The Olympics

The Olympics

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News, information and stories about the 2016 Brazilian Olympic Games and the Olympics in general.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Olympics Turns London Into Armed Encampment

Up to six surface to air missile batteries may be deployed in London, to defend the capital from airborne attack during the Olympics.

Two housing complexes, Bow Quarter in Tower Hamlets and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, have both been identified as potential sites.

Blackheath Common and Oxleas Wood, both in south east London, plus William Girling Reservoir in the Lea Valley Reservoir Chain in Enfield and Barn Hill at Netherhouse Farm in Epping Forest are also being considered as sites.

Meanwhile, this week, there will be a military exercise in London with thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen joining police to test security preparations ahead of the games.

Is hosting the Olympics really worth all of this?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

The Heathrow Cover Up - A National Disgrace

As loyal readers and hapless Heathrow passengers know, Heathrow's ability to process passenger arrivals in a speedy and efficient manner has collapsed.

This of course could not come at a worse time for the government, as with the Olympics (and Diamond Jubilee) just around the corner the country will be at the centre of the world's media eye just when large numbers of tourist/visitors are expected to pass through Heathrow.

Faced with this collapse of efficient arrivals' processing at Heathrow it seems that, according to the Telegraph, the powers that be within the failing UK Border Agency (UKBA) are trying to cover up their failure.

On Saturday BAA, the owner of Heathrow, tried to issue a leaflet apologising to passengers for the “very long delays” and saying people entering the country “deserved a warmer welcome”.

The leaflet suggested that passengers should complain to the Home Office.

Unfortunately for BAA, Marc Owen the director of UKBA operations at Heathrow, told BAA the leaflet was “inappropriate”.
He made threats to BAA:
The leaflet is not all right with us. It is both inflammatory and likely to increase tensions in arrivals halls especially in the current atmosphere. 

It is inappropriate in that it is not for you to display how to complain on our behalf. 

Please refrain from handing out [the leaflets] or I will escalate [the matter] with ministers who are likely to take a very dim view. I know there are copies in the hall and your troops are ready with them.”
For good measure he also told BAA to stop passengers taking pictures of the queues in the arrivals hall.

The Daily Telegraph also has in its possession emails from within UKBA detailing the extent of the chaos.

It is quite clear that the current procedures being used at Heathrow to process arrivals are failing, and most certainly will not cope with the forthcoming Olympics.

This is a national disgrace!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Heathrow Clusterfuck

Earlier this month I wrote the following:
"Heathrow believes that its temporary Terminal 6 will be able to cope with the departing Olympics VIPs after the Games.

All very well, if you are a departing VIP. However, what of those coming to the UK before and during the Games?


It seems no one running Heathrow has thought of that. Step forward Culture Select Committee chairman, John Whittingdale, who has pointed out the elephant in the room and said that not enough thought seemed to have been given to ways of coping with long queues at immigration.


Seemingly, the much maligned and inept
UK Border Agency (UKBA) is whining that it has insufficient money to open all of its passport stations.

Mr Whittingdale is quoted by the
BBC as saying that MPs:
"did not leave the briefing confident that Heathrow was ready to cope with the arrival of a huge number of competitors, Olympic family and visiting tourists in timely fashion.

We understand that significant preparations have been made to accommodate unusual sporting equipment, special lanes for the Olympic family, welcoming arrangements for competitors and additional Olympic ambassadors.

However, far less thought seems to have been given to the issue of how to deal with long queues at immigration.

The UKBA (UK Border Agency) representative suggested that there was insufficient funding to ensure all passport stations would be open.

While visiting tourists will understand that the Olympics is a busy time, if the wait (at immigration) is in excess of an hour it may deter tourists from returning. The second impact may be that planes cannot unload their passengers into the terminal due to capacity being exceeded. This would lead to circling in the air, planes being left on runways or planes blocking gates."
In other words, Heathrow will be more of a shambles than ever during the peak travel season."
It seems, as news reports of 3 hour delays at Heathrow immigration show, that the shambles is already upon us.

Figures obtained by the Daily Telegraph, covering the first two weeks of April, have revealed the extent of the chaos faced by people flying into Heathrow.

