Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Green Or Mendacious?

The sight of that nice Lord Seb leading the Blessed Leader on his tour of the "greenest Games ever" was enough to make even the strongest stomach heave (I dare you to watch it here).

The facts- as the Cuture Media and Sport Committee reminds us today- are that the basic cost of staging this madness has already increased from £2.375bn to well over £8bn. That's a tripling, compared to the doubling in Sydney and the quadrupling in Athens (see BOM cost primer here).

But... and these are BIG BUTS...

First, those overspends for Sydney and Athens were the final figures, once it was all over. We're still more than five years away from our final conflagration.

Second, that £8bn only relates to the basic cost- the figure that we were originally told would be £2.375bn. In addition to that we've still got at least £7bn of transport infrastructure costs, and a further £2-3bn of other costs elsewhere (see BOM primer).

So the final total remains well on course for our £20bn guesstimate. All to be funded by you-know-who.

The only real question is whether this fiasco is down to sheer green wet-behind-the-wossnames blithering incompetence on the part of Bliar, Jowell, Ken, Seb et al? Or whether it was just an out-and-out salami slicing lie?

Personally, I score it fifty-fifty. Clearly they put all the original numbers together on the back of a subsidised Royal Opera House ticket during a private champagne party.

But they also lied to us all in not publically acknowledging that huge extra block of financial iceberg beneath the water.

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