Thursday 24 November 2011

An sent Coe hamewart, tae think again

So the good news is that Historic Scotland has said "no" to the preposterous idea of massive Olympic rings being placed on our castle.

Olympic chiefs, the Evening News reports (I suppose they mean the Noble Coe and his sidekick Jowley Tess) are baffled by the change of heart of Historic Scotland, which was said to be enthusiastic about the project when it was discussed during the summer. 

As Munguin pointed out, unlike the Quango, English Heritage, Historic Scotland is a executive agency of the government. It is possible that Culture and External Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, had a word.

To be fair it may be that Historic Scotland worked out for themselves that the people of Edinburgh and farther afield were not pleased about plan. The Edinburgh Evening News has run a campaign "Say No to Coe", and Edinburgers have been voluble in their condemnation, calling the sign gaudy and tasteless.

It seems that Coe wanted the sign to be in place for Hogmanay, when the eyes of the world are on Scotland and the castle in particular. But what for? Surely all the tickets for the games have either been sold or (the majority) allocated. So why would anyone want to advertise London's games. It would be like saying "Buy Grants whisky... but we don't actually have any". Additionally, London and Edinburgh vie for visitors and an enormous number of Edinburgh jobs are tied up in the tourist trade. Why would Edinburgh want to advertise one of its rivals? It would be like a big sign in Dundee saying "Go to Ashby-de-la-Zouch".

I suspect it might be that The Rt Hon Seb just wanted to show that the REAL capital's games were being supported by the pretendy capital of Scotlandshire.

If so, he failed.

But the Olympic "chiefs" aren't about to give up. They are looking for another building in Edinburgh from which they can hang their gaudy advertisement and Historic Scotland is hoping that this time there will be less antipathy from the residents. (You have to give it to Lord Nobleness Coe...he don't give up easily.) 

But Historic Scotland has to remember that one of the objections to the sign was the cost of £200,000. People in Scotland are aware that much needed sporting funds from, for example, the Lottery, have been reallocated from Scotland to London's Olympics, and we are aware here that while much of the Olympics is being paid for from general taxation, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 is being funded by Scottish taxpayers only. 

£200,000, many feel, would be better spent on promoting sport in the capital, rather than displaying an advertisement for someone else's events.

Historic Scotland may find that another venue may attract the same reaction!

Pics: Hi de Hi and Welcome to Maplins. The tacky looking coloured sign as it might have looked. Ms Hyslop, Culture Secretary. Seb Coe whose in charge of the Olympics on a salary of twice the PM. Tessa Jowel, the ex-Olympics minister whom Cameron retained so that he can blame someone from Labour when it all goes horribly wrong.

I've put a little poll in the side bar on the right. I'll leave it open till Monday afternoon. I thought it would be interesting to get your point of view even if you don't want to write anything.


  1. £200,000 would buy Hibs a new forward line and Lord Foulkes a lunch at the Ivy!

  2. long as he didnae start oan the drink...

  3. Fiona Hyslop? I remember what she looked like when she was at Ayr Academy - I would've then and I still would.

    Gotti Passatolli

  4. Quite so Anonymous.

  5. OK, CH, now you've totally lost me apart from the fact that these are well cool cars!

  6. Scotland's natural resources + Engolympics = subsidising Englands global pretensions ... since 1707

    ... feck it ... bring on Devo Max!

  7. ....or maybe even independence, Dean? :¬)

  8. £200K ? You could buy a windmill blade and save the polar bears for that kind of money.

  9. Ah just have a wee dram or two wi it and stuff the pretensions of the lycra clad sports people!
    I'll drink to that!
    Glad they have seen sense on this one tris.
    I can suggest something to do with the FIVE huge includes the use of Coe's own ring, thus making 6...who says five into one won't go!

  10. Hoon, You might even be able to buy a whole windmill, who knows, and save a few penguins too...

  11. I suppose, nomin, that you might like to suggest that particular sport, or game, as an addition to the games' timetable.

    But please don't expect me to bid for any tickets. It's bad enough looking at his face...

