I’m not backing the bid

May I place on record my thanks to the powers-that-be here in London for the constant advertising instructions to Back the Bid (for the 2012 Olympics). Thanks also for spending my transport pounds on incredibly lurid yellow seat covers on tube trains reminding me of their wise orders.

Apparently, spending money on yellow seat covers is justified because if London hosts the Olympics it will have to improve transport. Obviously the powers-that-be understand why it makes more sense to spend my money hosting the fat cats of the IOC instead of er… just spending it on better transport.

I have thought very carefully about these well-intentioned instructions. And call me a troublemaker but I am politely declining to do as I’m told. I’m not backing the bid. Nor linking to their site since it will only encourage them.

If others want to back the bid that’s fine. They may be right and I may be wrong about the value of it. But can we please acknowledge that there’s an argument about this. I don’t like public money being spent to put one side of the debate and not the other.

3 thoughts on “I’m not backing the bid

  1. Chris Pearse

    What I don’t get is how me backing the bid, or not, will change the outcome. Shouldn’t these covers be on bus & tram seats in Lausanne?

    Perhaps not – that might be counterproductive and alienate us from the IOC.


  2. Chris Pearse

    Seems logical to me that the IoC would look at domestic support as a decision-criterion, as it a) reflects the atmopshere likely to greet foreign visitors b)reflect likely attendance and c) reflects the tone of reportage likely to prevail at the event and d) reflects the cash likely to be generated and hence profitability.

    All of the above affect not just the host’s success, but the Olympic brand and the future appetite of countries other than you know who to host the games…

    This means that countries that are percieved to be unenthusiastic should not win the right to host.

    So by all means abstain, my cumudgeonly chums, but recognise that you are complicit in the erosion of the Olympic ideal.

    Even if you don’t want Britain to win the games, there is a systemic reason to PRETEND that you do…


    Thanks, Tim, for the clarification.

    I understand that public support is a criterion for the grandees of the IOC.

    I still object to public money being used to cajole support for the bid which a lot of people don’t support.

    I think the Olympic ideal will by definition withstand the practical concerns of anyone living in the real world. That’s the thing about ideals, they don’t have too much to do with real life!


    Good points, though I see these campaigns polarising my opinion, rather than swaying it.

    As for the Olympic ideal, hasn’t this been trashed far more effectively by drugs than debate?


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