Tuesday, 15 March 2011


The tickets for the London Olympics went on sale today with 500 days to go before the opening ceremony...

...And the countdown clock, which started at midnight (pictured--tasteful, isn’t it?), broke down.

The Omega
(official partners of the Olympics*) time piece stopped at with only 499 of the 500 days left to go. The company were clearly mortified by the fault which happened as aristocrats (well Seb Coe) and other dignitaries (well Boris anyway) launched the countdown to London 2012. The said they couldn’t explain what had gone wrong (worrying) and that their experts had developed, installed and tested the clock (also worrying). It might have inspired confidence if the failure had not been the work of their experts!!

I imagine that as partners in the games, Omega will be responsible for the instruments which will be used to record the athletes’ performances. So let’s hope they can do a bit better with that. ("Ah sorry, we think that was a record, but the clock stopped. You wouldn't just like to go again?")

As Visa are also partners in the Games, the only means of reserving tickets is with one of their cards, which is a tad unfortunate for the millions of people in Britain who have Mastercards, or indeed no cards at all (there is a
link to Visa on the site, so you can apply for one...hmmm cunning).

The Games which we have repeatedly been told are for the good of all of Britain, not just England, or specifically London (I’m still trying to work this out), appear only to be good for Britons who have a Visa card. So that will be me stuffed then.

Of course there was a glitch with that too. The only Visa cards to be accepted were those with an end date of August 2011, which meant that thousands of people whose cards have an end date before that cannot complete their transactions.

So now the London Games appear to be for all Britons who have Visa cards that do not expire before August. The numbers of Britons who are likely to be able to profit from the Games just gets smaller by the day.

Not only that, but the “hard pressed British taxpayer” and the “hard working British family” (which has a Visa card) “in these straitened times” has to compete with foreigners (I wonder how many of them have Visa cards) for ticketing. The tickets will not be sold exclusively, or first, to Britons (with Visa cards). The damned cheek is that, having paid for the damned carry on out of our taxes that Brits should have to pay for damned seats too.

It’s going to be interesting watching the faux pas over the next 499 days (although we may lose count, especially if they can’t get the clock going)...probably more interesting than the £9 billion plus Games! And certainly better value for money (with your Visa card, of course).

* They should get themselves proof readers for the page. Tacky!

Pics: (1 and 2) Hickory Dickory Dock, what’s happened to the clock? At just after midnight and a few hours later. Oh dear. (3) Lord Sir Seb Coe, OBE... are there any titles this bloke hasn’t got? He’ll be a prince if it all goes off OK next year. (4 and 5) What on earth are these logos like? The second ones seems to suggest the Games are to be held in Zoizdon...probably Polish!


  1. Tris.

    Correct, if they can't get the countdown clock to work then I dread to think the balls up when timing athletes during the events.

    I love sports but the Olympics do nothing for me. The thought of watching Kazakhstan v Mozambique at ping-pong or Belarus v Andorra at five a side football, well I say no more!

    The games although Marketed as British are more about showcasing London than any other part of the UK. London is so expensive I doubt many of the events will be a sell out.

    I know everyone is not into football but at least something like the world cup would bring hope and prosperity to all corners of England and even Scotland as they would need about 12 locations.

    Even if the Olympics were held in Scotland, I still wouldn't be excited. 499 days to go now! Superb.

  2. Well Allan, we helped pay for them ... but I can't see any return for the money.

    Is there more sport in Scotland? No.

    Yes, a couple of fairly minor events are being held in Glasgow. Wow. No great thing for Scottish athletics fans, and no great influx of people so no great income for Scotland.

    I'm still waiting for a bonanza in sport, health or the economy to come from the London games. I think I will go on waiting.

    The building of the stadia in London has provided much needed jobs, there is a payback in the regeneration of a rundown part of the town. There will the visitors and the hotel rooms, cafes and bard will make a fortune over the three weeks, again providing jobs, albeit only short term. The amount of security will be fabulous and again all the money will go to and be spent in London.

    I'm still seeing nothing for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland... or even for the rest of England.

    But our taxes helped pay for it, and the Lottery money that might have come to us has gone to London instead.

    I enjoy watching some of events, but i enjoyed watching them when the Chinese taxpayers were forking out for it... and they can afford it a lot more than we can! I don't think I'll be getting excited about it.

