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I am afraid that this is typical of Labour's approach to finances on every level - be it international, national or local! They "rob Peter to Pay Paul" and take such a short-term view that they are constantly experiencing shortfalls which they then try to make up by grabbing funds from wherever they can! As Jeremy rightly says, we have as a Party consistently supported the Olympics and it would be a shame if something which could restore great pride in this country instead makes us into the laughing-stock of the world!

The National Lottery is coughing up £2.175bn for the Olympics. There is more in a Commons written answer from yesterday (question 177110). The just over £2bn figure is based upon current projections, which means the real figure could be anything really.

As a party we should have opposed the bid from the start as "success" was obviously going to be a money pit.

The Millennium Dome and Wembley Stadium were warning enough. The majority of UK taxpayers have no interest in athletics and it's now our duty to ensure that their pockets are not picked too much.

The ephemeral concept of national pride will be strengthened only by victory in the games and not by the dubious privelege of hosting them. Don't hold your breath about the former.

Good. Is Boris saying anything on this?

When will politicians (especially of the red, or evn orange, variety) realise that GB (both interpretations) can no longer afford these 'prestige' (or rather ego-led) events? The finances of this country are now so dire that it is now essential that we pare down on those events that we cannot pull out of - and pull out of all other such 'opportunities'. Watching on television is in any case usually a much better way to see such events - and very few Brits would have the cash, time or sufficient interest to attend in any case!

As I recall the Tories supported the insane idea of bringing the Olympics here even though it was clear that the figures given at the time did not add up. A little bit of clear thinking at the right time does wonders.

Did NuLab ever repay the "loans" from lottery funds as regards the Dome?

As for the present smash and grab, it's got NuLab's previous written all over it. No doubt deserving sports-persons all over the country are being told to keep stum or else by leftie sympathers.

Boris does need to speak up on the Olympics, for those London ratepayers, who will be paying through the nose for this grandiose project for decades. I certainly didn't want or vote for the wretched Olympics and the GLA didn't hold a referendum to gain a mandate.
Many Londoners will see no appreciable gain for the Olympic spend but will have had their pockets seriously felt. The regeneration of East London is a piece of cynical exploitation by the left, who have been given an unprecedented opportunity to spend money without real budgetary constraints. Indeed, the Olympics represents a statist interventionist scheme for the left to continue the class war against those that they consider have more. Why else would they expect ratepayers in West london to stump up vast sums of money for the re-building of an eastern london borough. Re-building that such have been financed and paid for by central government.
Boris also needs to question why it is necessary for a mega-mosque to be built in the area adjacent to the Olympics.

Paul Oakley is right. David James, the Dome troubleshooter, warned that the Games would be a financial disaster. Anyone with a basic knowledge of large projects would have known the budget was way too low.

Hugh Robertson was too ready to ride Olympic bandwagon. Jeremy Wright must demand that those responsible for the bid, including Seb Coe, should resign or be sacked.

The best solution for taxpayers would for the Games to be given to Paris which has most of the necessary infrastructure in place. If only Chirac had not insulted the Finns, we would not have been landed with this jamboree for drug cheats.

As usual the "working" classes will be punished for working and saving while the nuLab folks reward themselves with huge payoffs and golden goodbyes for their rank incompetance.

Everyone involved in construction finance question the budget, which was one of the reasons that we got the white elephant in the first place. The OOC should take it away from us on the grounds there is little likelihood that all the infrastructure will be in place on time.

I agree with those who argue that "winning" the Games was a disaster (we did not really win them fair and square as, voting irregularities aside, Blair and his naive stooge Coe demonstrably issued a false prospectus). They will be hideously expensive, the diversion of the grassroots sport funds and closure of community swimming pools is beyond parody and we clearly have not been shown the full magnitude of the cost even now.

And for what? So that we can see people, whom we will suspect of merely being the best at concealing their drug use rather than being the best athletes, on podiums, clutching medals of which we suspect they will be stripped in a few years' time.

To add insult to injury, many people in the provinces bitterly allege that they are being robbed to pay for a Southern jamboree; whereas those of us who are actually paying for the event were never consulted about it and many of us would have voted against if we had been. I wish to goodness France had been saddled with the beastly thing.

I'm delighted we've got the Games and expect them to be a great success as Sydney and Athens were.I also expect that they will do a lot for sport in Britain in the short,medium and long term I just wish that Jowell and co had been honest about the budget.

Montreal is a better analogy, Malcolm. Still paying for the Olympics 30 years later! Do you honestly think that the public would have supported a budget of around £10 billion?

