Before I go into full Rant Mode, I want to make it quite clear that I am not ranting about the Games themselves. I am perfectly willing to believe that over the next two weeks there will be moments of excitement and joy when I will be jumping up and down, but these moments will not, in my opinion, make up for the sheer unremitting boredom of the relentless stream of gaffes, management speak, lies, empty rhetoric and crap we have had to take from all and sundry since the day we heard our bid had been successful. There seems to be a feeling that we should be all be joyful and grateful that this glorious honour has been bestowed upon us and anybody who feels otherwise is a kill joy.
Now we are a nation of moaners - we know we are, we take great pride in being as miserable as sin most of the time and nothing pleases us more to be able to say 'Well I told you it would be a fiasco' when something ghastly goes wrong. The problem is, that so often things DO go wrong and then not only is it annoying but downright embarassing.
The fiasco with the security and the fact that the gap has to be plugged with soldiers returning from an arduous and dangerous tour of duty in Afghanistan is entirely predictable, but it is shameful that these personnel have to be dragged away from their families because of the sheer bloody incompetence of a security firm which has form in this respect. Why didn't the Olympic committe just decide to use the armed forces in the first place? Not only would it have been cheaper but it would have been done properly with the expertise needed already in place. Sensible - ergo, the government of the day would not have considered it. And let us not forget that the Government of the day then was Labour who are now thoroughly enjoying being in Opposition so they can jump up and down in the House and say what a gang of incompetents the current Government are. Only consolation one can extract from all this is that if the Labour Government were still in power it would be even worse and we would still have Tone, Cherie and Gordon to contend with. So let us be thankful for small mercies.
No surprise that there is a threatened strike by taxi drivers, the immigration staff at Heathrow, nor the Tube drivers. I will not comment on these as they are ongoing and I gather some may be called off, but again entirely predictable. There is a shocked reaction that these proles should have the temerity to do this and that we should be proud of the Games coming and be eager to welcome visitors and showcase London and the country. Well if you treat the populace with contempt and ignore them as this and previous governments have done, then you cannot expect the man or woman in the street to be happy to help you out in your strutting on the world stage.
Just read this article below from the Spectator and see the draconian attitude of the Olympic Committee and seethe as I did.
I am not even putting an illustration of the Olympic Rings on this post - have no desire to have my collar felt by the Games Stasi.
Then remember that if you are one of the lucky few to actually have a ticket for an event, you will not be allowed to bring in any of your own food, you will have to purchase it in-house and, no doubt pay a fortune for it. If you don't have cash you will need a credit card and if it happens to be Mastercard or American Express or any other, well you are buggered as only VISA is accepted as they are one of the sponsors. I forsee a lot of very angry scenes over this and can only hope they take place in McDonalds and that a lot of hamburgers are slung about.
If you can manage to get into London by train, well done. I have no idea if any of the train companies are putting on any extra services, no doubt if they do the train drivers will have demanded quadruple pay before they agree to do so. If you choose to drive then good luck and don't forget to take sleeping bags and blankets with you as well as extra rations for when you are gridlocked in a traffic jam for hours. (I was stuck in such a jam this week and the Games have not started yet). And while you sit fuming and dying for a pee wave happily at the VIPS who zap past you in the Olympic Lanes. See there is Lord Coe, there is Tony Blair (yes he has suddenly appeared back on the scene smirking and smiling with the ghastly Ed Milliband), there is Call me Dave sitting next to Boris and assorted drones from our glorious members of Parliament who have now just closed up shop for their summer break. Won't be back now until September folks, we are off enjoying ourselves (Ken Clarke sitting knocking back pints of beer at the Test Match today. Looked exhausted from all his hard work....). Should you stray into one of these lanes you will be fined £150 though with the level of efficiency surrounding the administration of the Games, I would suggest you tell them your name is Mickey Mouse and you live at Buckingham Palace and you will probably get way with it. Travelling by Tube? Not even going to start on that.
Oh I could go on and on and on and I really hate sounding such a miserable old bag. I do, I really do but I feel that the entire Olympic behemoth has just rolled over everybody and the fat cats and the sponsors don't give a shit about anything else except making money and if you don't like it, well you can just piss off.
It is not the Games themselves that I loathe, it is the greed and venality and total disregard of anybody else's opinions by Lord Coe and his cohorts and all those other luminaries organising the whole shebang that makes me seethe.
The only reason I am looking forward to the next two weeks is that my daughter Kathryn is home from Australia on holiday and if ever there was a reason for a Gold Medal then this is it...