Posts Tagged ‘Tony Blair’

Simon Jenkins offers an angry assessment of the Olympics so far:

Early in the London bid process I attended a conference at which the Blairite talk was of holding a “new games”, even a “people’s Olympics“. They would put an end to the International Olympic Committee‘s self-importance, elitism and expense, showing how any world city could afford to host the Olympics by using existing facilities. There should be no question of the Olympics imposing a “white elephant cost”, as on Montreal, Athens and Beijing. Sport would be made to fit the city, not the other way round.

The political ambition of Tony Blair and his team to “win” the games from France blew that to the winds. The IOC’s demands for special stadiums, venues near five-star hotels and Guantánamo-style “fortified villages” were conceded. Huge sums were spent on consultants and buildings. The budget soared. London was sacrificed to extravagance and political kudos, and told it was lucky.

The Games were thus vulnerable to Britain’s prevailing securocrat paranoia, as well as to the logistical chaos that comes with disrupting a large and busy city for a whole summer. There are guards who speak no English and drivers who have never heard of Tower Bridge. Only now are Londoners waking up to the statutory scope that parliament conceded to the IOC back in 2006. It could command London’s police, traffic, advertising and business activity. It could enjoy unlimited access to the British exchequer. A £3bn budget swiftly ballooned to £9bn.

I’ve heard this said elsewhere: the ‘Games’ are epitomising what we now socially crave. We’re so disillusioned and politically apathetic, that we demand spectacle that we can all join in (or delude ourselves into thinking we can). ‘Live’ news, Royal Weddings, Stock, Aiken & Waterman ‘reunions’, you name it, we’ll all come together unquestioningly (and pretty hysterically) for these, in the absence of a political arena we can have any influence over. Blown civil liberties? Who gives a shit when you can afford your holiday to the Costa del Sol? Freedom of assembly? Who needs that, fellow citizen? Don’t you know how much better life would be if you were a GAMES MAKER?

Of course the remaining point is equally true – the security state looked upon the Games with glee as an unparalleled series of opportunities. Just look at the little people whingeing about re-routed traffic, whilst ambulances are banned from GAMES LANES! Just look at how the compliant judiciary isn’t remotely bothered about the military installing missiles on people’s roofs! Londoners aren’t allowed to use the words London, Olympic, Games, 2012 or even to mock LOCOG whilst linking to their website, and woe betide any florist’s, butcher’s or newspapers offering Olympic Specials! They’ll be visited by BRAND POLICE! It sounds comedic but this is all happening right now, amidst the cheering and gasps at the passing of the Olympic Torch. The really dangerous authoritarian elements who had their day in New Labour are laughing up their sleeves.

London won’t gain a thing from the Olympics, other than this transitory ‘feel-good’ blip which we’ve forgotten all about since the Royal Wedding (fancy that). The Tories will continue attacking poor people, the bankers will still refuse to lend to small businesses whilst paying themselves millions in bonuses, and nasty precedents will have been set which won’t have escaped the attention of the securitati in Whitehall, GCHQ (hello) and Downing Street. I’ve been told off for dismissing the positive effect the Games will have on sport, but it remains an utter mystery to me why so many billions need to be spent doing that, and why pushing sport shouldn’t be part of daily life for kids and adults alike anyway. The London 2012 Olympics are epitomising everything that’s wrong in 21st century British life.

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This man is detestable. Blair is back, and eager to continue where he left off, not apologising for the abuses of neoliberalism but defending it to the hilt. In an interview with the Telegraph the war criminal is now even suggesting left is right, up is down and the sky is really green:

The approach promoted by Baroness Thatcher’s government is not to blame for the recent financial and economic crisis, Mr Blair says, warning against taking vengeance on bankers and increasing State intervention in the private sector.

We must not start thinking that society will be better off “if we hang 20 bankers at the end of the street”, Mr Blair says.

Noone’s suggested taking ‘vengeance’ on bankers. But when they were the means by which the economic crisis was triggered, why is it that not a single one has been prosecuted?

Big international banks are still the focus of public and political attacks for what critics say was their role in causing the financial crisis.

Mr Blair cautions against letting that anger lead to regulations that could reverse Lady Thatcher’s work to reduce government involvement in free markets.

He says: “Don’t take 30 years of liberalisation, beginning under Mrs Thatcher, and say this is what caused the financial crisis.”

But it was. Is he now so utterly deluded that he actually believes this? When you’ve had a society governed for 30 years by the mantra that ‘greed is good’, and with banking behaviour deregulated by Tories and New Labour alike, what else led to the financial crisis?!

Senior figures from the main parties have suggested that the crisis and alleged wrongdoing of banks such as Barclays should lead to tougher controls on banks.

Mr Blair challenges those calls, and says: “We mustn’t go back to the State running everything.”

But it never did. This is crazy talk. He’s obviously going to try to run as a Tory MP now and depose Dave. The world has gone utterly mad.