All the plans were pretty much in place for the Olympics when Boris first took office. The bid to stage the Olympics in London was won under a Labour Government and a Mayor devoted to the City's future. The whinging from the right began on the same day, 'think of the costs', 'we can't afford it', was their begrudged response. To be fair, Labour did the same to them when they inherited Heseltine's brainchild, the Greenwich Millenium project.
I was actually thrilled that the Olympics would be held here. For most of us, it will be a once in a lifetime experience, a treasured family memory. Most of all, I thought it would boost industry and offer employment to thousands of local people. However, I haven't seen much spreading of this sweetness and light, let alone the prosperity. I don't know anyone who has been able to get a ticket,and the only jobs I see advertised are voluntary ones.
The first request I saw was a call for volunteers to manually clean up the streets and river banks. They were trying to appeal to that old 'London, spirit of the Blitz', patriotism and all that. That may sound fair enough, but why not offer a fair day's work for a fair day's pay? The Olympics are costing millions, why isn't some of it finding its way down to the local community?
The latest I hear is Theresa May looking for 400 volunteers to man the ticket/ID stations to prevent terrorists. Am I the only one who sees the funny side of this? For a start you can imagine the type likely to turn up for a job that pays them nothing, but might (fingers crossed) offer them a uniform. Once you have weeded out the obviously psychotic, you are left with stoners who will let anyone in for a bag of 20, and a motley crew of Dads Army Captain Mainwarings and their wives.
The plan is doomed, not least because the practicality of sifting through thousands of applications, will leave only a few weeks in which to give complete security clearance to 400 unknowns.
I am dissapointed for Ken Livingstone, I feel he would have included everyone, and the true spirit of the Olympics could have caught on, for him it would have been the culmination of a life's dream, and London at least would have had a cushion against the harsh austerity measures of this government.
However, I wish Boris well, lets hope he puts on a great show.