Wednesday, November 01, 2006

2012 Olympics Disaster "Out Of Its Depth"


Look Mum - it's me with Seb

So Jack Lemley - the American who was Chief Engineer to the London Olympics - resigned not for health reasons, as previously stated by the organisers, but because he was sick to death of the political interference:

"I went there to build things, not to sit and talk about it, so I felt it best to leave the post and come home."

Much worse for taxpayers, he reckons the basic Olympic structures - repeatedly stated by Blair/Jowell et al to cost £2.375bn- are actually going to run very late and end up costing way more: the current guess is around £5bn.

We've blogged the Olympics disaster many times (see primer here), pointing out that the true, though unheadlined, cost was not £2.375bn but £13.8bn. And that the whole thing was bound to follow the pattern set by other Olympics and run way over budget. Naturally the politicos and organisers told us London would be different.

Yeah, right.

In the summer, Tess chillingly told us there could be "no cast iron guarantees". And now, Derek Wyatt, the Labour MP who chairs the all-party Olympics committee at Westminster (pictured above), reckons that building costs were "likely to be far higher than original estimates.

Mr Wyatt dismissed Mr Lemley as "out of his depth" and said it was commonplace for Olympic project costs the world over to increase.

"Just look at the legacy of Athens, Sydney, Atlanta and Barcelona. I think you will find the costs are double the original estimates. Original costs spell 'x' and come out as a 'y'. I think Mr Lemley was out of his depth."

Well thanks for that Derek. Hell, it's only taxpayers' money. And put that way, I can't imagine why any of us ever thought we were being told the truth in the first place.

Clearly we're all out of our depths.

PS See here for some of the Olympic clowns Lemley was having to deal with.

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