interview she said absolutely nothing of any substance. She did however assure us that she could not “wave a magic wand to solve the problem” just in case we all previously thought she could.

      Why would one employ this person to do anything I wonder. Other than to appear on radio and depress everyone about the dreadful level of government competence and Cameron’s inability to select good people to do anything useful?

      1. zorro
        July 18, 2012

        I seem to recall that Ms Casey came to some prominence as one of Tony Blair’s czarinas of something or other… no surprise there, I guess


    2. lifelogic
      July 18, 2012

      Today’s absurd suggestion (another new tax) is that car owners should pay a fine for someone else’s child throwing something out of their car window.

      Will they extend this absurd tax/injustice to Bus and Train owners too?

    3. Bazman
      July 18, 2012

      In Delingpole’s own words.
      Look, if the BBC were Fox News (please God, I’d crawl on my knees all the way Canterbury Cathedral if you made this happen) few of us would have any problem whatsoever with its stars using whichever legal tax avoidance system they wished. That’s because Fox, in its fair and balanced way, is a tireless and outspoken advocate of free markets, smaller government and lower taxation.
      Anyone who writes this is not to be taken seriously. Fox news? What a laugh.

  7. Mike Stallard
    July 18, 2012


  8. Chris Gillibrand
    July 18, 2012

    The Chinese regularly produce a lift of banned words for their ISPs. Ironic really.

  9. Pete the Bike
    July 18, 2012

    Words like “gold”, “silver” and “bronze”, “summer”, “sponsors” and “London.
    We really are in a different country to the one I was born in. So many things are illegal or monitored we have become an Orwellian state. Now due to bribes paid to the Olympic committee large corporations can claim the ownership of ordinary words. I bet these same corporations will be able to use the Olympic traffic lanes for their executives.
    You really can buy the law and government in this country.

    1. lifelogic
      July 18, 2012

      It is quite clear that many laws are written only for the benefit of certain groups with good lobbyists as they clearly have no other purpose than the enrichment of the interested parties. Almost everything from the EU it seems.

    2. zorro
      July 18, 2012

      This sort of brand censorship is completely unacceptable. It is effectively trying to blot out competitors and affects anyone even remotely connected with the Olympics….You really wouldn’t believe it, and some of the requests that they make.


  10. Gary
    July 18, 2012


    1. Christopher Ekstrom
      July 18, 2012

      Enjoy the Danny Boyle anti-England extravaganza! Every PC sacred cow will be aired at this celebration.

  11. oldtimer
    July 18, 2012

    We have QUANGO to describe a certain type of national organisation. We also need something similar to describe the organisers of these global events like the O******s, or U**A`s football competition. For starters I suggest SNARL, Supra National Associations to Ripoff the Locals. Perhaps others can suggest better alternatives.

    These organisations have assumed an over-weening sense of their own entitlement and superiority, demanding re-writes of the laws of the land, closing roads, alternating traffic arrangements (the removal of one mini roundabout on the Windsor to Holyport road to the rowing lake, at the demand of the O*****c authorities, has already caused two accidents).

    Your rail ticket is clearly a manifestation of the governments declared policy of the “nudge”. It is designed to get you out of your polluting, Chelsea tractor and onto Network Rail, that super-efficient organiser (as you helpfully pointed out yesterday) of the officially blessed green alternative.

  12. Stewart Knight
    July 18, 2012

    You and the Government should shout from the rafters that this farce is the Labour party’s games, contracts awarded by them and organised by them.

    You8 can bet your bottom dollar they are going to try and blame you and the Tories for any and all faults, so get in there first with the truth.

  13. Amanda
    July 18, 2012

    I think it is P&G, but maybe the ‘and’ was deliberate.

    I’m so glad now I do not have any tickets – I’m even sorry I went to watch the wretched torch; the convoy of which was preceded by ‘branded’ busses. That being said, it was the community spirit, not the razzmataza I got the most from.

    I also understand that it was Labour who made the ‘branding’ rules – so if I were you Conservatives, I’d let that be known. I thought Mr Cameron was boasting of the money the Olympics would generate for the country !! Well, it is going to be considerably less now than it would have been if ‘openess’ and the spirit of the games had prevailed.

    I’m sure my husband will update me on the sport, I might watch a few finals, and take a peek at the opening and closing ceremony. The only thing I will celebrate is the achievements of the sportmen and women who will do their upmost to achieve the pinnacle of all their hard work and dedication. And, I hope any mean minded, hypocrit who talks about the proportion of public school educated people wearing medals for the UK will be shot down in the flames they so throughly deserve.

    When will the normal Labour voting fodder of this country realize how much the socialists of this world have ‘shafted’ them? And, when will Conservatives stand up for themselves and make the case for freedom and enterprize, eduction and personal responsibility.

    1. zorro
      July 18, 2012

      For once, I don’t think that you can solely blame Labour for this, I really wonder if anything would have been any different under David Cameron’s Conservatives…..It is the nature of crony corporate capitalism in the 21st century. They have a very strong influence over politicians through highly developed lobbying tactics.


