Here you have England, host to the 2012 Olympics.
First, the bill:
The total Olympics budget is set at $14.7-billion (£9.3 billion to the taxpayer) – nearly four times the 2005 estimate given by organizers when London won the 2012 bid.
Then, the security—complete with surface-to-air missiles on residential rooftops, and a warship in the Thames:
Fighter jets and helicopters will protect the airspace over the London Olympics, surface-to-air-missiles will be stationed on top of residential buildings, and 12,500 police will be on the ground during the games with 23,000 part-time security guards at sporting venues.
A security exercise in May saw the Royal Navy’s largest warship HMS Ocean, which is a landing platform for six helicopters, moored on the Thames River at Greenwich. It will be overseeing marine security during the games.
Then, the branding:
Above: from Marketing Magazine.
In an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme, the chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games answered questions about the extent to which sponsorship agreements would impact upon spectators.
He said: “You probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca Cola are our sponsors.”
Interviewer Evan Davis asked Lord Coe if he would be able to enter the Olympic Park wearing Nike trainers, to which Lord Coe replied: “Let’s put some reality in this. You probably would be able to walk through with Nike trainers.”
Lord Coe defended the ban on ‘objects or clothing bearing political statements or overt commercial identification’ outlined in official guidelines for spectators.
He said: “We had to raise through the organising committee a mountainous amount of money through the private sector.”
Finally, bizarre police harassment:
The former London 2012 “ethics tsar” Meredith Alexander has accused police of an “Olympic-sized overreaction”, saying they broke up a theatre performance designed to highlight the problems of corporate sponsorship of the Games and arrested six people on suspicion of criminal damage for spilling custard.
Alexander, who was behind the event in Trafalgar Square in central London on Friday, quit her role as a commissioner of the Olympic sustainability watchdog earlier this year over the awarding of a £7m Olympic sponsorship deal to Dow Chemical. Dow owns Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), responsible for the 1984 gas disaster in Bhopal, India, which killed 25,000 people.
Alexander described how 25 police officers moved in after the 15-minute piece of theatre, which was performed to explain objections to sponsorship of the Olympics by companies such as Dow, BP and Rio Tinto.
Police sources confirmed that six individuals were arrested in Trafalgar Square for criminal damage. Alexander said the individuals were led away in handcuffs after green custard used in the show spilled on to the ground. [emphases added]
The story later notes that seven people were arrested. Three of them were not part of the performance, but were cleaning up the custard when the cops moved in.
Remember when the Olympics were all about the game and friendly competition? How on earth were they permitted to degenerate into this obscene totalitarian spectacle?