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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  • Mary

    Sky News have just shown mug shot photographs of ‘tax fraudsters’ and chose to show three Pakistani faces, ie brown skinned people. The Mirror have also taken it up and most likely other papers too. There was no mention of the banksters who have gone off with £billions and $billions nor of the tax evaders offshore and in tax havens, many of them donors to political parties.
    .
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/top-20-most-wanted-tax-1263352

  • nevermind

    Has to rate as the most stupid attempt at warming up old chestnuts by King Felix this morning, gratis with a little personal opinion of what he thinks makes Komodo tick, plus, in the spirit of medal winning, why s/he thinks there are winners and losers in this debate.
    .
    What fatuous, prissy and overbearing comments from a non dom with nowhere to go to, a global vagabond.

    What if this smelly breath lizard has a few engineering degrees? or is an otherwise well educated, pampered and trained middle class individual who has gone through the same privileged educations system as King Felix?
    .
    where does King Felix stand on the racialist scale of good humoured comments. Has his immigrant status in other countries ever been a subject to a blog? what do his colleagues think of his abject feelings for working class people.

    @ Suhayl, the issue of the BCF board’s rejection of the Bin Suhayl brothers case, goes to the heart of this establishment body, as you say we have to see what comes off it. Merely tried to highlight the overbearing celebrity agenda, pervasive as it is with every issue, regardless, and us, by mentioning Akram Khan, playing up to this agenda.
    .
    A neighbours son got shot in Afghanistan, he was lucky, his aorta was bruised the shrapnel missed it by 2 mm and then tore into his lung. He’s fine but the war is getting mad down there the further we come to 2014.

  • Komodo

    Komodo, you sound like an archetypal working-class racist pub bore on the subject of nationalism/immigration (you even cite pub landlords as ‘evidence’! Yes, evidence of your mistaking one little corner of England for the whole.
    .
    Thanks, Kingfelix. That was exactly what I intended…..though I don’t think I cited a landlord….if I am to get my facts right, then the least I can expect, yadah yadah…
    .
    Point being that this is a definite issue for a large number of people, and it isn’t going to go away because other people say it’s not there. It’s there. It isn’t simply a working-class issue. The squeezed Mail – and – Telegraph reading middle class is as prone to this perception as the Sun-skimmer. And I get a sympathetic response to the proposition that immigration is excessive from most indigenous people I talk to, from academics to farm workers. It’s not a question of getting around, King.

    We’ve had the argument, several times, in circles. But at least one question remains unanswered as far as I can see. How many people do we have to accommodate on this tiny broke island before the PC mob agrees that enough is enough? How many?
    .
    Anyone enjoy the triumphant news that unemployment had dropped from ~3 million to 2.5 million? Cameron must be proud that his policies created a flexible labour pool as big as the best Thatcher could manage after wiping out coal and steel. Anyone think the numbers have actually dropped? Even the CBI can’t work out where the workers went. Maybe some of them went home…

  • Mary

    What the hell is going on here? Did anyone know of such a tie up and does this mean that China (and/or Russia) will not stand up to the US/Israel alliance in the event of an attack on Iran once the dirty work has been done in Syria?
    .
    http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/news/news-updates/5049-chinese-fleet-anchors-in-israel-in-honour-of-twenty-years-of-cooperation-between-israeli-chinese-militaries-.html
    .
    Chinese fleet anchors in Israel in honour of twenty years of cooperation between Israeli, Chinese militaries
    Tuesday, 14 August 2012 12:19
    .
    Vessels from the Chinese fleet anchored in Haifa on Monday to honour twenty years of cooperation between the Israeli and Chinese armies.
    The Chinese crew, officially welcomed by the Haifa base commander, will visit the Israeli Naval Officers’ Academy, lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and visit tourist attractions during their stay in Israel.
    .
    Elsewhere Paul Craig Roberts writes:
    .
    ‘There is no war on terror. There is war on countries that are not Washington’s puppet states. Unaccountable Washington is currently slaughtering thousands of Muslims in a variety of countries and is preparing Syria as its next holocaust. Washington, taking advantage of the splits between Sunnis and Shi’ites and between Islamists and secular Muslims, has organized a rebellion in Syria in order to overthrow a government that is not a puppet of Washington and Israel.
    .
    Among the foreigners streaming into Syria to overthrow the secular state in which Sunni and Shia Arabs have lived peacefully, are the Islamist extremists that Washington has squandered $6 trillion fighting for 11 years. The extremists are on Washington’s side. They want the secular Syrian government overthrown, because it is not an Islamic government.’
    .
    and
    .
    ‘Unlike the 1957 plot by British Prime Minister Harald Macmillan and US President Dwight Eisenhower to foment an “uprising” in Syria and assassinate the Syrian leadership (see globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32254), the Obama administration cloaks its intervention in humanitarian language, as do the rebels while they murder and execute civilians who support the Assad government. The presstitute western media describes the mayhem and murder as “humanitarian intervention,” and the brainwashed western public reposes in its moral superiority.
    .
    After Syria is destroyed, the last independent country in the region is Iran. Iran has also been weakened, not by Washington’s embargo, an act of war in itself, but by Washington’s financing of the “Green Revolution.” Iran now has a fifth column within itself.
    .
    Iran, the second oldest country after China, is now surrounded by 40 or more US military bases and is confronted by four US fleets in its own Persian Gulf.
    .
    From {http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/14/oligarchs-at-the-gate/}

