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Home > Culture and Society

Fuck the bid

15 January 2005

Prince Harry is not the only royal to have created a stir this week. The Queen also caused a bit of a rumpus when she allegedly 'stuck the boot into London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics'. This she did by voicing the surprisingly sensible opinion that Paris will most probably pip us to the post. The Sun, who described the old lady's remarks as 'astonishing', went on to say that they would be 'a boost for rivals France'. Sadly, they won't, because no-one pays a blind bit of notice to what the Queen says, especially with her grandchildren goose-stepping all over the front pages, tossing stolen fillings in the faces of Auschwitz survivors.

The Queen dropped her alleged clanger as she chatted with 19-year-old East Londoner Amran Hussain at a Buckingham Palace reception. 'I asked the Queen about her views on London staging the Olympics,' Amran later explained. 'I was stunned when she said she thought Paris would win. I told her she should totally back the UK bid with a lot more enthusiasm. But she replied there was a serious lack of support among Londoners.' It must have been a wonderful moment when young Amran said to her, 'But Your Majesty, you should totally back the UK bid with more enthusiasm.' The Queen must have paused for a moment, wondering what in the name of Uncle Sam was happening to her English. She must have wanted to say, 'Oi! Watch it. That's my English you're using there, and you're like, totally fucking with it.' But she didn't. She kept a civil tongue in her head. As only the Queen might.

But is she right? Is there really a serious lack of support amongst Londoners? If there is, you very rarely hear about it. All you tend to hear in the media is regeneration and development, job creation and tourism, young people in sport and back the bid, back the bid, back the bid. Ooh, look. Here's Seb Coe. Isn't he handsome?

However, in reality, behind the carefully-managed illusion of across-the-board support, there is in fact rather a lot of Olympic opposition. Those that oppose it generally cite the following reasons: the alleged regeneration of East London will actually entail widespread destruction of local communities and natural environments; the whole thing is really just a massive PR job for the corporate sponsors who stand to rake in centillions of pounds; Londoners will end up paying through the nose in vastly inflated council tax and hastily increased rents; community sports projects will suffer as money is diverted towards potential medal-winners; ordinary communities will suffer as funds are channelled towards a two-week sporting event at the expense of the genuine long-standing needs of local people; London couldn't organise a sit-in in an arse factory without going at least 12 times over budget and realising at some stage that it probably should have been a little more realistic in the first place (see Picketts Lock and the Millennium Dome); the transport infrastructure will explode; London will become a building site for seven years; sport is bollocks.

So well done The Queen! We feel that in her own quietly dignified way, she has articulated all of the above, and we salute her. Fuck the Olympics. And fuck Lord Coe. London has bigger and more important fish to fry. Surely to fuck?

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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