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GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS

08-02-2007

Worried about the spiralling cost of the Olmpics? Let's just hand 'em back says Laurence Inman. Oh, and he's got a pavement update too.

You've got to feel sorry for politicians. The strain of juggling ten or more lies in your head at the same time, (what did I tell who, and when ?) must be terrible.

Have a good look at Tone's swivelling eyes next time he's on the telly. He clearly doesn't know what he believes himself any more. It's strangely compelling.

But the one I really feel sorry for is Tessa Jowls, because not only has she told the biggest whoppers, but she has absolutely no acting skills to cover her obvious panic, guilt and confusion when trying to foist them on the rest of us. She's desperate for a way out of the tangle of double-think in which she's enmeshed herself.

Well, I think I can help.

It's too late for her to do anything now about the first big lie she's committed to: the idea that ordinary punters are going to get anything out of the Super-Casino scam except, at best, a niggling feeling of having been fleeced and at worst, the prospect of decades of debt. So, unless she wants a bunch of American spivs and gangsters wearing dark glasses to come round and break her arms, she, and we, are stuck with that one.

But the other problem I can solve.

Tell Paris they can have the Olympics after all. (If they had any sense they will have been preparing for them anyway,) Or let's simply forget the whole thing. Walk away from it. Just take the phone off the hook and get on with something else.

I mean, who, apart from the people squealing like three-year-olds when they were ‘awarded' to us, and the drug companies, and the multi-national sponsors, and the TV networks, and the touts and wide-boys flogging dodgy tickets and merchandise outside the venues, who, apart from all them, wants the bloody games ?

Let Paris do it. They're only an hour ahead, so we won't have to stay up all night to watch it. And Paris is so much nicer. It's a beautiful, compact, well-planned and -administered civilised place. London is not.

Here's an even better idea: let them do the proper, mad, competitive, modern games, while we do a Retro-Games. A 1948 version. Or even 1908.

Think about it. There'd be no need to spend billions on a new stadium. Just use Hackney dog-track.

Obviously, we'd have to put some more cinders down; we wouldn't want to be thought cheap. Blokes in glasses and baggy shorts and smoking stout briar pipes would trot round the track with smiles on their faces.

They could pass the pipes in the relay. Swimming races would take place down the local baths. We might even allocate some heats to Moseley Road. It would be a good excuse to keep the old pile open a further few months.

Athletes wouldn't have to train for years; if you turn up early enough, you'd be allowed to join in an event. Rather like they do down the Blues now. After all, as we're always being told, it's not the winning but the taking part that counts.

We could even introduce some purely English events, a Modern English Pentathlon in fact, consisting of 24-hour boozing and vomiting, chip-wrapper tossing, pointless car-horn blasting, swearing into mobiles on the bus and ending up with sitting around belching and farting. That would be one medal in the bag straightaway.

And on the final day of the games, as the last polystyrene burger box is being swept up and spectators in both Paris and London try to remember a single thing that had happened in the previous fortnight, at least Gordon will have the satisfaction that he still has billions of quids in the coffers, to spend on education, health, transport, establishing a police state and reducing the Middle East to dust and ashes.

Pavement update:

Residents in Valentine Road, Kings Heath, are delighted by the repairs made this week to the dips in their pavements.

Some blokes came round and dropped big blobs of tarmac into them.

So now, instead of spraining your ankle down a hole, you can trip over and fall flat on your face.

But, for those who might feel nostalgic about the holes, some have been left unfilled!

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