  12. They could stick their rings on the Palace of Holyrood House, that belongs to the English government after all, and it would be very interesting to hear what Princes Charles and Philip would have to say!

    Good for Fiona if she has put the kybosh on this horrendous abomination going on our castle.

  13. I imagine the idea of placing the rings on the castle, was to implant in the minds of anyone planning to visit London for the Olympic Games that they might want to add on a visit to Edinburgh and Scotland.

    Footage of New Year's Eve is often shown around the world by news programmes who do the round-up of celebrations in NYC, London, Paris, Sydney etc.

    As Rio and London will have the rings (on the London Eye and Copacobana beach), and as all the shows will be showing them because of the 'hook' that this heralds the big event of 2012, it seems a shame that Edinburgh's missed the chance to spend £200k to garner £millions of free broadcast promotion.

  14. Ah, Munguin,

    I suspect that this might be one of these occasions when HRH Charlie would pull rank on Seb and use his personal prerogative to send for the "ghastly little man and have the ghastly carbuncle taken deine from one's heise".

    So far it seems there's not a huge amount of support for the rings anywhere. (the poll seems to suggest at the point of writing 94% no, and6% don't care.

    I'd say that the £200,000 would be well spent on sports projects in the city.

    After all there was supposed to be a sporting legacy for all of us lucky ol' Brits from the preposterous amount of money that London has spent on their Olympics.

    Football academies like the one Spook and BoP are involved with do fantastic work with lads, giving them a goal (if you'll pardon the pun),keeping them off the streets, away from drink and drugs, gangs and trouble. Giving them a chance to get good at the sport, stay fit, and possibly make the first team some day, or move into the professional game.

    Why not set up another one, maybe to look at other sports, swimming, tennis, cycling...

    We have our own Games in 3 years' time. I suspect that for the average Scots kid, they will be more of an inspiration than something that is happening 500 miles away. And certainly there is no legacy whatsoever from a set of aluminium rings in garish colours being tacked onto a building somewhere.

    These London games have cost us, and are still to cost us, a fortune. Let's see if we can get something back from them.

  15. Anon:

    I have heard that argument put forward by the Edinburgh Festival organisers. I can't say I see their point.

    The main time when the castle would be seen all over the world is Hogmanay.

    Now, most people who want to come to Edinburgh, or who might be inspired to come to Edinburgh because of the world-wide coverage that Edinburgh gets at this time of year, will be inspired by the sight of our castle, its beauty, its history dating, as it does, back to the reign of David I.

    They won't see an Olympic symbol and think, "Oh I must go there as see that lovely castle with the rings" Although some might think that Edinburgh were the hosts and want to buy tickets!

    The London eye and Copa beach are not (with respect to the two great cities), going to be despoiled by having the Olympic rings on them, and it is not unreasonable that London would be advertising its own Olympics to the world...(although why they want even more people coming during the Olympics is beyond me. I understand that they have already asked Londoners not to use public transport unless they have to, and warned and the whole city will suffer disruption for the period of the games, before and just after, because of the vast influx of tourists).

    Rio is, of course, the next venue for the Olympics and is advertising that fact at a time when they know that the eyes of the world will pass over Copacabana Beach. Why not?

    Edinburgh is not hosting Olympic games, and I imagine never will.
    Why would they want to advertise London's?

  16. I thought that an enlarged one of these would keep wee Willie occupied.

  17. Well, you never know CH. You might want to give him one for Christmas.

  18. When I walk down Leith Walk on my way to the Gilmore to have the piss taken out by my Hearts mates the last thing I need is to see rings anywhere after the opposition have run rings round my team.

    I see Spook's mob made a mess of the Scottish Cup. I never liked him anyway!! Hope he reads this!!

  19. Yeah, I can see your dilemma, John. Must happen quite a bit. I can see rings are the last thing you want in Embra.

    Poor old Spook... you did so like him! Well, that's what he told me.

    BTW, see if you can stir Mrs Pangloss on Twitter, and find out if she's needing anything from the shops!