  14. Mike G
    July 18, 2012


    I think you missed the {sarcasm on} tag.

    What a total disgrace, makes me deeply ashamed of my country. It would have been truly wonderful for our new Government to have cancelled the games, for a 10pt boost in the polls. Who are they working for?


  15. alan jutson
    July 18, 2012


    Could you not take your own food, or is this also banned as the cheese sandwiches and a bottle of drink over 100cc could perhaps be deemed a security risk.

    Last time we went to Disney World in the States some 20 years ago, no food or drink was allowed in.

    You could get a ticket for the football, as I understand it they have 500,000 left.

    I know we should be celebrating this, but to be quite honest this travelling circus has to stop some day, why not have a perminent site in Greece. after all it could do with the money, and the infrastructure is already in place, although reports suggest that most venues are not used at all now and are in need of maintainace..

    Some legacy.

    1. uanime5
      July 18, 2012

      Food and drink isn’t banned because it’s a security risk, it’s banned so you have to buy food and drink from the on site restaurants. I remember one time in the states they banned people taking coolers in these parks but I suspect they didn’t want people taking their own food and drink.

      1. Bazman
        July 18, 2012

        £7 for a pint of lager? They can drink it themselves for that.

      2. alan jutson
        July 18, 2012


        Yes fully aware of the reason, which is to extract more cash for overpriced food and drink.

        Thought I would also chuck in the security issue, which according to radio reports today:

        Arena Venue where the American team are training was going to be open to the public, but given they had FOUR SECURITY ORGANISATIONS managing it.

        Police, Army, G$s, and the Americans own security organisation, it was total chaos, as one organisation did not communicate with any of the others.

        The Public were sent one way, then another, then back again.

        Someone needs to get a hold, quick !

  16. Steve Cox
    July 18, 2012

    I read somewhere that something like 10 million people will be leaving the country during these games. That says it all to me. Plus I’m already in Thailand, ha ha. I dislike almost all organised sports and will not be watching a single event on the TV. As far as I am concerned, it’s a waste of time and money, and proof of the truth in the old adage that a fool and his money (and time equals money remember!) are soon parted. I feel a certain dread that these games will turn out to be a national embarrassment. I only hope that is the worst that will happen, and that the poorly implemented security measures do their job in the end.

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    July 18, 2012

    John, Haven’t you been listening? We are told ad nauseam: “All these things can be looked at after the ‘greatest show’ on earth has ended – the task now is for everyone to pull together to make this Olympics the best ever”. I watched the TV programme ‘Twenty Twelve’ last night which I understand is a comedy satire about the Olympics. I wasn’t sure which was more far-fetched, the satire or the reality – but reading your blog and hearing other reports about the forthcoming event, I think that the fact is more ridiculous than the fiction.

    1. zorro
      July 18, 2012

      Don’t you just love the ‘project speak’ and vacuous nonsense spouted by some of the characters. This type of character pervades the public sector and has often usurped public service professionals who actually used to know what they were doing!


  18. G Stanfield
    July 18, 2012

    It is sad that the more I hear about sports day the more cynical I become. I do however wish all our entrants every success.
    I think you are brave to admit that some days you work from home, as I do. Boris’s view is that people who work at home spend their time watching TV and eating cheese! Interesting.

    Reply: I do often work from home in Wokingham, to avoid the waste of travel time and to “save the planet”. With modern technology it is easy to deal with blogs, emails and calls from my home. I neither watch TV nor eat cheese.

    1. Sean O'Hare
      July 18, 2012


      I neither watch TV nor eat cheese.

      Not even in a Burger King cheese burger?

      Reply add to my reply “when working at home”

    2. zorro
      July 18, 2012

      I hope that you minimise your tax outlay by not paying the licence fee then!

      I tried to get some tickets for the Eton event as it is not too far to where we live, but unfortunately I am rather busy then……

      Looks like there is a park and ride service available for Eton Dorney.


  19. Martin
    July 18, 2012

    With the roads congested due to Zil lanes I’m not surprised that to maximise chaos the events have been timed to ensure spectators use the railways at the busiest/expensive times.

  20. Denis Cooper
    July 18, 2012

    I just hope that your joke about this event doesn’t cause distress to any member of the public. or the police would have to look into that.

    Having nothing better to do with their time.

  21. Eddie Allen
    July 18, 2012

    From The Independent;

    “We are using experienced local authority staff who currently enforce street trading and advertising legislation. They have all been fully trained,” the spokesman said.

    “Deliberate ambush offences will be dealt with using the full enforcement powers conferred on officers.”

    Not only is this a ridiculous abuse of the liberty and freedom of the British people, it is something which every decent human being should fight against if they want a free and open society to continue. Taxpayers are sponsoring the Olympics too as you say Mr Redwood and the event is not ‘owned’ by McDonald’s they choose to give freely to sponsor it in the belief they will gain reward. Taxpayers on the other get no reward except the pleasure of the event, and businesses using the ‘banned’ words: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Sponsors and Olympics to name but a few (there are apparently 300), are to be subjected to precisely what I ask in terms of ‘enforcement’.

