Print Story The Nottingham Olympics
By extremely tedious HuSer (Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 12:33:12 AM EST) (all tags)
And other non UK-centric stories.

<poll>As per title</poll>

Make Britain Proud
Next year the world will know where the 2012 Olympics will be held. There are 5 cities in the shortlist. London is the UK's candidate, a choice which made a few people unhappy about that choice.    These people fall in two camps (excluding the treehuggers, but they are unhappy about everything - perhaps rightly so).

Firstly, Londoners who think the city will not be able to cope. And they are totally right - the city will not be able to cope, as anyone who's tried travelling on the underground at rush hour can tell you. Secondly, people who take the slogan at face value, and do want to Make Britain Proud. They thinks London is rich and big enough, and there are parts of the country who needs the cash injection much more. Like the North East of England, Wales, or (the Supreme Being Currently Without Earthly Representative forbid) Northern Ireland. Some of the regions receive aid from the EU (not that twats into the UKIP notice), so why not give them a hand? These people tend to think redistributing resources to regions is part of a central government's job.

I agree with both sides in this camp, but am beginning to change my mind. The reason is the problems in the coming  Turin Winter Olympics. The economy of the city has gone downhill since they secured the Olympics (mostly due to the demise of FIAT). Sponsors are simply not interested, and it has come to the point where the Italian athletes may not get paid because the federation has run out of money. Will not something similar happen if the Olympics are hosted in Sunderland? Not the most glamorous of places. I can just imagine the adverts in Japan:
"Idure mono me yo Sanda Landa!"
"Mo ni to?"

On the opposing side, the army of London supporters, again divided into two sides. First those who think London is the only city in the UK. Confronted with the economic arguments, they'll retort that most of the country is already sponging off London, and they should be happy with what they got. One could reply that a lot of money made in London are not always "London money" (MacDonald's UK makes money all over the country, but its head offices are in London  so that's where they pay their taxes). But eventually those people, for example a Romford taxi driver I had a discussion with, will cut the arguments short with a "Fuck them - they are all Northern scums anyway. We are the capital!" or suchlike, depending on their education and amount of booze in their system.

Then there are the pragmatists, who think Manchester's failure proves no city but London has a chance, so they may as well support for the good of the UK brand. Having seen Manchester from the top of a ferris wheel, I see where they are coming from.

In the end, all this boil down to a debate on how to run an economy centrally for the benefit of the regions and not just the capital (perhaps an oxymoron), on regionalism in general and on the worth of the Olympics (a notch below Doctor Who, AFAIC). We have the same debate in Italy, and in fact we are on the verge of becoming a federal republic. The British, however, have rejected regional parliaments, whether this implies regionalism is not for them or whether it was, like the republican referendum in Australia, a case of the question being asked badly, I am not too sure about.

As for chances of winning it... you'd think after the Picketts Locks debacle the UK wouldn't have a chance until a new government is in charge. And you'd also think the fact the planned transport infrastructure will not be ready by 2012 means the IOC will just say "Well, give us a ring when it is ready". But the people running the London campaign have been very clever - their angle has been "We are the masters of marketing... Look how well we could SELL it!! Imagine all the case YOU could be making!". I still think they won't make it, but it's going to be close.

And that's all on this topic - on to the poll!

Peace on Earth

Just finished reading Peace on Earth, by Stanislaw Lem (the guy who wrote Solaris). I really liked it, but found it a bit hard to read. I am not sure whether the translation is bad, or whether it is just the way it is, but the language didn't quite flow, it was a bit like reading an engineering textbook. Also, its subject matter is the the cold war, and it is a bit hard trying to remember what it was all like back then. But the plot is good, the gadgets stand the text of time, and its view of the way society evolves fits in very well with what we see today.

888 or 666?
On the tube today, I saw this advert for, a gambling website. It's one of those posters with lots and lots of text in it.
The strapline reads: "Vegas, Atlantic City, Shepherds Bush" and the copy describes the 'experience' of someone trying it for the first time.
"With a whisky beside me, I log onto ...."
"With knowledge, alcohol, and a faint hint of bravado swilling inside me, ..."
So, that's where the smart money is: in the synergy between alcohol manufacturers and gambling websites. Buy shares now, before the outcry will cause everyone to jump on the bandwagon!

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The Nottingham Olympics | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden)
It's tricky to work out. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 01:24:57 AM EST
Manchester and Liverpool are probably the most famous UK cities outside London, and both have somewhere in the order of enough infrastructure to manage it, whereas Edinburgh, which is almost as well known is too crowded and pretty short of facilities. Glasgow's big enough, but not so well known. And Belfast would be a good one if the troubles reach a satisfactory ending, and would get the IOC sympathy vote, although it lacks large venues, AFAIK. Birmingham's got the facilities and the size, but is still a bit obscure, like Glasgow.

Atlanta was obscure too by extremely tedious HuSer (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 01:35:30 AM EST
Mind you, we know how they got selected

[ Parent ]
Birmingham by snugglebunny (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 02:18:47 AM EST
Is hardly obscure. We wish it was obscure but the amount of people who've heard of it or the infamous accent is huge.

Could be a next poll. Are you nonUKian and have you heard of Birmingham.

[ Parent ]
Most people who heard of Birmingham by extremely tedious HuSer (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 02:34:36 AM EST
It's because of Martin Luther King

[ Parent ]
I propose Dublin by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 01:49:57 AM EST
Shhhh.  It's not like anyone's going to know.  If we need evidence that Ireland is in the United Kingdom, then we can just play footage of Terry Wogan creaming his pants when Ireland are winning Eurovision.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
WIPO by Cloaked User (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 01:53:11 AM EST
None of them

This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.
I forgot that one! by extremely tedious HuSer (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 01:58:16 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Gotta be London by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 01:54:38 AM EST
Especially if you're competing against cities like Paris, New York, Moscow or Madris. All major world cities which the other cities in the UK apart Londinium aren't.

Self serving logic, though by IEFBR14 (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 04:09:33 AM EST
Not that I disagree with you particularly, but one of the things that establishes a city on the world stage is hosting events like the Olympics.

[ Parent ]
Yeah but by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 05:17:15 AM EST
They've tried bids with Birmingham and manchester before and the fedback from the IOC was that only city in the UK that they'd consider is London.

[ Parent ]
Picketts Lock by Dr H0ffm4n (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 02:34:24 AM EST
Very nice area, the post apocalyptic industrial wasteland surrounded by rolling countryside would be spoiled by a sports stadium.

Seriously... by squigs (4.00 / 2) #10 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 03:11:43 AM EST
I was quite fond of the idea of Manchester.  I get all the national pride of my country hosting the Olympics, without ever having to go within 100 miles of where all the hassle is.

WIPO by hulver (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 03:43:58 AM EST
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Of course by extremely tedious HuSer (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 03:47:51 AM EST
Just to piss off the locals

[ Parent ]
Re: Wales by pinkcress (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 06:19:13 AM EST
You'll never get the Welsh to stop whinging.


The Nottingham Olympics | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden)