You’d have thought that in the last couple of thousand years we’d have moved on from allowing governments to do whatever they like provided they’re prepared to entertain us with circuses. But maybe not. As is now the tradition, the upcoming Olympic Games are an opportunity for authoritarian control-freaks to indulge themselves. Welcome to Lockdown London.
London is set to meet and exceed Beijing for civil liberties violations, violent suppression of dissent, and overwhelming surveillance during the games, from the rule that says you’re not allowed to display anti-Olympics posters in your own home to the sniper-toting helicopters hovering over the town. “Security” trade magazines are buoyant about the enormous sums of money the industry stands to take out of “austere” Britain’s tax-coffers to buy razor-wire, drones, and water cannons.
Yes, that crushing of civil liberties doesn’t come cheap. Pay for the privilege of living in a police state, peasants:
The imminent Olympics will take place in a city still recovering from riots that the Guardian-LSE Reading the Riots project showed were partly fuelled by resentment at their lavish cost. Last week, the UK spending watchdog warned that the overall costs of the Games were set to be at least £11bn – £2 bn over even recently inflated budgets. When major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, speeded up for the Games, are factored in, the figure may be as high as £24bn, according to Sky News. The estimated cost put forward only seven years ago when the Games were won was £2.37 bn.
And adding insult to injury:
And on top of it all, some of London’s public roads will be turned into “priority” roads that are only open to corporate sponsors’ vehicles — off-limits even to the athletes competing in the games (and ambulances).
One day the corrupt plutocrats of the IOC will run out of cities run by gullible suckers prepared to prostrate themselves before them. One day they’ll get the reception they deserve – no tribute, just doors slammed in their grasping faces.
One day. If there’s any justice in the world.