  • nevermind

    what is going on here, indeed, the moderation of my comments, once freely allowed to pass, has now turned to that old British favourite, queuing.
    .
    I understand that flammable language, as the wind up by King Felix has to be moderated, equally our resident addicts who just can’t leave without positing their right wing diatribe, but little moire?

  • OldMark

    KingFelix’s take on the immigration issue, on the basis of his contribution at 3.12 this morning, can be summarised thus-

    Komodo et al resemble- Alf Garnett.Monochrome Britain. Sad old gits who’ve never got over the loss of empire. Alf Garnett. Vile, ignorant racists who question whether the social capital and transferable skills of present day refugees (from Somalia, Afghanistan, DR Congo et al) might not be comparable to the social capital and skills bought to the UK by the refugees from Hitler’s Germany. Alf Garnett. Crazed conspiracy theorists who impugn the motives of immigration cheerleaders such as the Institute of Directors, or Goldman Sach’s Peter Sutherland. Alf Garnett. Hate peddlers. Economic illiterates who argue that mass immigration from the EU accession states has been good for landlords but bad for unskilled or semi skilled Brits. Alf Garnett.

  • Komodo

    Komodo, as Ace the Face might have said, there’s nothing wrong with scooters, desert boots, neat clothing, Franco-Italian hairstyles and groovy music. It’s an attitude of mind.
    .
    You mention scooters: pathetic little two-stroke machines encrusted with lights which would burn out the electrics if they were actually connected, fitted with WW2 surplus tank aerials to swipe pedestrians on corners, and emitting choking clouds of burnt oil. This alone is enough to damn their owners.
    🙂
    .
    A decent bike:
    https://farm8.static.flickr.com/7019/6723837917_8ed5b94714.jpg
    .
    Not that anyone could afford one then…

  • Komodo

    Old Mark:
    Isn’t that just a little tiny bit sad-old-gittist?
    .
    How many do we have to have?

  • OldMark

    This from the latest Beeb report on the unfolding Assange drama-

    ‘The UK Foreign Office says it can lift the embassy’s diplomatic status to fulfil a “legal obligation” to extradite the 41-year-old.’

    So, to fulfil our obligations under the dodgy Euro arrest warrant regime, we are quite happy to make ourselves a laughing stock across all of Latin America. Nice one, Hague!

  • nevermind

    Hmm, a DBD34, very tasty, classy sound and oodles of power, a proper bike, not am sewing machine.
    Not to be found in such a state for under 25 K, Japanese collectors might pay double that.

  • Komodo

    Which Alf Garnett said this? Answer in link-
    .
    ‘Like all addictions, it takes some time to wean people off but it’s good for you to be weaned off an addiction and it will be good for business in the long run if we have more of an instinct that’s, “Let’s find a British worker and, if necessary, let’s train a British worker”,’
    .
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2110884/Were-hooked-foreign-workers-Immigration-minister-tells-businesses-wean-addiction-overseas-recruitment.html
    .
    A report released last year revealed that nine out of ten people who joined the workforce were foreign nationals, a far number higher than had been previously thought.

    The figures, produced by the Office for National Statistics, revealed that employment among working age people rose by 181,000 in the Coalition’s first year. Yet employment levels among British nationals rose by just 14,000, or less than 8 per cent of the total.
    .
    Christ.
    .
    Not Alf Garnett. Not Adolf Hitler. Not even the Daily Mail, in which no report is of course even notionally credible….but the Office for National Statistics.
    .

  • Roderick Russell

    RE ASSANGE – To quote the Daily Telegraph – “FCO ‘risks breaching international law’ over Assange embassy crisis”- even more shocking when one considers that it is to arrest a man who has never been charged with anything.
    .
    This cannot be at the behest of senior FCO / Home Office officials, or of the politicians supposedly in oversight of them, since as the Telegraph also reports such action could make it “possible for governments everywhere to arbitrarily cut off diplomatic immunity”. One suspects that it is MI5/6 once again exercising their central role in government.
    .
    Though this action does show how contemptuous the UK’s power-elites have become for the Rule of law and Civil Liberties, why should it surprise anybody? While it’s true that rules and regulations may bind ordinary people, many examples prove that, in the UK, power-elites need not concern themselves with rule of law or civil liberties if they are close to the secret security/intelligence agencies.
    .
    http://zersetzen.wikispaces.com

  • Komodo

    It’s been suggested that the threat to invade the Embassy is a bit of diplomatic sleight-of hand, which will enable the Ecuadorians to eject Assange under protest without taking flak for breaching diplomatic protocol re. asylum seekers. Craig could perhaps tell us how likely this might be.

  • Passerby

    Komodo,
    Lizard you have given rise to my ire, and I am having a damn difficult time not to invite to a duel to death with bites!
    ,
    It is not yad… yad… that is fucking Hollywood and cultural imperialists transliteration of Blah Blah.
    ,
    Now back to the subject, you know and others too know, there is a tag team operating around here, and anytime we seem to get a nice debate going and people are chirpy and happy, out come the tag team to bore the pants off everyone else and the party is turned into a solitary salvos of one to, one fro.
    ,
    Stop getting bated.
    ,
    ,
    Assange is the single solitary lesson to anyone who is thinking to drink soup with the devil, because he/she believes has a long enough spoon to stay out of the reach of the bastards.
    ,
    Diplomatic & Consular Premises Act 1987 helps Billy fourteen pints to partake of a couple more wine gums and then decide that Ecuadoran Embassy is no more, ie the place is in under the UK police jurisdiction, which then can result in sending the thugs in and either killing Assange for resisting arrests, and or kick him into a coma and ship him out for further medical treatment in Sweden because our hospitals don’t treat Aussie bastards.
    ,
    This comes at a time when everyone has been talking about the mystery of the falling unemployment figures whilst we are in a worsening depression as well as that soon to be released story of the financial debacle of the Olympics. circuses you wanted circuses you get.

  • Jordan McBride

    [Jon/mod: Removed several posts for persistent sock-puppeting. Posted also under “Annie McMahon”, “Connie Rosen” and “Madison Grainger” from the same IP]

  • Komodo

    I’m pissing everyone off, aren’t I, Passerby?
    I haven’t seen so many people so involved at such length before, though…
    .
    Re. Assange (whom I make no bones about not liking), there’s something which is not clear in my mind. The Act is pretty clear about the warrant containing some reference to what charges he will have to answer:
    .
    The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) is the designated authority for the receipt of Part 1 export EAWs from the UK. NCIS decides whether to certify the warrant concerned. To qualify, the warrant must have been issued by an appropriate authority entitled to issue (EAWs). In case of accused persons it must contain a statement to the effect that the person is accused of the offence specified in the EAW and the EAW is issued for the purpose of securing his return for the purpose of prosecution for that offence.
    .
    I can find no reference to the possibility of extradition for someone merely required to face questioning, only for people being prosecuted or serving an already-determined jail sentence abroad.
    .
    And, last I heard, Assange has not been charged with any offence (although I have no doubt that if he goes to Sweden, he will be, after some polite faffing about)
    .
    Anyone know what I am missing here?

  • nuid

    “Anyone know what I am missing here?”
    .
    Maybe the fact that Craig has blogged and there is a new thread.

  • technicolour

    “And I get a sympathetic response to the proposition that immigration is excessive from most indigenous people I talk to, from academics to farm workers.”

    Yeah, with absence of facts and experience, I guess a simple ‘proposition’ that you can blame one vulnerable section of society will find some takers. Nice to see you’re still spreading the word, Komodo. Are you linking them to that lying Daily Mail headline too?

