On our way home on Friday, we did a silly thing. We bought the Evening Standard. As usual, we flicked through the 'ES' magazine and marvelled at how a publication that was once semi-decent, has been transfomed into a brochure for gormless vampire-like socialites and puff pieces on photogenic actresses/models/whatevers. Then we had a gander at the paper itself, looking for how many headlines including the word 'chaos' we could find. During this joy-free search, we happened upon a small piece tucked away in the 'Inside City Hall' section, which related how Angie Bray , the Tory spokesperson for the 2012 Olympic Games had been having a pop at Mayor Ken over 'soaring' costs. We found the story here . According to the Standard, Ken has admitted that the cost of buying and 'remediating' the land for the Games has more than doubled to £1 billion, "forcing a rethink of the 2012 masterplan". Carruthers.
And today, in The Observer, we read this
. Nick Mathiason's article lays out how the effects of inflation on the construction sector will lead to the overall cost of building the Olympic Park to rise from a projected £2.7 billion to a huge £6 billion. Once again....carruthers. We also get the first mention of the issue that all Londoners dread and that the likes of the Standard can't wait to run headline after headline on: council tax rises. Mathieson doesn't tell us how much our bills might go up by, but he does point out that the speculated overspend amounts to £1000 per household, so the message is clear, Londoners - abondon all hope of ever having any money, ever again.
Mathiason also reports how the DCMS issued a statement last night which basically reads as 'calm down, everyone, this is all silly nonsense and we've got everything under control - ta very much' - which is exactly what you'd expect them to say. However, we do agree with them when they proclaim "This is not the first Olympic scare story in the run up to 2012 and it probably won't be the last." Damn right. Basically people, this is just the beginning of rampant spiralling-cost stories, and we've got another six years to go.
In other 2012 news, Jack Lemley, who ran the Anglo-French group that designed and built the Channel Tunnel, has been given the job of leading the new Olympic Delivery Authority, which means that he's the man responsible for the building of all the Games' venues and facilities. Incidentally, the costs of the Tunnel
, projected at £6 billion, ended up at £10 billion. Not for the last time....carruthers.