    Meanwhile, who put sponsors in charge of our freedoms? I never heard a thing about it and didn’t see McDonald’s standing to become a member of parliament.

    Incidentally, you take a Gold medal for the journey you will have no choice to make as fields seem to have been banned to park a car in. Who is actually in charge of this idiotic Olympic mess?

    1. RB
      July 18, 2012

      Just for interest, the olympic torch passed my flat in Hove yesterday (or was it the day before?). Anyway the procession went like this:

      Loads of Met police cars and motorcycles, and I mean LOADS;

      A Samsung lorry blaring out music and advertising its brand on a huge LCD screen on the side of the lorry;

      A Coca Cola lorry advertising its brand;

      A Lloyds TSB lorry advertising its brand and with a few gyrating drones dressed in green on the back inviting the small crowd to “go for it” whilst pumping out the most awful hip hop music;

      Another branded lorry but I forget the brand;

      A small minibus which stopped outside and from which some old dear tottered onto the street, spent 2 minutes having her torch lit and who gamboled about 300 yards down the road before lighting another torch held by another unknown woman with her own, and off into the distance they went.

      People had been gathering for about 2 hours outside – there were ony a couple of hundred that I could see in both directions. Kids had £1.00 Union Jacks that disintegrated in the wind within seconds, and after this “procession” took about 2 minutes to pass them, wandered off home.

      What a waste of time.

      1. backofanenvelope
        July 18, 2012

        There was a picture in The Times today – torch handover in 1948. There was only ONE policeman there!

        1. lifelogic
          July 18, 2012

          Indeed it is mainly a job creation scheme for parasites it seems.

      2. alan jutson
        July 18, 2012


        I suggest you ask your Local Authority how much It cost you, the Council Tax, payer to administer all of this.

        Yes it is a serious Question.

        The bill for Wokingham was £27,000 for 4 mins, and the nearest it got to the Town was 7 miles away, as it crossed the river in Henley by boat.

        Unless you include the A329M closure, as it went to Reading by mini bus.

        I spoke to some Councillors who said they were mandated to have the torch in our Borough for those 4 mins, so could not refuse.

        This torch parade is a bloody expensive fiasco given that out of the 8,000 people carrying the torch, 1,200 have been chosen by the corporations you mention.

  22. David Wickes
    July 18, 2012

    Regarding the marketing rules, it’s worth mentioning that the laws surrounding the use of (massive breach coming up here) ‘Summer 2012’, ‘Olympic’ and sundry others are, to my knowledge, untested in court. The best that can be said of such use is that it *might* breach The London Olympic Games And Paralympic Games Act 2006
    and The Olympic Symbol Etc (Protection) Act 1995 — and LOCOG make this relatively plain in their delightfully Stalinist Brand Protection document.

    I would personally welcome such a prosecution, as I don’t think it would get very far.

  23. Sue
    July 18, 2012

    I’m switching off the TV and radio. I want absolutely nothing to do with this commercialised fiasco. The Conservatives and other bodies involved have made it quite clear that the British taxpayer is only good for one thing, our money. The rest of the time we are just a bit of inconvenient excreta stuck to the bottom of their shoes that they can’t quite scrape off.

    1. Electro-Kevin
      July 18, 2012

      As opposed to *convenient* excreta stuck to the sole of one’s shoe ?

      Perhaps they should market it and sell it in tubes.

  24. Sarah
    July 18, 2012

    I think you are all being miseries!

    I am fed up with the doom merchants and the naysayers. Its going to be a brilliant showcase for Britain and we should all get behind it with the same spirit we supported the Jubilee.

    Lets wave the flag not trample it into the dust. The greatest show on earth is coming to town. If sponsorship means it gets put on and tickets can be bought by the likes of me – then its a necessary “evil” I can put up with.

    We do ourselves no favours by dissing the event before it starts.

    Shame on you.

    1. APL
      July 18, 2012

      Sarah: “Shame on you”

      Of course you like it Sarah, you think it hasn’t cost you anything.

      Everyone likes a freebee. The rest of us know it isn’t.

      1. Sarah
        July 18, 2012

        Of course it costs money! We have however not spent the £35billion that the Chinese spent.

        My point is that in an increasingly globalised, televised and competetive world
        its a fantastic time to have London on the global stage. The venue has been built on time – it looks fantastic – and as a country we will deliver a great games.
        Stop moaning and start waving your flags !!!

        1. Michael Lee
          July 18, 2012

          Yes, let’s see some national pride. The GB team for the 5-legged backward egg & spoon race have every chance of taking the putty medal.

    2. Sean O'Hare
      July 18, 2012

      ..we should all get behind it with the same spirit we supported the Jubilee

      I am I am! I ignored the Jubilee too!