    Passerby: ‘tag team” – believe that if you want.

    Off to read Craig’s new blog post.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    This thread has been so very long simply becasue Craig was working, busy. It hs nothing to do with Komodo’s (typical Greasy Rocker) assertion that they have facilitated discourse on a taboo subject. It has never been a taboo subjetc, quite the opposite. We have had similar discussions on this blog countless times before.
    .
    Okay, now let’s off, to Assange and another impending act of war by the UK.

  • Komodo

    I’d venture to suggest that the MSM linking crew, most unusually, could not get a word in edgeways, Suhayl. Didn’t see too many spambots marking hiatuses, either. But there you go. Love the fluorescent socks….don’t get oil on the parka.

  • nuid

    Ooh! Not only a dragon (and poisonous) but a big tough biker-boy, presumably in black leather and long hair.
    LOL
    .
    Btw, keep an eye on the tag-team (if that’s what you call it) of Passerby + Fedup.
    .
    Thank God Craig has blogged.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Thank God Craig has blogged.” Nuid.
    .
    Possibly a line from a redacted, apochryphal section of Genesis. Or else, a euphemistic utterance from a parents’ manual on ‘Gastroenterological Problems in Infants: Section 3: How to Keep Baby Regular’. Or finally, something which Henry Higgins never said (but might have).

  • Fedup

    Nuid,
    You keep taking swipes at me, and so far I have let you go, because I am very particular in choosing whom I communicate with. However your obsessive compulsive behaviour in having a go at me is getting a bit more than wearing; hence I am warning you to cease and desist from having a go at me, or anyone else, whom you seem to do so quite often. That is without so much as any let or hindrance from any quarters.
    ,
    I am certain in reply you will come back with one of your crazy outbursts peppering the thread with your justifications in rationalising your compulsive obsession with the “commenter” never mind their lines of thought, that ends with the unmentionables; apostate, steelback, freeborn et al. and so on, finally ending with the threats to leave the board and never to come back!
    ,
    This will be then followed by the usual ticking off for me or any other victims of yours, form the MOD, who will probably delete my comment, because it is classed as ad hominem, and leave yours because you evidently enjoy some kind of a higher ranking that keeps you immune from getting told off, even though you keep on picking on Mary, Komodo, Me, Passerby, etc.
    ,
    Then your buddies will join in imploring you to stay and write some more, the quality of which I shall not get into.
    ,
    Nice theatre if you are in the tag team but not so nice for the lone victims of the tag team: all of whom without a fail happen to be ardent antizionists.

  • Jon

    Alright you lot, pack it in ;). @Fedup, please try to rise above minor sideswipes, and if you must respond in kind, please keep it brief. Do longer posts on actual topics!
    .
    Off to next thread, where all the fun is. @Anon: I must get us one of those clever multi-page comment things, so we don’t have to load all 1,500+ comments every time we load this page…

  • glenn

    Komodo… you want to get a bit more modern! If you want distance, try one of these:
    .
    http://ridermagz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2012-Yamaha-FJR1300d.jpg
    .
    .
    For nimbleness, speed and sheer fun of riding a truly brilliant machine, you want one of these:
    .
    http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/suzuki/2011-suzuki-gsxr600-and-gsxr750-revealed-90013.html
    .
    My main problem is twofold… deciding which one to ride, and the fact that the misses always wants to come along too, unless I sneak out quietly enough :#

  • nuid

    OMG, Fedup has gone over the edge … And no, I never said I was “leaving and never coming back”. That’s just wishful thinking on your part.
    .
    Ok, Jon, I’ll move on. By the way, there was a period on Twitter yesterday when anyone clicking the hashtag #assange got nothing only a fast-moving column of references to Craig’s blog, so I doubt very much if there was a DDoS attack.
    And I’ve blocked gravatar.com and this page (and others) load a lot quicker … but I’ve also disabled Ghostery, and that’s helped too.

  • Passerby

    Never mind that pile of metal get a load of this!
    ,
    Few years ago went to get one, but as ever started with; “you need these licenses, then there is the certificates, and so on” and the hassle resulted in telling them stuff it. That is the trouble old dragon, too many rules for us at the bottom and not enough for them at the top, has resulted in an economy that half of us are filling the application forms the other half have desktop published to sit exams, and then sit some more exams that some twat has thought out to pretend there are still jobs to be found. At least get your tears rolling for a good cause.

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