Frederick James is right. The public was sold a false prospectus, as dodgy as the Iraq dossier. I live about five miles from the nearest venue and 15 miles from the main site. No Olympic benefit for my community, just bigger council tax bills for decades to come!

Never mind the finances - we should quite simply not be holding the Olympics in a country where an Olympic sport is banned by law. If the International Olympic committee had any guts or integrity they should have been refused on those grounds alone. If the Conservative front bench had any guts or integrity they should be opposing them on those grounds alone.

The long-term solution is simple: make politicians personally pay for cost overruns in projects they vote for. Make them post a personal bond, with proceeds going to charity, payable if their project goes more than 10% over budget.

You'd see true costing of projects then. And thus very few of these boondoggles would be enacted.

Both the Sydney and the Athens Olympic Games were a financial disaster with huge white elephants in the shape of Olympic constructions looming over the cities and falling apart. They did do anything for the sport in the countries concerned - Australians are sporty anyway and the Greeks are not particularly. Money is being withdrawn from local sports facilities, which would do far more for the take-up of sport than all the Olympic Games put together. The figures never added up and all the propaganda was rubbish. Exactly why did the Tories support this insane idea in the first place?

Exactly why did the Tories support this insane idea in the first place?

Because the poor, demoralised, self-hating Tories have been brainwashed into believing that they must not oppose anything, lest they once again raise the spectre of 'The Nasty Party'.

It's a shame, because there really are a few policy suggestions out there which ought to be opposed with considerable nastiness if necessary, and this dreary, drug-raddled, ruinously expensive Olympic business is manifestly one of them.

So apart from Malcolm, we've got a rare consensus on ConHome that we should never have bid for 2012. Perhaps party policy should be changed to outright opposition. Is there any mileage in Bexie's suggestion that the IOC could be lobbied to free us from this bondage?

I'm a Conservative who thinks we are right to hold the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

If we could have them in 1948, in the middle of Attlee's post-war austerity government, then we can surely have them now.
Please attack Labour's frankly criminal approach by all means, but don't be so negative about London's hosting of the Games.

Paul Oakley, this latest Black Hole gives us a last opportunity to change tack. I am guessing that there will not be the will to do it, as we could then be spun as killjoys; but the fact is that the Government's figures are now seen to have been wrong to a degree that goes way beyond mere negligence and it would thus be entirely responsible for us to alter our position. Arguably it is our duty to do so.

Votedave, I have a feeling that the magnitude of the gig has changed a wee bit since 1948! I believe the athletes bunked up in redundant Nissen huts on that occasion. And I think that pre-existing sports facilities were used. I don't think the comparison is useful.

"don't be so negative about London's hosting of the Games"

Why ever not Votedave? Better late than never. The party should of course have been negative back in 2005 to counter the exclusively pro-paganda in the media. As I recall, no voices of dissent were aired at all in the Evening Standard or on BBC London News.

You're right on both issues Frederick.

How about a campaign to get Athens to become the permanent host? They already have the sports facilities and can, presumably, make them functional again by 2012 on all that EU money they received last time round. And this will be a wonderful opportunity for Greece to demonstrate their link to Ancient Athens. The Games then were always held in the same place.

I think that is a very good idea Helen @ 17.03, but I shouldn't think even if there was a change of heart, that a change of venue could be organised by 2012.

And the drawback of your idea is that countries like South Korea and China do very well out of hosting the Olympics. I think it is a great shame that France didn't get the nomination for 2012, because they would have made sure that they got all the handouts they could manage from the EU, and being much closer 'to source', would have achieved it. Whereas we, don't seem capable of seeking financial help, even though the whole thing costs millions, and we are already dishing out millions in 'aid' to countries and supporting many, many of the new incomers, at the same time as funding a good few useless enterprises started and then abandoned by this government, still the taxpayer and Lottery Fund have to 'cough up'!

I'll join Malcolm in supporting London Olympics 2012 but with a very jaundiced view on costs.
Just like the Dome it's not the centrepieces which are going over budget - the Olympic stadia & facilities under management of Seb Coe etc. are around the budget figures. As in Greenwich it's the costs of cleanup, transport and other infrastructure, those bits that the Government is responsible for that are shown to have been under-forecast or going madly over-budget.

Too late to back out now though - but if Mitt Romney does drop out of the Republican Presidential Race why not bring him over and see if (for a suitable reward) he can do what he did in the Winter Olympics and bring the project back under control. Couldn't do worse than Tessa Jowell and Ken Livingstone.

This is a disgrace, always has been, always will be. The Olympics is supposed to 'add' to this country, not take away.

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