  25. Captain Crunch
    July 18, 2012

    If you don’t want your (safely delivered) tickets then I am sure there are lots of people who would happily take them off your hands.

    It’s a shame they did not give you a Wokingham to Dorney train ticket or chauffeur.

    It was odd of your friend to volunteer to be a Marshall in Weymouth if he lived 100 miles away.

    I was surprised that you would not be a supporter of the Olympic Games using private sector financing. If the quid pro quo of Coca Cola sponsorship is that Pepsi can’t use the logo then I would have thought you would like that kind of private sector sponsorship.

    Do you have any comments on the Government’s handling of the G4S security debacle?

    Reply: I do support private finance for the games and do wish it every success. I just think the sponsorship police are taking it all too far. I have nothing to add to the G4S media coverage, which has been extensive. I want to hear more about the sports and sports people, and less about the security.

  26. Electro-Kevin
    July 18, 2012

    Our country has turned from lion to knickerless whore.

    It will assume any position if the price is right and a profit can be turned quick enough.

    1. Electro-Kevin
      July 18, 2012

      Brand rules ?

      Yes he does – in the land of the knickerless whore at least.

      (I hear that he – of all people – features in the line-up for the Olympics’ show. Jonathan Ross couldn’t make it. )

  27. Mark
    July 18, 2012

    Just don’t try taking a camera or binoculars. Security would consider you are a risk.

    1. lifelogic
      July 18, 2012

      And if you do not take them it might be too far away to see much.

  28. Atlas
    July 18, 2012

    This whole thing, and the way it is turning out, is just Labour’s PC view of the world – neoStalinist in its way – writ large.

    The public are being soaked for cash to prop-up some companies who no doubt were good at entertaining and, like the security company recently in the news, are good for nothing else.

  29. Cliff. Wokingham
    July 18, 2012


    Firstly, I like watching the Olympics but, when they are held in other countries where I do not have to pay for them.

    I think back to the previous Olympic games when our politicians were very vocal against the Chinese and their heavy handed torch escorts and the way they cleared the streets of those they deemed undesirables. Reading reports in the media, I can see little difference between them and us.

    This event is not about sport, it is about making money and massaging egos; it is a corporate event and an egofest for a few individuals.

    I have been compiling a list of sponsors of the games in order to boycott their businesses after the games. I know others are doing the same but obviously, I would not encourage others to do so, as I suspect that would be illegal.

    I do worry about the legacy when all the fuss has died down; other host cities don’t appear to have always come off well post games.

    I hope it goes well but I fear it won’t and it’s not looking good so far. Let’s hope we don’t make ourselves look too stupid on the world stage. I also hope that terrorists do not manage to pay us back for our foreign policy and blind support of the USA.

    John, Ms May stated in Parliament that penalty clauses were a matter for LOCOG to sort out with G4S as they were the contracting parties. If that is the case, could we not seek compensation from LOCOG, given that they are a company and are contracted with the British taxpayer through our elected representitives, to deliver the games? Will a committee of the House of Commons be looking at how much we have spent on this egofest, whether we have had value for money, who or whom have made the most from the egofest and whether any bonuses paid were justified?

    1. Cliff. Wokingham
      July 18, 2012

      Sorry John, I forgot to ask this;

      Given that the state/taxpayer owns one of the main sponsors, is this taken into account when calculating the total cost to us? Does anyone know how much the state’s bank (LloydsTSB) has contributed towards the games? Have we effectively paid twice?

      1. lifelogic
        July 18, 2012

        Twice? Four times at least:- once for the bail out, once in tax and once more due to the credit restrictions to solid & sound businesses and once more in the loss of growth, employments that results.

  30. APL
    July 18, 2012

    Not going, have no interest in the event, but do wish the commercial interests had paid rather more than they have, in fact why not a fizzy drink sporting event?

    Government has no business putting on circus events. We would have been better off if the French had won the event.

    We, and Greece would have been better off if the event was staged permanently in Greece.

    This traveling circus is a farce.

    PS. Good luck to the competitors particularly the British ones.

    Let’s hope our forced ‘investment’ pays off in lots of yellow, silver and copper shiny things.

    Otherwise perhaps we should surcharge Lord Coe and his cabal.

    1. Martyn
      July 18, 2012

      France, that is to say the Nord pas de Calais region has taken full advantage of the fact that one can travel to London on Eurostar in 57 minutes or so. After extensive work in encouraging nations to set up their Olympics camp in the Calais area they have apparently managed to pull in 41 nations, for whom they have provided super new training facilities with the added benefits of reduced stress and crowding.

      Some 94 nations are taking up residence in the London Olympics village, so France quietly appears to have persuaded not far short of 50% of nations to set up camp in France instead of London. Makes one think, does it not?

      1. Mark
        July 18, 2012

        So all it takes is some problem with the railway and they’re stuck….

      2. alan jutson
        July 18, 2012


        They are also building refugee camps again at Sangette according to Press reports.

