Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Olympics: Another Day, Another Laugh

Because the transport system in London is at breaking point anyway, without the additional 3 million journeys a day anticipated to be made by the 800,000 spectators and 55,000 competitors and officials and VIPs, the Olympics minister, Hugh Something or Other, and the English Department of Transport have decreed that Londoners should try to... "think creatively and adjust travelling patterns, try different routes, stagger journey times, work remotely, walk or cycle to work" during next summer to avoid hold-ups during the Olympics.

Erm, it's just a thought, but, when they were bidding for this expensive extravaganza, did no one in London, like maybe Mayor Ken Livingston, or in the Westminster government, maybe Minister Tessa Jowell, or in the Olympics organisation like the head blokey, Coe, ever give a thought to the fact that there were people in London who had to get to work, school, to airports, to railway stations.... Did it never occur to anyone at all that the transport system just couldn't cope?

And what half wit came up with this advice;

to "try alternative routes"? If you've been going to work at a certain place for a fair amount of time, the likelihood is that you have already worked out the best route for you. Why would you change it;

to "stagger journey times"? So, how would that work if you're a shop worker, or a doctor, or policeman, a teacher, a train driver, or indeed most employed in the majority of jobs?

to "work remotely"? Yeah that will work with a lot of jobs, won't it? "I'd like two coffees and a rock bun, please"..."Well could you pop out to Epping. That's where the waitress is."

to "walk or cycle to work"? What if it's raining? What if you have bad feet or have to spend all day walking about? In any case, are there THAT many people that live so close to central London that they could reasonably walk?

I see that there is to be a trial for civil servants working from home to see if all the computers and networks are in place. I wonder how much that is costing us, and what budget it is coming out of? And what do we do if we want to speak to a member of staff in one of the Whitehall Departments? Phone them at home?

Not only that, but it's the first of three trials which is to take place before the actual event! What are they planning for? Nuclear war?

Another complete foul up in a fouled up set of arrangements for a fouled up games, after which I have no doubt Jowell will go to the House of Lords and Coe will...well, what can we do with him..? Make him Queen?


Talking of Olympics and Fiasco, have you ever heard of anything as completely daft as this? Isn't a rather weird thing to do to take a baby to an event where you can't guarantee, for example not to be in a draft, or direct sunlight, where there maybe a lot of noise, or where absolute silence may have to be observed? But if people insist on doing it, surely they can't be expected to pay for a seat for someone who is going to sleep on their knee throughout.



  1. A lot of the civil service is already working from home tris. Including a lot of NHS24 helpline. Your call is just redirected to the civil servant's home computer which is linked in via broadband protocols.
    I have a friend who sits answering calls in her jammies with her cat on her lap.
    Did you see the great referendum debate on BBC1 ? Glen ( rhinestone cowboy) Campbell was unusually fair.
    Nicola was excellent as usual.
    I thought Jim Wallace was going to have a cardiac. Totally lost the plot .

  2. J Wallace was a disgrace for the position he holds Rude aggresive and downright ignorant Barriers to trade? That's a new lie
    In my opinion he has no right being part of these debates I would have thought he should be impartial

  3. I want my money back. I don't want the engolympics.

  4. Monty,

    Do you have a link to the debate because I couldn't get it in England?

  5. Oh I didn't know that, Monty, although I did know that some councils seems to be happy to let staff work from home a couple of days a week.

    I should have thought that, of course the phones can be programmed to ring wherever they want them to, landline or cell.

    But these must be people who, in the normal course of things would be working from the office, because the government is having 3 trials before the 2 month period when the Olympics and the Paralympics are on.

    I wonder how they cost out the heating (during the winter) and wear and tear on carpets?

    I imagine that it's the thing of the future anyway. With teleconferencing becoming more and more accepted and of a higher quality, there's no real reason for the daily tramp to work.

    The trouble is how much work will get done and how much decorating/gardening/diy!!!!

  6. PS> No, I didn't see it. But I'll have a look. I find that most of these things get me wound up. I'd rather read a report because I send up sitting there red faced and throwing stuff at the TV screen.

    Wallace sounds like a complete tube.

  7. Fairfor: You wonder if if is right that law officers get involved in debates of this kind.

    Of course we need legal opinion but so many of the politicians have legal backgrounds, you wonder if the likes of Wallace is any more competent to judge legality than Nicola or Kenny.

