Thursday, March 15, 2007

£9 billion of your pound coins...

So, back in November when questioned by the media, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell confessed that they didn't have a budget ready for the building, equiping and administering of the 2012 London Olympics.

At the time the press were flying kites in the region of around £9million which would be four times what we were originally told the project would cost when London won the bid - Tessa Jowells laughed off these speculative estimates as, well, speculation, and Tony Blair urged that nothing constructive would be achieved in bandying around ridiculous sums of money without foundation.

Today Tessa Jowell stood up in parliament and announce "the final estimate" for the budget.

£9.325 billion.

Don't forget, thats not the final invoice, work has barely begun on any of the projects yet - thats the "final estimate for the budget", which frankly means fook all, if a builder arrived at your house to give you a price for some building work and told you that its was his "final estimate for the budget" then I hope that you'd throw him out onto the street.

But we haven't got to worry that the final estimate for the budget has risen fourfold in two short years because Tessa assured the House of Commons that central government and The National Lottery would be picking up the tab, so thats alright then, at least they aren't spending public money on a London-centric publicity stunt like they did with the Millenium Dome are they ?

Of course the "central government" money wouldn't be taxpayers money would it, oh no, I'm sure that Tessa meant that Members of Parliament would be dipping into their own pensions fund to pay for the increased costs, and the Lottery funds, well, they come from foolish people anyway so they won't notie will they - its not as if the £2.8billion from the Lottery fund would have been spent on good causes all over the country is it ?

"There is no part of our national life that will not be enriched by hosting the games," Tessa gushed today, no I'm sure you're right Tessa, I can actually feel my life being enriched right now by the thought of 30% of my salary being spent on a two week jambouree of running races and jumping high/long/often by people for whom the original Olympic ideals are as alien as the alien in the film Alien.

And Alien II.

"Alice in Wonderland" is how Tessa was described in her capacity as lording it over the Olympics finance committee by some of her fellow MP's on the Public Accounts Committee and for once I agree with at least one group of politicians - this whole project still has five more years to grow in the same manner as the Cheshire Cat before it bursts and disappears from sight if not memory, we'll all be paying for this until we die, and then some.

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