  31. startledcod
    July 18, 2012

    The damage was done when the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 passed into law for it enshrined what, to the man in the street if he were ever to know its full extent, is the corrupting influence of the IOC.

    That any British Government could sign an agreement that legally binds HM The Queen to hold a reception for the members of the IOC the evening before the opening of the Games beggars belief. I am sure Her Majesty would be keen and happy to do so but to legally bind her; what were they thinking.

    There is an arrogance that takes over any very wealthy supra-national organisation that corrupts morally and and in many cases financially, much like the nomenklatura of the USSR. Think FIFA, OIC or the EU; they all have immense wealth, untrammelled power and no democratic mandate. It is that arrogance that allows them to believe that they deserve to disrupt a city with exclusive traffic lanes and impose ridiculous commercial conditions to support the vile crony-capitalism (it isn’t capitalism BTW) of their sponsorship deals.

    Until some country finally points out the folly of the Emperor’s new clothes this sickening jambouree will continue. I am for the Olympics and think we should see some wonderful races but why do they need to include football (it already has as many tournaments as it needs), tennis, or beach volleyball. It is far, far too expensive. Every time I here that such-and-such has been brought in under bidget I scream that it is the easiest thing in the world to being something in under budget when the budget is set to allow for mind-boggling, gravity defying over spends.

    This jambouree is set to cost over £10bn cash (i.e. ignoring any costs related to lost production or disruption). That is a truly staggering amount of money, please stop and consider that for a moment, £10bn. Does anyone have any idea where the money went, does anyone have any idea whether any of it at all represented value for money? Did we really want to spend that much money (note I did not say ‘need’); is there any way that this juggernaut can be stopped. I fear that the only way would be the election of an inspirational figure as head of the IOC, as perhaps Michel Platini might, might, change the course of world football id elected head of FIFA. Beyond that there is no hope and we, as a country, should eschew hosting any major sports tournaments. Please do not accuse me of being a cynic, the Games’s Legacy will be a beacon for decades to come. I too heard the plaintive cry from one of the poorest boroughs in the country “what do we want?”, “a velodrome”, “when do we want it?”, “just as soon as every primary school pupil in the borough can spell ‘legacy’ and ‘sustainability’.”

  32. Neil Craig
    July 18, 2012

    For the official cost of this, about £12 billion we could have had X-Prizes enough to have a fleet of orbital spacecraft & some solar power satellites to boot. For the real cost of about £24bn we could have had a Moonbase and started asteroid mining too. Even for the £2 1/2 bn it was originally promised at we could have had a 747 equivalent to orbit.

    I do not think those would have had a lesser effect on Britain’s “national prestige”, which is the main aim of hosting the O——- .

    With virtually zero government support (they promise £10 million real soon now) Britain’s space industry will grow by £1 bn this year which amounts to 1/3rd of the total growth in the economy. Obviously with that level of support the growth would have been many times that. Unfortunately UKIP is the only party supporting such technological progress, as an alternative to printing money, as a way of getting the economy growing. By comparison none of the “BBC approved” parties are even willing to think about thinking such thoughts.

    1. Electro-Kevin
      July 18, 2012

      Doesn’t that put it in perspective !

  33. Martyn
    July 18, 2012

    I live in a village just over 40 miles west of London. I don’t have tickets for anything, but village friends and my relations in Lincolnshire have all been told that to ensure a timely arrival at their chosen events they should start their journey the day before the event. No mention of how long it might take one to return home, though….

    I suppose that this could be the organisers wishing to fill empty-ish hotels in areas adjacent to the events, but supect that underneath it all they are anticipating that the tax-paying punter is going to find public transport (road and rail), to say the least, chaotic and time-consuming. You couldn’t pay me enough money to tempt me to go into London over the Oplympic games period!

    I do hope that the games go well, but quite clearly they will not be without their problems and the worst thing is that UK citizens in terms of travel are seemingly at the very bottom of the food chain. That is wrong and might account for the large number of unsold or withdrawn tickets to some events.

  34. cosmic
    July 18, 2012

    All of this seems a very long way from the ideals at the start of the modern Olympic movement. There’s definitely something sinister about the enforcement of the brand rules.

    Much apart from apply for tickets and pay to go, the only way I’d be tempted to attend one of the events, is if I were to be paid a hefty amount to do so.

    I wish the UK bid to host the Olympics had failed. It seems like entering a lottery where the prize is a White Elephant.

  35. stred
    July 18, 2012

    You were lucky to be refused tickets for sailing at Weymouth. Travel to Dorset will be almost impossible. My tip for the rowing is to go upstream and take an inflatable dinghy. Also, take a white flag and union jack in case you are shot. The athletes complaining about the slow transport from Heathrow to Stratford are ridiculous. They should be able to run there in half an hour.

    1. David John Wilson
      July 18, 2012

      Could you please tell me how I find a place up stream of a lake.

      1. lifelogic
        July 18, 2012

        Go to the higher end!

