Circuses, but Less Bread 1532


The London Olympics are already achieving the number one aim of the politicians who brought them here, which is making our politicians feel very important indeed.

The media is quite frenetic in its efforts to make us all believe we should be terrifically proud of the fact we are hosting the Olympics, as though there were something unique in this achievement. If we can’t competently do something that Greece, Spain and China have done in recent years, that would be remarkable. Of course the Games will be on the whole well delivered, sufficient for the media and politicians to declare it an ecstatic success. Some of the sporting moments will be sublime, as ever.

But did it have to be in London? We won’t know the total cost of the Games for months, but it will cost the taxpayer at least £9 billion and I suspect a lot more. I also suspect the GDP figures will, in the event, show that the massive net fall in visitor numbers has hurt the already shrinking economy further.

But to take the most optimistic figure, holding the Olympics in London has cost every person in the country an average of £150 per head in extra taxes. That is £600 for a family of four. Actually it is in the end going to be well over £2,000, as of course the money has been borrowed on the never never, and taxpayers are going to be paying it off their whole lives, along with the sum ten times higher they are already paying direct into the pockets of the bankers through their taxes.

The very rich, of course, don’t pay much tax, so they are not worried.

But to take just the figure of £600 extra taxes for a family of four, the lowest possible amount, and not including the interest. Is having the Olympics here really worth paying out £600 for? If Tony Blair had approached the head of the family and said “We are going to have the Olympics in London, but it’s going to cost you £600, would the answer have been from most ordinary people: “Yes, great idea, this is that important to us”?

People are not disconcerted because they don’t see that they have to pay. There is no special Olympics tax, and they pay their taxes in a variety of ways, and individuals are not the sole source of taxation. But this is nonetheless real money taken from the people in pursuit of the hubris of politicians.

I love sport. I hate the corruption of the International Olympic Committee, Fifa and the rest; I hate the vicious corporatism and militarisation of our capital and absurd elitism of the transport lanes; the sport itself I love. But with the economy contracting, and the NHS being farmed out for profit, is it really worth £600 for a family – and many families are really struggling in a heartbreaking way – is it worth the money to have the Olympics here rather than in Paris?

Of course it isn’t. I think many of us will feel an extra pleasure watching the Opening ceremony because it is British. Patriotic pride will surge. It is not wrong to enjoy the spectacle tonight on TV. The corporate well connected and ruling classes will enjoy it in the stadium.

But after you have watched it on TV, ask yourself this question. How much more did you enjoy it than enjoy watching the Beijing ceremony, and was that margin of extra enjoyment something that everybody in the room would have paid out £150 for?

Because they just did.


1,532 thoughts on “Circuses, but Less Bread

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  • Cryptonym

    It is infact thought unlikely that 5% ethanol or less mixes will be phased out entirely and will continue as premium or legacy petrol, ‘super unleaded’, and similar products, with different marketing, for performance purposes and rare older vehicles which might not run on E10 or suffer damage to fuel system parts, hoses etc. with 10% or higher ethanol. The up to 5% product will certainly be priced higher than the standard E10 (mainly due to differential taxation for the two products and the increased cost of maintaing parallel products) similar to leaded four star once still being available alongside unleaded, but discouraged. E10 will predominate though, scheduled to take over throughout the EU in the first quarter of 2013.

  • nuid

    “According to a report in The Guardian, Ecuador has granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. However, RT’s sources in the Ecuadorian presidential administration deny that such a decision has been made.”
    .
    http://www.rt.com/news/assange-granted-asylum-ecuador-298/
    .
    Guardian story: guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/14/julian-assange-asylum-ecuador-wikileaks
    .
    Still don’t know how he’ll exit the UK — IF the Guardian is correct.

  • David Cromwell

    RE-HASBARA TROLLS

    Those people who advocate every interventionist war in the name of freedom of speech, democracy and pluralism are operating in the West as censors, gatekeepers and resent any form of intellectual debate.

    These people are the new bookburners, those who oppose freedom in all its forms. These Hasbara trolls oppose free speech and try to suppress open and free debate and instead replace it with their own Hasbara wash and spin.

    Are they the people of the anti-book?

    We must unite to name and shame these despicable individuals as they try to suppress free and open debate. These people pose a great threat to our political systems and must be identified to stop them spreading their vile mis-information far and wide.

  • nuid

    “These people are the new bookburners, those who oppose freedom in all its forms …”
    .
    That’s about the fourth time you’ve mentioned book-burning, Apostate.

  • Rob Royston

    How times change in this benighted isle. When I first went to work abroad I was somewhat shocked at how people were treated by their jack-booted police strutting about with their sidearms.

    I used to imagine a 1950’s village policeman standing in a British street blowing a whistle at the passing populace. He would be guaranteed to have it punched down his throat. The people had earned respect from their war effort and would not stand for any of that kind of treatment. Now the police can assault and batter passing civilians, be filmed doing it, and no one seems to care.

  • Brendan O'Malley (David Cromwell)

    Assange is linked to the Rothschild central banking cartel?

    http://www.puppet99.com/?p=1
    .
    [Mod/Jon: Posted as “Brendan O’Malley”, but same IP as “David Cromwell” – nickname fixed by mod. Choose a handle and stick to it]

  • Anon

    While there may be no shortage of $114 Brent per barrel oil to fill demand, I can’t seem to find any of that old sub $20 bbl oil which I’m demanding.
    .
    Asian benchmark Tapis is even pricier – currently $120.43 per bbl.
    .
    OECD consumption has been severely curtailed by the price rises over the last few years.
    .
    In 2004 Brent averaged $15.86. In 2011 Brent average price set a new record of $111.26, easily surpassing the previous record of $96.94 set in 2008.
    .
    Funny how supply/demand pricing works,

  • Anon

    Oops, sorry typo.
    .
    1994 not 2004, Brent was $15.86
    .
    A few other years.
    .
    1999 $17.90
    2004 $38.26

  • Anon

    And the average for the whole of 1998? $12.76 – less than 1/10th the current spot price right now.

  • Anon

    Erm. clearly I meant just a bit over 1/10th the spot price right now. I think I’ll cut my losses and end it there 🙂

  • Fedup

    nuid,
    You seem for ever wish to play the witchfinder pursuivant in search of Apos…… In fact you along with some others used to call me that, and having actually read the the unconscious drivel that the individual concerned has published I am damned annoyed with all of you.
    ,
    It is part of our daily chores to carry the crosses we bear, but to go around constantly looking for Apos…. in every poster is an unhealthy preoccupation, and an intellectually lazy position to take.
    ,
    Fact that myths and stories are breaking down of their own merits or lack there of, need not be attributed to your nemesis or “extreme right wing”. The grounds have long shifted and the grey world of half truths and propaganda no longer affords us the luxury of black and white, clear contrasting areas of debate.
    ,
    BTW Did you comment on Urban 75 too?

  • Fedup

    What is happening people?
    Reuters Chris Gallagher goes on record; “After his surgery … Saudi Foreign minister dies” Then the story vanishes.
    ,
    ,
    Anyone any ideas?
    ,
    ,
    ,
    Anon,
    You have correctly identified the anomalies of the price of oil, but then left without any conclusions, is this a deliberate attempt?
    ,
    Why did you not even hint at the nose diving price of the dollar? Which, means a huge numbers of dollars getting printed by the Bu$h administration to put right the huge gambling losses of the US plutocrats?

  • Jon

    Alright, calm down Fedup. The items above are clearly sockpuppeted, appear immediately after cleaning up after our old troublemaker, and appear to mention the US shootings and freedom of speech. I’d say it’s not a great stretch to find a connection, though the writing style does appear to be different.

  • Anon

    Fedup,
    .
    Well both the Euro and UK Pound have devalued more than the dollar since the financial collapse, so the recent price movements are even steeper in these currencies. The US dollar against a world basket of currencies is currently almost 5% higher than it was in 2008..
    .
    The devaluation of the pound against the dollar is more like 25% since 2008.
    .
    Peak Oil? Do you trust, for instance unaudited Chinese consumption and Saudi production figures? I don’t but then I doubt lots of things.
    .
    Oh and lots of people might or might not be dead in Saudi right now it seems

  • nuid

    “Did you comment on Urban 75 too?”
    .
    I commented here on ‘Passerby’ posting as ‘Ned Kelly’.
    Since I didn’t mention ‘Fedup’ at all, what are you so het-up about?
    .
    And is this where you’re worried about?
    http://www.urban75.net/forums/
    Never heard of it before.

  • technicolour

    hey Jon, ancient comment with two links (at least one quite funny) not appearing; tchah; would recommend 10p per post to be paid to moderators’ account?

  • glenn_uk

    Chris Jones: You might be interested in some of AJ’s lies and fearmongering back from the beginning:
    .
    http://www.erichufschmid.net/TFC/mp3/Bill-Cooper_Alex-Jones-1999-part1.mp3
    .
    It starts off a bit slow, you might want to start off at about 10 mins (the first few are a bit weird).
    .
    Here’s a compilation of a few of AJ lies, with references and audio:
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHgCopVQ5Ek
    .
    The above includes plenty of lies about FEMA camps (a favourite on the show), how you’re being constantly and personally tracked – particularly at gun shows – from your “heat resonance pattern”. Most of it is aimed at people fearful about the government in general, those terrified that the UN is going to take over and take American’s guns, about the “lie” about global climate change, that HIV is a government extermination programme, feeding on the crazed religious nutters’ paranoia about end-times prophesies and so forth. They’re coming for your guns, your children, you, your bible, enforced euthanasia, and on and on.
    .
    You’ll find many more links to examples of AJ lies – with evidence – following that video. It didn’t take too long to find it either.

  • Fedup

    Jon,
    I was not kicking off there, just making a point, because for certain we can rely on your efforts to point out any disingenuous, and fraudulent interloper bent on disruption.
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    Anon,
    Your frame of reference of 1994 is suddenly ending up in the comparisons of 2008? The glut of the US dollars and general cash in the system, that has fed the bums rush into speculations in oil, commodities, and foodstuff artificially pushing the prices higher. Call it an empire tax if you will, the rest of the planet goes hungry so that the boys in Washington and that shitty little strip of land to live the high life as they are accustomed to. The free loading shitbags damn fine well know their parasitic existence is only sustainable via massive projections of military/brute force.

  • Anon

    Fedup,
    .
    I don’t disagree with your general opinion about money printing pushing up the price of certain commodities and that certainly helped to push oil to the super-spike in 2008. But then all those speculators long on oil got very badly burned.
    .
    Until a couple of years ago all the world benchmark grades pretty much stayed about the same price within a few percent. Then speculator dominated paper WTI broke out of that range a couple of years ago but remains the most commonly media quoted oil price even though it is mainly “paper” and doesn’t even reflect the price of most oil in the USA – let alone worldwide. Spot Louisiana Sweet is currently $112.43 still pretty much tracking Brent. WTI Futures Front Month is currently $93.40 – or about $20 out of synch with physical Brent and world prices. Strange that speculators seem to be pushing down the most often quoted, but irrelevant to all but a few mid-west USA refiners, “price of oil”. Refined products in the US are based on Brent price so the few refiners who actually have physical access to Cushing oil at WTI prices are making an absolute killing. Most US refiners are paying Brent like prices.
    .
    Of course sanctioning Iran oil is making things worse. As is the ongoing death spiral of north sea production…

  • Jon

    @glenn_uk – your post was caught in the queue; released that, duplicate deleted.
    .
    @Fedup – thanks 🙂
    .
    @technicolour – ooh, payment! Unfortunately can’t see anything waiting from you, please retry?
    .
    (Aside: we’ll be doing a bit of an upgrade hopefully within a week. We’ll definitely get paragraphing back, and maybe even a better spam control! Watch this space).

  • Fedup

    And is this where you’re worried about?
    Strange use of vernacular “worried”?
    Why do you assume I was “worried”?
    Dreoilin must be a popular Gallic moniker then.
    ,
    Further, I was referring to the early days I stumbled here and started joining in the comments, only to be greeted with:”you are so and so, etc.” that turns out to be a suspect bunch of hasbara merchants taking on the role of the “anti S” with a view to garner more sympathetic reactions to the inhumanity of the ziofuckwits seeing as they don’t already have most of the planet’s public relations outfits running ragged to project a “cuddly and civilized” image of the most evil bunch of operatives in the history of mankind.
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    Anon,
    The news of the dead and then no news of the dead has been an ongoing theme in Saudi of late, also unreported are the undercurrents of rebellion of the populace caught in the clutches of the pederasts posing as the compliant charge hands of the US, et al in that benighted land.

  • Anon

    Fedup,
    .
    Clarification – speculation helped drive the temporary super-spike of 2008 in case that’s not clear. Near total worldwide collapse accompanied by a massive, curiously timed into a demand downturn, Saudi surge from storage drove it straight back down.

  • Jay

    Sorry

    Last link Please look at Martin Dempseys Face.

    He is either about to have a turn or by reading that expression he looks well…

  • Hang'em

    As a regular reader of ‘Google News’ it is staggering to see that over the last two weels approximately 35-60% of all ‘World’ news headlines have been provided by Israeli rags such as Haaretz, JPost, Ynetnews etc. etc.
    .
    Quite amazing that one little country of barely seven million people can produce such a prodigious amount of journalistic ‘talent’.
    .
    Either that or someone really does control the media.

  • Mary

    First Group 1 Branson 0
    .
    There has just been some very aggressive questioning of the Rail Minister by the BBC Breakfast presenters, Stait and Reid, on the awarding of the West Coast franchise to First Group. You would think that the BBC were on Branson’s side! Whatever the value of the First Group bid and whatever is promised, the passengers and the taxpayer will foot the bill in the end.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FirstGroup
    .
    As was being said yesterday when passengers were staging protests about the proposed RPI + 3% increase in fares, re-nationalize the railways.

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