    I wouldn’t mind so much if Prince Sebastian and that Labour woman with the dodgy husband who were in charge of it, hadn’t banged on so much about its influence touching every corner of the UK. They lied. Surprise!

  3. I see the bluddy Lloyds TSB is in it too. My blood pressure rises drastically when I think about them spending our money on this bash.

    Even though I was given free tickets and travel I wouldn't go. Mind you, if I was booked into the Ritz or the Dorchester I may just think about it.

    It's another freebie for the elite.

  4. Government owned banks forking out vast amounts of our money, on top of the money from teh lottery, on top of taxation... It's nonsense...

    It has nothing to do with sport either; it's all about showing the world that London can do better than Beijing.

    I wonder how much over the £9 billion the government will go. And I wonder how much the security will cost.

    Dissident IRA people have already threatened the events; there will be others.

    And who is going to profit from this? Not Dundee!

    Now if they flew me down and put me up at the Dorchester (just next door to you)... we could go down to the Games wearing our Pepsi t-shirts with our Burger King hats, hire a Mercedes; eat Nestlé chocolate and leave the wrappers around for everyone to see... and probably get lifted by the polis and spend the night in the cells!!!!

    I’ve heard the English police are brutal and their prison cells are like something from Azkaban...

  5. One question: why do we need the games in the first place?

    Not just from a Scottish perspective (we will see precious little benefit), but surely England would rather save that money being spent, and see less severe cuts?

  6. Tris.

    That's just it, the rest of England, Scotland and Wales will see no or little benefits from the games which are meant to be the British Olympic. When Scotland hosts the Commonwealth games then it's purely a Scottish hosted event which will benefit more than just Glasgow.

    Prince Sebastian and that Labour woman are only good for one thing, Sorry can't think of it right now lol.

    Total waste of money to be honest and as for the Glasgow games, well at least they will only cost a fraction of the price but as you rightly pointed of Tris, the Olympics will help regenerate that part of London which will be good as will the East of Glasgow from the Commonwealth games.

  7. Sobrosa.

    LOL, I'm with you. Free accommodation at the Ritz then I too would go.

  8. Dean.

    Oh Ho well said Dean. I think Cameron could do without the Olympics and who knows, he might cut the amount of countries competing at the games to save money.No surely not!

    I love sporting events but I think the Olympics are far too expensive for what they are and apart from the opening and closing ceremonies, I find them boring.

    498 days now, WOW!

  9. Edge of my seat over here Allan ... 498 days ... wowie!

  10. Yes Dean. I bet if he could get rid of them to Paris, he would.

    The security will be a nightmare and will cost an unmentionable sum of money.

    Actually I was wondering why we couldn't know how much security costs for these things. I mean the cost of the afair won't tell terrorists WHAT we are doing, will it.

    I suspect that it is always (regardless of government) a way of hiding other costs...

  11. Allan, I was just thinking that I'd be as happy watching on television. You see more, and you can actually hear the commentary...

    But I guess I'll see you guys at the Dorchester... seeing that the governmetn are giving us free transport.

    I hope you all have a VISA card!!

  12. 498 days to go... I can't stand the tension...let's have a countdown....

  13. With the Tories back in charge we have entered a new golden age of fiascos and U-turns. Let’s see if they are as successful at blaming the glut of Olympic fiascos I am sure we are all going to be enjoying (and of which this is just the tip of the iceberg) on Labour as Labour were of blaming the Millennium dome fiascos on the Tories (i.e. not very).

  14. Who could ever forget her royal highness princess Elizabeth (according to Dean) getting into the swing of things in the Millennium Dome and showing us all just how sour faced and out of touch she really is! I look forward to a similar happy day at the Olympic launch.

    Incidentally I think Olympics or not the cuts would be as deep and as harsh. The Tories just love to cut everything to the bone and expect people to pay for public services so they can reduce the tax burden on the rich. It’s their ideology after all!

  15. You could say Munguin, that the Tories deserve the Olympics mess. They left a Dome mess after all.

    You're right about the cuts I suspect. They would have happened anyway. Many of the reforms will not save money in the immediate future (which is when we need to save money)...English health and education jump to mind.

    But the most important thing is that the rich pay less tax, as shown by Osborne's statement that he will drop the 50p in the £ income tax (on money earned OVER £150,000), before he touches VAT, the tax that disproportionately hits the poor.