      2. alan jutson
        July 18, 2012


        The River runs by the side of the Lake, there are moorings alongside the Eton Boathouse.
        In normal times you can also moor up next to the footpath if you have your own stakes or Pins.

        Then it is but a 100 yard walk across grass to the facility.

        Doubtless this will all be curtailed during the Event.

      3. stred
        July 18, 2012

        Walk the last stretch. Take white flags.

  36. Caterpillar
    July 18, 2012

    These Olympic Games have emotionally confused me no end. I certainly found it strange to centre an Olympic bid around London rather than another city, but given that the bid was successful I hope that those involved (organisers and competitors alike) have a successful games.

    What has most interested me is the national media reporting, the bi-culturalism in the UK, and of course recently some politicians:

    On media: Given that there don’t seem to be building overruns, Olympic lanes have been marked, airport staff have (we are told) been trained, then the media have had to go looking for failure stories. There seems to have been limited reporting put into the successful parts of operations/projec/event management – the things that are good to show and learn from.

    On biculturalism: I admit very simplistically, but there appear to be two camps. The typical Olympic camp of how can one help / be involved, and the negatively opportunistic camp (e.g. perceptions of what can we get out of keeping the buses, tube running? should we block the Olympic lanes for taxi rights or fair priced milk? we’ve been security trained but do we want to bother?)

    On politicians: The G4S security provision again appears to have brought out the worst knee jerk opportunistic reactions of UK politicians. On the face of it there are several issues; (i) An apparent late request for extra security from LOCOG – presumably this should be something for Ministers to review after the event, (ii) a G4S agreement to fulfil the late request – something for the chief exec, board and shareholders to question, and (iii) the project management question of risk managing the security supply – was it always understood that the military & police would be a second supplier as part of a risk managment plan, or should there have been a second contract – something for LOCOG /Ministers to review after the event?
    By way of example of an MP’s response, we see the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee apparently suggesting that the CEO of a company employing >600k people should just go, and then on Sky News Jeff Randall apparently following up with the apparent suggestion that G4S could simply have moved in staff from around the world – would the Home Affairs Select Committee have been happy with this, would the Labour Party and unions have been happy with this rather than giving UK nationals a chance?

    In summary many Olympians may now be professional but I worry that the rest of us i.e. UK media, workforce and politicans choose to look amateur.

    1. Caterpillar
      July 18, 2012

      “and then on Sky News Jeff Randall apparently” should read “and then on the ‘Sky News Jeff Randall’ show, apparently”

    2. Caterpillar
      July 18, 2012

      Biculturalism ctd: And soon we will see whether Border Agency staff take advantage and strike.

  37. forthurst
    July 18, 2012

    “I will not of course even mention the logo, let alone seek to reproduce it to illustrate this piece. Five intersecting circles are rightly the proud possession of the movement concerned.”

    Yes, slightly ambiguous. Could we be talking about the plain Olympic symbol or the logo unveiled to universal acclaim five years ago which happens to contain the Olympic symbol in one ‘element’ of which there are five, purportedly representing 2012, but ingeniously misinterpreted variously as an activity whose precise significance we would prefer David Attenborough to explain to us, or…. etc. This just goes to show that when you shell out hundreds of thousands of pounds you are transported into a realm of accomplishment on an infinitely higher plane, as with the best conceptual ‘art’. A simple soul might simply have bookended the Olympic symbol by Tower bridge in coloured outline, but so probably would many people, therefore no exclusivity, no added value.

    BP, presumably, are operating a subtle marketing campaign in which not using their petrol for travelling will endear them to the public for their sacrifice in helping to save the planet. There is of course the issue of security: cars can be used by terrists so possibly a wise precaution. Is there a ban on taking a thermos and sandwiches? It might be difficult to explain to G4S in sign language the safe use of such stalwards of the English outdoors. Why not purchase internationally recognised coke and big mac at the venue, after all?

    Happy boating!

  38. Wat Tylers Ghost
    July 18, 2012

    Good fun, thank you.

    Wattylersghost – unwilling sponsor of London 2012

  39. Dr Evil
    July 18, 2012

    All these rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts seem just fascistic control freakery cubed. I’m not having some bunch of ‘guards’ who take an hour to fill a form out asking for name, address, date of birth and simple contact details order me about. I shalln’t be watching it on the TV either. I will watch the paraolympic rugby and basket ball though as these are genuinely exciting and very violent. I certainly won’t be imbibing coca cola or eating anything from McDonalds. Chips however will be on the menu.
    All it will take to screw-up the games will be the odd phone call about a suspected bomb or someone of a certain appearance ‘smoking’ an e cigarette and blowing the vapour into his rucksack. (Gets plenty of popcorn in and will then tune into BBC News 24)

  40. REPay
    July 18, 2012

    I thought the only good thing about winning the Olympics was watching Jacques Chirac’s face when he heard Paris had lost. I still wish they had won.

