Revealed – the objective truth about London 2012:

Great sporting event, shame about the payback.

“And then you see, this giant alien dirigible will appear over the Olympic Park, and all our problems will be solved as homaeopathic wealth and miracle cures trickle down onto my subjects.”

The research arm of Citi (not an institution renowned for holding anti-capitalist views) has just completed its assessment of what the 2012 Olympics contributed to the UK economy. I get the feeling that the Ministry of Culture, Media & Sport won’t be trumpeting this one. You might also catch sight of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Frunt-Bottomley brushing off media questions with “water under the bridge” or “early days yet” – or both – when asked about the Citi research output.

In a nutshell, the Report illustrates with the use of several convincing graphs, that the Olympics was great news for British athletes, but economically pointless….and probably, in the end, likely to be consigned to history as a cost centre. In simple terms, the event cost 0.7% of GDP, and produced an economic boost of 0.2%. While there was a positive effect on local employment levels, post-event figures suggest very strongly that these weren’t permanent….and even ignoring that reality, the employment uplift vs non-Olympic boroughs was, um, 0.3%.

Well, I never did

Citi also confirms Jeremy Rhymeeng-Slange’s status as an incorrigible liar by stating categorically that retail sales in London fell. It also rubbishes BoJo’s oft-stated expectation before the Games that more tourists would be attracted to the capital: in fact, they were put off coming, but then as the Report stresses, this has happened with every Olympic host nation since 1964. That London might buck the trend was just another blithely offered bit of codswallop put out by New Labour, Locog, Lord Coe and other assorted spinners during the run-up years….when the UK was running up one helluva bill.

But perhaps more important than any other finding is this one: ‘about the only positive impact from the Olympics is the one arising from publicly-funded construction, aka a building mini-boom.’

The key words above are ‘publicly-funded’. Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and the Omnivore Corporation of Dingweed, Delaware came, got their logos in almost every shot, and left. Given the average multinational’s ability to pay next to no tax, this isn’t going to impact much on Treasury income: they’ll just have to continue relying on RBS frauds to keep their pecker up.

In short – as all thinking people always knew – the taxpayer wound up funding another example of Blairite onanism.

Now of course, we still await the results of all those massive trade deals negotiated behind Chinese Walls by Baron Green of HSBC Colombia. Any progress here at all?

Well, we do know that British clients of HSBC’s Swiss private banking subsidiary evaded some £200m over the last year, so that’s not bad: although it puts even more pressure on the luckless hotel-grabber Stephen Hester at RBS.

However, the enormous fillip for Britain’s economic future growth has already produced…a press release from the Ministry of business, innovation and skills. Yes, five weeks ago the BIS released this:

‘Trade Minister Lord Green and Olympics Legacy Ambassador Seb Coe today vowed to build on the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games by working with industry to promote British skills, products and services around the world.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair and recently appointed Olympics Legacy Ambassador to the Prime Minister said:

“The extraordinary success of the London 2012 Games has shown the best of Britain to the world and now our focus turns to securing a lasting legacy. We have already witnessed the incredible regeneration of east London, with world class facilities and a new urban park created.

“We now need to ensure that organisations up and down the country use the positive impact generated by the Games to reach out to new markets and grow their businesses. The British Business Embassy at Lancaster House has brought together business leaders from the UK and all over the world in a showcase of Britain’s industrial strengths and successes.

“We had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to demonstrate British business excellence to the world, and we are making the most of this opportunity.”

Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green, said:

“The Games have provided a golden opportunity to enhance our status as a leading business partner and destination for investment.

“The British Business Embassy has hosted 4,000 business people from large and small firms alike. The connections they have made will deliver real economic dividends.

“We are now working hard, alongside firms around the country to follow up the contacts, networks, announcements and momentum created by the Games.”’

The monitoring equipment  here at Slogger’s Roost declared this release High in bollocks, but Low in cheque-signatures. Undeterred, from a left field out of nothingness, the BIS states:

‘Overall, hosting the Olympics is forecast to deliver around £13bn in economic benefit to the UK in the coming months and years.

This includes £1bn of extra sales for businesses taking part in the British Business Embassy programme, £4 billion of high value overseas opportunities for UK firms in markets including Brazil, Russia and China, £6bn of inward investment, and a £2.3bn boost to tourism.’

And that, ladies and gentlemen, really is the most awful load of old cock.

Forecast by whom – Lord Coe? A £2.3bn boost to tourism? British Business Embassy programme? Leave it out, squire. You can hold as many forums as you like chaps, until we start making something interesting aimed at the right target – with the right design and function values – none of this will bear fruit. And the week before last, a government spokesperson confirmed off the record to me that the 2012 bunfight “is very unlikely to pay for itself before 2020”.

But spookily, the ‘forecast’of a £13bn boost is uncannily close to….the £13bn the event is now likely, all up, to have cost us. And if nothing else, that budget has seen a spectacular growth since 2006 of 315%. So you see, it’s not all bad news.

More bollocks can be found here on the road to RBS recovery

29 thoughts on “Revealed – the objective truth about London 2012:

  1. Pingback: John Ward – Revealed : The Objective Truth About The London 2012 : Great Sporting Event, Shame About The Payback – 19 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  2. True – but it was the Labour government that led the bid for the Olympics, and the Tories quite rightly did their best to make them a success.


