I missed the Olympics. We spent the entire period on a small island north of Scotland with no phone reception or TV. When we left, everyone we talked to was irritated about the Olympics. Irritated by the way politicians insisted the £9.3bn (at least) cost was “within budget”, when the original budget was £2.4bn, and when most final estimates put the cost at around £12bn.
Irritated by the London traffic restrictions. Irritated by the exhortions from the organisers not to be so churlish as to be irritated. Irritated by the ludicrous spectacle of the tens of police outriders and sponsorship lorries belching carcinogenic diesel fumes into their children’s faces when they made the mistake of going out to watch the torch go by. And maddened by the fact that this orgy of other people’s glory would cost each of them, as taxpayers, £400 or so.
But while we were attending agricultural shows, admiring Shetland’s subsidy-driven wind turbines and busying ourselves with the various methods of judging what makes a sheep a champion sheep and what does not, something changed.
• Read the full editor’s letter here: Olympic delusions.