  41. Mactheknife
    July 18, 2012

    Anyone who has watched the spoof comedy program “2012” can not fail to see the similarities to the actual event organisation. As normal the organisers will be ensuring that “diversity” and “sustainability” targets are met, whilst ‘elf ‘n safety’ will have the power to ensure every movement of every individual wil be made as difficult as possible. Then they ask why so many tickets remain unsold.

    1. lifelogic
      July 18, 2012

      How does the working at heights directive affect pole vaulting I wonder? Surely they not need some scaffolding.

  42. Liz
    July 18, 2012

    Would that the main sponsors of this sporting event were treated with the same deference and consideration – i.e. the British and London taxpayers! Whatever happens on the track is being tarnished by what is happening off it with its whiff of social engineering and soviet style bossiness and bureacracy

  43. Hopper J
    July 18, 2012

    Clothing bearing political statements – banned.

    So leave your “I – (heart shaped) – The EU” T shirt at home.

  44. Frederick Bloggs
    July 18, 2012

    It’s too late now but in future all olympics should be held in Greece. Why ?

    – They invented it
    – They have the stadia from 2004 which are now mostly sitting empty
    – They have pretty reliable good weather in August
    – The cost will be minimal as the infrastructure is there from 2004
    – It will save the need for all of the corporate sponsorship
    – There will be no need for such a large IOC
    – Countries will no longer waste money on what is usually an expensive white elephant

    I do not see why the summer olympics should not be like Wimbledon – a traditional event with a fixed location which attracts the best from all over the world.

    1. Frederick Bloggs
      July 18, 2012

      Oh yes, and because the Greeks need the money from the tourism.

      1. forthurst
        July 18, 2012

        …and drachmas are cheap, so the event will be universally more affordable.

        …but what about CAGW™? Possibly far too hot as we ourselves look forward to scorching weather; the Winter Olympics may have to be cancelled entirely unless we can agree who owns the South Pole.

    2. waramess
      July 18, 2012


    3. lifelogic
      July 18, 2012

      Indeed what a good plan.

    4. stred
      July 18, 2012

      And the athletes could be naked , as in the originals. Particularly interesting whem the cycling events are televised. Also the originals were only over 4 acres. What a money spinner.

  45. waramess
    July 18, 2012

    Apart from the concept of the UK taxpayer being forced to pay now and collect later (heritage “value”, tourism etc) the most outrageous part of this whole financial nonsense is that it is supporting monopoly suppliers. Hardly in the public interest.

    1. waramess
      July 18, 2012

      I’m wrong; Tax breaks for Olympic monopolies just about takes the cake. Was the government who signed up to this lot completely mad

      1. lifelogic
        July 18, 2012

        Yes clearly.

  46. Pensioners Campaign
    July 18, 2012

    One must assume that the disabled, elderly and people with mobility problems are not encouraged to attend any of the events but at least we cannot be currupted with fast food and fizzy drinks

  47. Ben Kelly
    July 18, 2012

    Interesting that LOCOG can subsidise your train ticket (that you will not use) but TfL have rejected my suggestion that for the period of this jamboree they make the price of a weekly travel card equal to 10 peak rate single journeys in the zones you are travelling.

    This would allow commuters caught up in the mayhem with no choice but to travel to work to at least catch a bus to a different station at no cost to themselves. Apparently this is unfair to other travel card holders and there is no budget (LOCOG donation to the masses?). Yet we are expected to go out of our way to assist the smooth running of this junket.

    I shall make like Ghandi for the duration I am afraid.

  48. Ralph McHendry
    July 18, 2012

    Extraordinary! Until reading this piece, I’d no idea such arrogant stupidity was going on. It seems that the security arrangements are not the only part of the Olympic programme which is riddled with incompetence and a wholesale failure to create an excellent experience for customers. Sad to say, it’s par for this country now.

  49. Tom William
    July 18, 2012

    In all the hype about the Olympic torch, which has been going on for about a month (?) I have seen only one mention that the first nationwide torch display was at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Enough said.

  50. uanime5
    July 18, 2012

    I just hope these rules won’t apply to the news as this will making covering this event very difficult. Fortunately they haven’t banned words such as censorship, excessive, or draconian.

    In other news unemployment has fallen while the number of people claiming job seekers allowance and the number of long term unemployed people have both risen. It’s amazing how reduced unemployment always seems to raise the welfare bill.

    1. forthurst
      July 18, 2012

      “I just hope these rules won’t apply to the news as this will making covering this event very difficult”

      I’m sure the Beeb are preparing to pixilate ‘ambush marketeers’ if the’re not deterred by the strategically placed artillary. London 2012 needs to be a safe place for Corporations.

  51. BobE
    July 18, 2012

    This a school sports day for the rich. The plebs are only there to create a coulorfull backdrop in the photos. Limpics 20-12 is the name for it.

  52. David Tomlinson
    July 18, 2012


    Have fun with this one: the Police have operational commanders designated as Gold, Silver and Bronze. Have they been banned from policing the O*****’s?
    (Actually I know slightly one of the Gold Commanders – ex head of the Territorial Support Group – very good guy. I wouldn’t give the jobsworths much chance if they told him to change his designation).