  3. Your article seems to miss the more positive points that the Olympic games generated, I can only assume that this is quite deliberate. No mention of the infrastructure improvements to what was a most impoverished area of London, no mention of the wonderful memories from the Olympic games, no mention of the ‘feel good’ factor, something that is impossible to measure but was/is essential in these dark and worrying times.
    So what if UK PLC made no money out of the games, the games were good and that will be its legacy.


  4. Yes, and what else could we have had for £12,000,000,000.00 Dignity for the old and protection for the young maybe?


  5. Some creative accounting with a very large grant (gift) to West Ham to take the tenancy of the white elephant stadium would improve the figures considerably.


  6. Indeed ! I think that if they were as successful as so many ‘top people’ claim we should be establishing a ‘celebrating the olympics’ international games annually, in cities which have run down area’s, every year from now on. We can obviously afford it and the feel good factor, which must be worth at least 20p per day for most of us throughout the whole of the event, is well worth the taxpayer ‘investment’. Hey ! We could even start a new industry, producing medals at £1m per touch to give away to people who have ‘tried their best and worked so hard’ at their hobby…………and just think of the BEEB – it would never again have to broadcast anything like the ‘news’ as it could just have a video loop of people telling us how hard they have worked how disappointed to have let everyone down and how awesome it all is…..

    ….And so on and so on and so on……….I’m beginning to understand how A.A. Milnes ‘Donkey’ got where he was in life………….:)


  7. You sure they didn’t just rent it from ‘Seeba-Co business ventures international division’ for 1 gazzillion an hour ??? I find it hard to believe that there may be something left over which will turn a profit for the taxpayer……….as in ‘river rides’ on the Olympic Derigable……


  8. And the Tories who led the bid for the Millenium Dome and Labour who had to deal with that white elephant………….. Its not about Party competances – they have none ! None of them have a clue (or at least give a sh1t) that we have to work hard to pay for their ego boosting, rent seeking, self aggrandising ‘national projects’ under pain of imprisonment…….As a child, one of the questions you should have asked a lot was……………why ?


  9. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the games is the level of subsidy expectation that the sports fraternity now has. The moment the games ended they started lobbying for continuance of their very juicy funds, some of which come from the lottery. The link to performance is tenuous. A whole new industry has been born. It’s a pity it’s an industry that can only absorb cash, having no product that can be sold in the UK or anywhere else, though supporting spin and waffle will doubtless be available in bushels. A brief resume from Lord Coe of the annual subsidy cost to society of the sports industry would be interesting. And a similarly clear statement of the benefits.

    Every Olympics ends like this, a load of very high costs, many hidden, and desperate attempts to find enduring benefits and lobbies for open-ended subsidies. Massive infrastructure improvements in East London! For £12bn I would expect a whole new railway or a couple of substantial motorways. Never mind, we got what Blair and Jowell wanted, a massive though at times tedious show and a lot of curiously unsuitable buildings. It’s the Olympic way. Over to you Rio, learn from our politicians’ hubris.


  10. Like this….but do not want to go too far off topic but cannot resist the opportunity to point out that they must take an ‘oath of impartiality’ ‘as do the police’…………who then impartially fail to notice that child sex rings are being formed by a particular group of ‘followers’.

    I could run this to several paragraphs of p1ss taking – but its Johns Blog and I do not want to distract from the main discussion – which is desperately in need of debolluking. Besides I think I’ve commented enough for one day already :)


  11. @ Raw. My son’s business in East London never made any money out of it either, in fact he lost money because his clients stayed away, & the business has still not recovered, as is common to most small business people in London.


  12. Went passed the Olympic village on a train 2 weeks ago was struck by one of the stadia (the swimming arena I believe) had large areas of bare concrete where the paint had already peeled off!

    Great legacy


  13. My favorite Eeyore quote;

    “It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
    “So it is.”
    “And freezing.”
    “Is it?”
    “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”


  14. Interesting if sporting subsidy followed known success – that would mean loads of dosh for shooting, sailing, rowing and equestrian – bugger all to the relative wastes of space in the higher-profile track & field.
    So what if success is elitist ? It’s still success as measured by the final medal table.
    (Unlike the Paralympics, of course, which scored vastly worse in 2012 than they had done in 2008 – cut the funding ? Fat chance – unless they get ATOS to evaluate it).


  15. I see that it had 15 users when LBC counted recently, compared with a daily capacity of 5000. We need to think a bit more about these symbolic (shambolic?) investments.


  16. Where was the subsidy for shooting? Rip up Greenwich Park for 9 days and then restore it. No use of Bisely. Sounds to me like brown envelopes were involved.


  17. I love big parties and big weddings and big Olympics that people can’t afford.

    Sod it, if you know your gonna die or go bust then max out those credit cards and bugger the consequences!

    Bankers Rule OK!

    Long Live the NWO!


  18. Love your blog, John, but i really think your posts would carry a more gravitas if you didn’t persist in using ‘Current Bun’ style ‘amendments’ to the subjects name (as applied to Jeremy Hunt, Angel Merkel, etc.).Yes, they are all proper ‘jeremy hunts’ (if you’ll forgive my own pun, which i have only used to spare the easily-offended) but the incessant use of such terms comes across as a bit puerile to me, and immediately indicates to the reader certain biases by the author rather than letting the accompanying analysis speak for itself – which it invariably does. That’s just my two penn’orth for what it’s worth. But keep up the good work !


  19. Pingback: Legacy of the Olympics | Orphans of Liberty

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