I love the Olympics and I’m really looking forward to watching them on TV - no tickets. It is great that we are hosting this massive world event, but I do wonder what the lasting benefits will be for us in the sticks.
Prime minister David Cameron has been saying the costs, 10% funded by London authorities, will be more than outweighed by £13bn of economic growth. If you read the small print it is all potential not real. Trouble is there is not the demand in the world economy, so even if Guatemalans want to buy British goods and services from my council area, they haven’t got the quetzals to spend.
We haven’t got any Olympic buildings and we are not a usual tourist destination
Lloyds have guessed that most of the boost to the economy will be from Olympic construction and about £2bn from tourism. We haven’t got any Olympic buildings and we are not a usual tourist destination.
I can’t see us getting any direct economic or regeneration benefits. So what will we get? We’ll have higher spirits. It’ll be a well-run games and London will sparkle as a brilliant world city.
Our athletes will inspire us by their efforts and success. For a short time many of us will go for a bike ride or a swim, and some children will be inspired to become world-class athletes, and will get some support if they are lucky.
The Olympics will have a positive trail into the future. Look at cycling. Our success on the track in past Olympics has led to further achievement. British professional cyclists are dominating the world at the moment with, at the time of writing, four different Brits winning stages in the Tour De France and we’re first and second overall. Unprecedented. Cycling among us ‘wobble bottoms’ is more popular than it has been for generations.
We did get the Olympic Flame and it was great. Our community loved it. But don’t claim it will end all our woes. Post games there will still be a world banking and economic crisis and Eric will still be local government secretary.
The one thing he won’t comment on is his identity…