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Joining in the games

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As my private steam yacht reaches Beijing I look forward to seeing what we can learn from our Chinese friends in preparation for the 2012 Olympic event at the Tessa Jowell Commemorative Recreation Ground.

As I ride in a rickshaw the driver sings My Greatest Joy is to Exceed My Target in the Five-Year Plan. He was an official of the Chinese Audit Commission before being sent for re-education.

Some Olympic events seem familiar. The first is the Architecture Marathon, in which people in primary-coloured spectacles choose a heptagonal structure made from recycled paper to house the tiddlywinks, go£10bn over budget and then it collapses when it rains.

Next comes Pin the Responsibility on the Contractor, in which Olympic officials shower lawyers with millions of banknotes in a fruitless effort to hold the paper suppliers responsible for their shortcomings.

Then a relay, in which everyone involved in delivering the Olympics runs about randomly trying to give anyone else in range a baton inscribed with the words ‘I’m responsible’.

Given the 2012 preparation problems, I have formulated some events that would not require costly venues and would have a flavour of east London, or as Mistress Jowell is wont to put it, “high quality community engagement in a very real sense”.

These include greyhound racing (I confess the greyhounds always managed to outdistance my menservants), get the eel in the pie-and-mash (to add interest, electric ones are used) and a thrilling event in which contestants must get goods off the backs of lorries and sell them from market stalls before the trading standards officers can get there.

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