Give it three months and we’ll all be sick to the back teeth of the word ‘Olympics.’ Or will we? Are we about to experience something truly magnificent which will highlight this still fairly excellent country of ours, or are we heading towards a disaster of outstanding proportions, because let’s face it, when the British balls anything up, we do it in superb fashion, with the remaining ashes swept under the shag pile, never to be mentioned again.

Having watched BBC 3’s live debate show, ‘Free Speech: Olympics Special,’ it has come to my attention that perhaps I’m not alone in my misgivings and general dread of this forthcoming event. With incredible insights and thought-provoking interactions from the 18-26 year old audience, this show really manages to express the feelings of the general public; the little man in the background, the one waving from a distance; you can just about see him if you squint correctly.

One would expect (perhaps even hope) that when seeking financial support for such a prestigious occasion, the choice of sponsor should accurately reflect the affair. So who have the Big Dogs chosen? Among others, Nike (splendid) Adidas (excellent) Kodak (of course) Coca-Cola (um….) and McDonalds (pardon?)

How on earth are we meant to promote ambition, good health and fitness by plastering the walls of tube stations with the corporations who represent fast grease and that dreaded thing called sugar? Surely, as a means of complimenting the larger companies, a selection of smaller and more appropriate British businesses, who could have really benefitted from being associated with such an infamous extravaganza, would have been more applicable? Of course not; it’s all about the money, money, money. Has the predicted budget for the whole event risen dramatically? Anyone else noticed that 90% of the Olympic souvenirs are made in China? I rest my case, Your Honour.

I’m not sure I even want to open the ‘Jack in the Box’ that is the G4S disaster. Suffice to say it’s been labelled ‘unacceptable, incompetent and amateurish’ and whilst an additional 3,000 troops are being hauled in by the ear (alongside the 48,000 who have already been drafted in) not to mention the police officers employed to help safeguard the event, old Nicky BeltBuckles is remaining in his £830,000 a year doss-box because be still believes he is the ‘right person’ to ensure the contract is delivered.  The company itself has also expressed their reservations about a ‘loss of leadership.’ Leadership?! I only wish you could hear me snorting.

Ironically, it was the Olympic Games which were originally held to prepare young men for war, now it is the young men who are being recalled from war to prepare for the Olympic Games. This, of course, is after the Government have decided to make cut-backs amongst the military in order to ‘save funds.’ Some of these incredible men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis are only being offered a £500 bonus as a reward for cutting short their annual leave. They may as well have been spat upon, it would probably taste nicer.

The overall mood from the BBC3 ‘Free Speech’ debate was that the driving forces behind the Olympics event are fighting against the little people instead of running alongside us. The somewhat menacing and intimidating missiles which were dropped atop numerous residential blocks in Tower Hamlets under the cover of darkness with not so much as a whisper of warning to the residents living below caused understandable feelings of resentment and indignation. It was appreciated, by the oblivious inhabitants, that these weapons are perhaps essential for the safeguarding of the city and the games but what infuriated them most was the fact that they were not alerted of the impending rooftop arsenal, no warning was given, no communication was offered, no letter was sent, not even a post-it note. A little disrespectful I feel.

In true British form, the whole thing seems to be a bit of a shambles, but did we expect anything less? What astounds me most is that once again the ordinary, everyday man has been pushed aside in favour of the larger corporations. Smaller businesses (some of whom were based on the once thriving industrial estate which is now the Olympic Village) have been forced to re-locate or close with no financial help whatsoever. Instead, we are repeatedly force-fed the phoney patriotism in an attempt to rouse us into believing it’s all money well spent.

Akin to some adrenaline, caffeine or drug hit, this Olympic hype will no doubt come to a furious head in a blaze of (hopeful) glory only to come crashing back down to earth with a bump. Once the confetti has settled and the fat cats have lined their pockets once more, the general hysteria and drama will have all been forgotten and daily life with continue in exactly the same format as before.

It is time however, to push aside all this doom and gloom, return to the origins of this occasion and direct our attentions to the most important element; our athletes, our country’s superheroes, these incredible individuals who have trained beyond immeasurable lengths and who are no doubt exhausted, nervous and terrified of the forthcoming trials. It is these regular folks who are pushing themselves to herculean limits to prove that our country is still ‘Great’ Britain after all.

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