Immigration Minister Damian Green was told he will have account for the chaos when he appears before the Home Affairs Select Committee and explain the chronic queues that are doing "huge damage" to Britain's reputation.

There are fears that the problems are tarnishing the UK's image, particularly with the London Olympics only three months away.

Heathrow is a clusterfuck, by anyone's standards!


Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Olympics "Budget" Beyond Belief!

The arguments over the Olympics "Budget" continue, with the Public Accounts Committee laying to Jonathan Stephens the most senior civil servant in soon to be "resigned" Jeremy Hunt's Department for Culture Media and Sport.

The Telegraph reports that the cost of providing security for the games has rocketed skywards, eg elements of the main contract with private security provider G4S (the company that illegally bans photos being taken on public land) have increased by up to seven times.

Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales said it was “beyond belief” that the Government would have agreed to such a huge increase in the security budget (£86M to £284M) if it had not been forced to do the deal in a hurry having underestimated the original requirement. 

PAC took Stephens to task for this, along with his response to a recent PAC report which described the Olympic budget as “finely balanced”.

Margaret Hodge (Chairman of PAC) quite rightly said that PAC had the right to tell the public the real cost of the Olympics.
For good measure Hodge, again quite rightly,  said it was “dishonest” not to acknowledge that some costs outside the Games budget, such as transport improvements, could be interpreted as Olympic spending.

Stephens claims that he remained “very confident” that the Games would be delivered within the £9.3BN budget.

Which is all very well except that, as has already been pointed out, the "budget" is £12BN!

The whole Olympics "Budget" is in fact beyond belief!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jeremy Hunt Soon Out of Office

Jeremy Hunt, the  UK Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, is under heavy pressure to explain the extent of his links with News Corporation while the company was lobbying to get approval for its buyout of BSky.

Bookmakers have now suspended any further bets on him to be next Cabinet minister to leave office.


"BREAKING: We have suspended betting on politician Jeremy Hunt leaving cabinet. Something big is about to go down...??!!"


Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Newham's Social Cleansing

Wherever the Olympics is held, those deemed "undesirable" and a potential threat to the "brand image" of the host city are always moved on.

Step forward Newham Council in East London, where this year's summer Olympic Games will be held, which has decided to cleanse itself of its less "desirable" inhabitants by trying to move 500 families to Stock -on-Trent.

A spokesman for Newham told The Telegraph that the new housing benefit cap of £400 a week had made it difficult to find private homes for low-income families.
"Newham – along with other London councils – is under significant pressure.

We are doing everything we can to ensure we have good quality, affordable housing which is fairly distributed. 
 Alongside a number of other London councils, we are also exploring the option of working with housing associations outside the borough to house people with an immediate need in the private sector, when there is no other alternative."
The solution for Newham is simple. All they have to do is ask one of their councillors, Ayesha Chowdhury, to help out. She has financial interest in a string of properties in Newham.


Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, April 23, 2012

G4S Ban Photographs

It seems that some journalists had a wee bit of a run in with G4S, the private security company protecting the Olympics park, the other day when G4S tried to stop photos being taken by the journalists on public land.

The Guardian reports:
"Private guards at the Olympic park have been filmed forcibly attempting to stop the media taking pictures and footage of the complex in east London, raising new concerns about potentially aggressive and over-intrusive security during the Games.

During the incident two guards from G4S, the security giant which is recruiting at least 10,000 staff for the event, attempted to clamp their hands over the lenses of stills and video cameras, even though the footage is being shot on public land.

While there are numerous rules about photography and filming inside the Olympic complex itself, which is private land, there are no restrictions on the use cameras from public areas."
Apparently no one told G4S that photos can be taken from public land.

This "misunderstanding" by G4S over the law does not bode well for the smooth and "harmonious" running of the games.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Farking Waste of Money - The £5K Sandcastle

Congratulations to Locog for coming up with new ways of wasting money on the London 2012 Olympics.

This time they took four days and spent £5K on building a 13ft-high sandcastle on Weymouth beach, to mark the 100 day countdown to the Olympics.

Unfortunately, those of you wishing to go and see the sandcastle will be sorely disappointed. Once the requisite PR pictures were taken, the sandcastle was demolished.

For why?

