Who else is coming to London?
The Observer came out in a big leading article with some real mush that the Olympics will be a force for good in Britain....Before it did this it set the scene admitting there were a few problems. This included the tax-free zone mentioned last time plus a few other nuggets
“The commercialisation of the Games is not of London’s making - it’s a pact that any bidding city signs up for. The IOC insists that the candidate cities must sign a contract, described as an “epic masterpiece in micromanagement”. It stipulates IOC transportation in exclusive Zil traffic lanes in 500 air-conditioned chauffeured limousines and accommodation in 1,800 four- and- five-star hotel rooms. ....
..What the contract does not do is confront the IOC’s continued association with corruption. Last month, for example, 27 Olympic officials were caught selling tickets for London 2012 on the black market.” Observer 15/7/12
In a passage resembling the ‘what have the Romans ever done for us?’ the leader article admitted there are caveats, “including profound concerns about security; the IOC’s “vanity” modus operandi; excessive commercialisation and inequities such as highly restricted ticketing that has locked out many ordinary people.” ibid The leader then went on to paint a jolly picture of Olympic joy and wonder.
A little bit of research reveals that the Observer have been somewhat coy with their assessment of the IOC. For instance, Cameroon’s representative on the IOC is Issa Hayatou. He is also a member of FIFA. He is reported to have taken a $1.5 million bribe to support the Qatar bid to host the World Cup. They don’t do chickenfeed these boys. The Russian member, Vitaly Smirnov has been on the committee since 1971. He is alleged to have been very lucky to have got away with the Salt Lake City bribery scandal which resulted in the resignations of several of his IOC colleagues. Senegal’s member Lamine Diack is another under investigation for bribery. Tinpot Royals with their fingers in the till also feature. Princess Nora of Liechtenstein's family own the giant LGT Bank in Liechtenstein. They were found out when a former employee stole 1,400 account details thereby exposing a vast network of tax evasion, money laundering and assisting organised crime. Prince Albert of Monaco runs a tax haven as does HRH the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
Squeaky Coe was very pally with our next denizen’s father. Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr is an IOC member for Spain. He is the son of Juan Samaranch Sr who not only sold the Olympics to the likes of McDonald and Coca-Cola when he was head of the IOC, he was also a fully paid up member of Franco’s Fascist party - photo’s of him giving the nazi-style salute still exist. He was a Minister in Franco’s government when human rights abuses were still rife in Spain shortly before Franco’s death.
Talking of human rights abuses, there are some noxious ‘guests’ of the IOC with appalling human rights records such as President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan who has been condemned by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for locking up journalists and political opponents and organising state-authorised violence. He is a dove when compared to his near neighbour, Islam Karimov, who has been President of Uzbekistan since 1990. Craig Murray, who was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004 described widespread torture, kidnapping, murder, rape by the police, financial corruption, religious persecution, censorship, and other human rights abuses. This included the case of Karimov's security forces executing prisoners Muzafar Avazov and Khuzniddin Alimov by boiling them alive in 2002. Unfortunately for Murray, Bush and Blair needed this nasty piece of work to help them with the ‘war on terror’. So Murray was recalled from his post and dismissed.
You could not make it up.
These lowlifes will be occupying the Zil lanes while decent folk struggle to commute to work.
The Observer may be sanguine about the IOC and their noxious guests but readers do not agree. ‘Comment is Free’ responders to this guff-fest made many angry attacks. One correspondent wondered if the positive spin put forward by the paper could have anything to do with senior editorial staff having access to free tickets and corporate hospitality.......? And does this apply to most of the mainstream media?
A comment which has received the highest approval rating to date concluded with, “Fuck off with your London Olympics”. Although a Londoner complained shortly afterwards that this was a tad unfair, seeing as he and his neighbours had to endure all of this corporate disruption at close hand whereas the rest of Britain could look away.
He could have added that he was also at risk from being killed by the use of a badly-aimed ground to air missile....or from the bits falling to earth after it had blown a target out of the sky.
All this for running, jumping and chucking things?