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London2012 tourism - Hark, now hear the sailors cry...

First lies, then farce. After all the self-serving lies about the benefits of London2012 comes the claim from the British Marine Federation that the annual contribution of UK boating tourism in 2012-2013 outweighed the 'total tourism impact of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games between 2005 and 2017 (including pre-Games visits, the Games themselves and the estimated ongoing Legacy effect).'


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the wrong kind of snow

In an earlier post today I took poor Emily Dugan to task for her churnalistic efforts, pointing to the datasets on the London 2012 budget published by the Guardian. In fairness it can't be that easy to dig out the truth from the smorgasbord of possible truths laid before us. Controversial enough is the widespread popular belief - not just amongst journalists - that the budget remains around £9billion. OK, factor in the externalities and news sources such as Sky could have us believe that including the hidden costs the real budget can easily have been as much as £24billion. Who knows?


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Bad Boris Dreams

Did Boris have a favourite lilo he used to float around on when he was young? After his ‘Olympic legacy’ floating park on the Thames ‘sank’ into oblivion it seems he has been using bath time to dream up some more lilo type developments for the river and the Royal docks. Boris’ original idea was criticised by objectors as ‘an unwelcome intrusion’ into the river. The Port of London Authority was also unhappy and considered his watery park would be a ‘navigation hazard’. His new plan for homes floating in the Docks has been panned as a ‘Titanic mistake’ by London City Airport campaigner Alan Haughton who says ‘The Royal Docks contains the London City Airport Public Safety Zone - also called a crash zone. The Department for Transport strictly forbids development in a Crash Zone’.


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The joys of boosterism

A fascinating little boosterist gem from the Standard. First, it reports that Carat, 'one of Britain’s biggest media-buying agencies', says there was no boost in 2012 to advertising from the London Olympics. Well, that's in line with most other results and easy enough to understand. But then, second, we are told Carat expects higher growth in 2013, even though there are no mega events. Third, 2014 should be 'even stronger thanks to the football World Cup'. 'Even stronger'? Why 'even' stronger? 2012 showed no boost so what 'even stronger' growth can 2014 produce? And as the Olympics did not boost advertising in 2012 why should advertising grow in 2014 'thanks' to the World Cup? Fourth, the article rounds off saying Carat thinks 'Brazil and Russia should see double-digit increases as they host the World Cup and Winter Olympics.' London showed no boost in growth despite hosting the Olympics yet Brazil and Russia are expected to show double-digit growth because they are hosting these mega events?


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the budget just went up?

Vision for Victoria Embankment cycle superhighway


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Cuckoo! Swiss say No to Winter Olympics

'No voters rejected bid organisers' claims that Olympic hosting would help tourism in the area and boost the local economy.' Those sensible Swiss from the Graubünden canton have seen through the lies of the Olympics and said no to the Winter Olympics in 2022. Bern voters did the same thing when they refused to bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics.


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A Visa for Sochi 2014

Now it‘s the Russians' turn to ask ‘when is a monopoly not a monopoly?’ When it’s a Visa for the Olympics, stupid!


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Who's Dieter kidding?

Professor in Economics at Oxford and advisor to the European Commission Dieter Helm has added his voice to the Armitt/Labour argument that infrastructure projects should follow the ‘ODA/Olympics’model. Writing in the Financial Times on 1st February 2013 he said:

Delivering infrastructure at scale, on time and on budget is not rocket science. The Olympics showed the way to do it: there was a hard deadline, few losers and government money. What is needed is a set of clear system plans, planning procedures that compensate losers, and brutal honesty about what it is going to cost and who is going to pay. We must stop fretting about government accounting rules and tinkering with project lists and get on with it. Otherwise we will be left on the international sidelines.


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