    The trouble is that the London government's legal advice is no more of less valid than the Scottish government's. Even if we had a proper constitution there would be arguments about interpretation, but as it is, the shambles is impossible to work out.

    At the end of the day, according to all the opinion polls, the bulk of the Scottish people want a referendum; the bulk of them appear to want a devo max option. If it isn't within the legal competence of the government in Edinburgh, someone with the power to, so make it be so.

    It is what the people want, and in a democracy, your view or mine is every bit as important as David Cameron's or Jim Wallace's. And in this case a good deal more than Cameron's because we live here, and he does not.

    What I fail to understand is that although Alex doesn't want devo max, he's prepared to put it in as an option because the PEOPLE WANT IT, the Labour party seemed to want it, and even the Tories wanted it (Calman). Of course the Liberal Democrats used to be a federalist party, and even Nick said that people who want the status quo are extremists.

    So why, oh why, oh why, are they giving it all away to Alex? The membership of the party is going through the roof apparently.

    And these little Englanders and little Scotlanders are handing the SNP popularity on a plate because they're the only reasonable sounding ones.

  8. Dean: If I could arrange it you'd get your £1,000 back. Unfortunately Jim Wallace seems to think I don't have that power... and in this case, uniquely, I'd say he was probably right! :)

    I agree. Never was so much money needlessly wasted at a time of economic hardship, for a brief period of boom for one town in the UK.

  9. Sky Investigation: Olympics Bill Tops £12bn

    However, associated costs could make the bill as high as £24bn - a staggering 10 times the original estimate

    Olympics Official Walks Out Over Link To Dow

    But Ms Alexander said there was no need for the Olympic movement to compromise itself by partnering with Dow.

    "It is important to understand that the wrap is totally optional," she said.

    "The only reason they have it is to make the stadium look pretty. It's not necessary, it's not going to make any athlete run faster. It's not really going to make anyone's experience of the Games better."

    No comment as expletives are the only logical response.

  10. tris..

    Folk can save a fortune on petrol if they work from home so it's popular. The civil servants will get a laptop and a broadband connection that will be seperate from their personal broadband and laptop. They can also be monitored from HQ for quality checks etc.

    Ged. here's the debate link. Check out Nicola's legs ;)

  11. Monty,

    Thank you. I have just watched it now. I'm in shock at Glenn Campbell being unbiased; the BBC reporters must be so frightened.

  12. I realise it can be done, Monty. I imagine that phone's will have to be provided and the I suppose wireless internet can be achieved for it.

    It takes some reorganisation, and some time and training. But it can be be done. It just seems that we are having to fork out for yet another massive expense so that King Coe can have his £24 billion carry on.

  13. AH CH...£24 billion, huh.... thank goodness we are an oil rich nation. I don't think France would have been able to spend that much, so it's just as well it didn't go to Paris.

    Fortunately England is as rich as rich can be. Mr Osborne will maybe just have to chip in out of his own fortune...

  14. re Jim Wallace -

    Graduated 1977 (age 23)

    1977 - 1983 : practising advocate (mainly in divorce cases). Interrupted by standing as a Liberal candidate in 1979.

    1983 - elected as MP for Orkney and Shetland (aged 29).

    NOW - Chief legal adviser to the UK Government on Scots Law, after less than 6 years actually practising it nearly 30 years ago.
    Is it any wonder that the UK Government appear to know feck all about Scots Law?

  15. Englympics = waste of time, money, effort

    Lord Coe ... I'd not shake his hand.

    Boris vs Red Ken ... the devil and the deep blue sea.

    So ... to hang with it all! and thank the good lord I'm Scottish!

  16. Welcome to Munguin's Republic Barney Thomson... and thank s for researching old Jim, erm I mean his Nobleness Jim's career.

    It seems to me that his only qualification for advising in this matter is that he did some divorce work when he was a very young man. He seems in his old age to be returning to his roots!

    No. I agree, it's ridiculous that he is being touted as their constitutional lawyer, with six years' of experience of divorse law. But when the Tories are in power it is always difficult for them to find anyone who knows anything at all about Scotland, save maybe for where the best shooting is.

    Even with the Deputy Tories in tow, they still (as Jimbo proves) scrape the barrel to put together any kind of team in London. They simply do not represent Scotland.

  17. LOL Dean Englympics... I like it.

    Aye, it's a blessing being Scottish, although when I said that on someone's blog some dick pulled me over the coals for being racist... I can't remember where it was though.