Sunday, May 20, 2007

Stop the Olympic robbery

It's a Crime! (or a mystery...) posts a link to this petition for "the Prime Minister to Stop the Chancellor from using lottery money to fund the [London] Olympics in 2012."

This raises the possibility of some interesting discussion, since the prime minister and the chancellor are now effectively the same person. But even this writer, ineligible to sign the petition since he is not a British citizen or resident, is appalled by the diversion of arts funding to a project whose overshooting of its budget has been breathtaking even by the standard of modern Olympic Games. (Sympathetic readers might enjoy Bryan Appleyard's chronicle of the rapidly spinning meter on the costs of the 2012 London Olympics.)

Perhaps I count myself among that sympathetic number because I grew up in a city where the mayor famously boasted that the 1976 Summer Olympics could no more run at a loss than he could have a baby. When the monstrous bill was finally paid three decades later, the braggart mayor was mother and grandmother to two generations of debt.

I wonder, as others have, whether British voters could reject the 2012 Olympics the way Colorado voters said no the the 1976 Winter Games.

© Peter Rozovsky 2007