    1. zorro
      July 18, 2012

      Don’t worry, that was non-negotiable 🙂


  53. James Clover
    July 18, 2012

    Surely the whole idea of this mammoth sportsfest is out of date? All the main sports have their world championships, and they can choose when and where to have them. Replicating them all in one place and within a couple of weeks is surely absurd?

  54. Jon
    July 18, 2012

    So sorry, are you saying they are giving out free rail tickets with every successful Olympic ticket allocation?

    I could understand them including a timetable but rail ticket? paid for? Oh no! don’t tell me its from Liverpool Street Stn, not my stop please!

    Have a nice time anyway John.

  55. David Hope
    July 18, 2012

    haha it’s ludicrous isn’t it.

    To be fair i don’t mind having say coco cola as a sponsor stop Pepsi using the Olympics in advertising. But when you hit loads of small businesses with legal action then it’s gone very badly wrong. This was sold to people as helping british business not american mutinationals!

    Also they need to seriously relax a bit on the security so people who do go (I won’t be) can enjoy it. It’s all way over the top.

  56. Ian
    July 18, 2012

    I think it best to hide from this corruption-riddled, four-yearly, taxpayer funded (word left out)fest, even though it will be guarded by almost 20,000 troops including the SAS, plus armed FBI hitmen. The risk of terrorist attacks, and sheer nausea, is too great.

  57. Iain Gill
    July 18, 2012

    You should try being a normal citizen trying to go about your lawful business anywhere near the sea in Sunderland this weekend. The airshow gives the council wide ranging powers to shut roads and footpaths. They employ their own militia to roughly stop folk going about normal business, who often extend the closure zones (illegally) which have been officially imposed. All the hallmarks of an out of control police state. I know I have been there the last few air shows and fully expect this one to be the same. Hell on earth for anyone owning a house anywhere near or needing to visit someone there.
    Quite how this country does these things so badly is beyond me. Quite why out of control local officials are allowed to ride rough shod over the norms of decent society is beyond me too.
    If you want to see a proper air show go to Chicago…

  58. Bazman
    July 18, 2012

    The 1984 Olympics has an alternative watch on BBC 2 as I remember in a US Sci Fi series called V. The plot being a year after Liberation Day, courtesy of the red-dust bacteria, the humanoid, lizard-like aliens develop a resistance to the micro-organism and try to regain control of the Earth–only now some humans are knowingly working with them.”Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” The Decay of lying by Oscar Wilde.

  59. Bazman
    July 18, 2012

    “We are proud to accept only Visa payment cards” Say many signs, so don’t try to run up that bar bill of £7 pints on any other card. Chips with that pint will only be available at a presumably dry MacDonalds. The jokes write themselves. Interesting to see which faces will be watching the 100 metres. Party bosses and their lackeys for sure.

  60. Martyn
    July 18, 2012

    Late-breaking news, people! The police have arrested two ‘olympic security staff’ recruited by G4S for being illegal immigrants.

    Might it just possibly indicate that the G4S screening procedures are, shall we say, not entirely sound? One wonders how many other dubious characters (and I sincerely do not wish to include all those of good character who doubtless constitute the main body in this aspect) have been screened as being solid, upright citizens by G4S? Truly, the mind boggles at the incompetent way these things have been handled. Nonetheless, I hope the games go well and that all of the athletes feel good about their individual and team outcomes when all is over and our world returns to its normal quiet, placid and soundly governed state of affairs.

  61. Alte Fritz
    July 19, 2012

    My parents went to the 1948 Olympics. From what they said, it was a bit of a lark after several trying years. This year I have offered asylum to London friends who can’t take it. No house room left.

  62. Patrick Loaring
    July 19, 2012

    I bought tickets to the O…… football at Old Trafford in August.

    Having received an email last week saying that I can’t drive to Manchester (I live an hour from Old Trafford) because all the MU car parks are closed and the only way is public transport. This email went on to say that I cannot take in any refreshments and will have to be there quite some time in a queue, I decided – sod it – I’m not going.

    This whole event has been taken over by the large multi nationals and we the small people who have paid 90% of the cost are being treated like dirt. These corporations will make very large profits from this event and the losses will be picked up by us the taxpayers. Their senior executives and their guests will receive premium transport to the event in the special lanes in their Zils – sorry BMW’s.

  63. Lindsay McDougall
    July 19, 2012

    I am going to spend the Olympic Games (a) watching whatever they show on free television channels and (b) travelling by car away from London to other attractions. Clever me.

    If anyboy wants to be patriotic, I suggest that he/she goes running rather than watches running. And in the case of the coming soccer season, it is better to play football in a howling gale at the top end of Gunnesbury Park than to sit on your backside watching the Premiership. Why patriotic? Because it reduces your chances of being one of the people who clog up our NHS hospitals with obesity related diseases.

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