Locog and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council decreed that it was a health and safety hazard. Therefore, instead of hiring a security company to guard it, they hired a mechanical digger to destroy it.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Coe Unveils Olympics Slogan

With 100 days to go until the London Olympics, Lord Coe has unveiled the Olympics slogan:
"Inspire a Generation"
Hmm, not that inspiring is it?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, April 16, 2012

British Beers Banned

How ironic that at this summer’s London Olympics, a celebration of all that’s great about Britain, British beer is banned.

For why?

Dutch brewer Heineken has a £10M sponsorship agreement million for ‘sole pouring rights’ at all Olympic venues!

British branded beers are persona non grata.


Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Heathrow Olympics Chaos Predicted

As I noted earlier this month, Heathrow believes that its temporary Terminal 6 will be able to cope with the departing Olympics VIPs after the Games.

All very well, if you are a departing VIP. However, what of those coming to the UK before and during the Games?

It seems no one running Heathrow has thought of that. Step forward Culture Select Committee chairman, John Whittingdale, who has pointed out the elephant in the room and said that not enough thought seemed to have been given to ways of coping with long queues at immigration.

Seemingly, the much maligned and inept UK Border Agency (UKBA) is whining that it has insufficient money to open all of its passport stations.

Mr Whittingdale is quoted by the BBC as saying that MPs:
"did not leave the briefing confident that Heathrow was ready to cope with the arrival of a huge number of competitors, Olympic family and visiting tourists in timely fashion.

We understand that significant preparations have been made to accommodate unusual sporting equipment, special lanes for the Olympic family, welcoming arrangements for competitors and additional Olympic ambassadors. 

However, far less thought seems to have been given to the issue of how to deal with long queues at immigration.

The UKBA (UK Border Agency) representative suggested that there was insufficient funding to ensure all passport stations would be open.

While visiting tourists will understand that the Olympics is a busy time, if the wait (at immigration) is in excess of an hour it may deter tourists from returning.

The second impact may be that planes cannot unload their passengers into the terminal due to capacity being exceeded. This would lead to circling in the air, planes being left on runways or planes blocking gates."
In other words, Heathrow will be more of a shambles than ever during the peak travel season.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Septic Bladder Ducks Olympics Draw

Septic Bladder, President of FIFA, is ducking out of attending that London 2012 Olympics football tournament draw at Wembley on April 24.

For why?

Seemingly he has a diary clash, and his absence is absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he wants to avoid the British media!.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sex Pistols Say No

The Sex Pistols have declined an invitation to perform at the closing ceremony on 12 August of the 2012 Olympics, where part of the show will be entitled A Symphony of British Music.

It is speculated that the refusal may be to do with the fact that performers are paid a nominal £1 fee for appearing.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Heathrow's Temporary Terminal Six

Heathrow has unveiled its temporary terminal (Terminal Six) designed to cater solely for athletes and officials involved with London 2012.

Terminal Six will be used for the three days after the closing ceremony on 12 August, when over 10,000 athletes and 37,000 bags will be diverted away from the other terminals during the period.

The terminal is approximately the size of three Olympic swimming pools. No flights will leave from the terminal, therefore athletes will be bussed to departure lounges.

What can possibly go wrong?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

The Olympics Is All Shuttlecocks!

Apparently 1,100 shuttlecocks will be sued during this summer's London Olympics!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BA's Olympics Dove Aircraft Revealed



I see that the Union Jack logo on the tail fin has lost its red, white and blue.

Are we ashamed of our national flag?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Honking Banned



Despite the very obvious problems that this summer's Olympics will bring to London, eg transport chaos, Transport for London (TfL) has chosen to focus on a somewhat lesser issue namely that of honking truckers.

TfL has issued a code of conduct for delivery drivers, who will be working nights to deliver supplies during the 2012 London Olympics.

The code asks that the drivers refrain from whistling or honking their horns, so that those who are asleep are not disturbed.

The guidelines will apply when the Olympic Route Network is enforced. The network will result in loading bays being closed, which means that deliveries will have to take place at night.
Lets' see how this works in practice then!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Great Escape

Travelex estimates that approximately four million Britons will leave the UK in the five days leading up to the Olympic Games in July.

Many want to escape the visiting crowds and blanket television coverage, as well many just hating sport per se.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.olympicswarehouse.com

www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"