The nightmare of the London Olympics

The Olympics have turned into an absolute nightmare for the people of London. I can’t say I’m sorry. When Britain made a bid to host the Olympics some years ago, it was all about showcasing before the world the left’s “cool,” “diverse” Britain—in other words, it was about celebrating the fact that historic Britain had been destroyed and replaced by a leftist multicultural state. And this leftist multicultural state is staggeringly incompetent. It can’t do anything right. There was an amazing story last week that a bus taking athletes from Heathrow Airport to the Olympics village got lost in central London for four hours. The story did not explain how that was possible. But it’s symbolic of the mess that Britain has become.

I’m reminded again of how, in the 1970s, the people of Colorado, where I then lived, rejected having the Olympics in that state, even though Colorado had already been approved by the International Olympics Committee. Coloradans understood that the Olympics might be good for various outside entities, but not good—indeed, very bad—for the location where it actually took place. And that reality has been shown in spades in London.

Furthermore, isn’t that what liberalism is all about? Making other people, the “world,” global opinion, more important than “us,” the people who live here?

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Paul K. writes:

You wrote: “There was an amazing story last week that a bus taking athletes from Heathrow Airport to the Olympics village got lost in central London for four hours. The story did not explain how that was possible.”

The bus driver that took four hours to make the one-hour trip explained that it was his first day on the job. Apparently it had occurred to no one to have a few test runs to familiarize the drivers. I wonder if the drivers were hired from among recent immigrants—the way things are done in Britain these days, that seems likely. There is more detail provided about another driver, who took three hours:

A bus carrying 30 Australian officials and medical staff also reportedly lost its way, with the party taken past Buckingham Palace and the back streets of West Ham on an over-lengthy trip to Stratford.

The driver, who told the party it was his first day behind the wheel, took three hours to travel from Heathrow airport to the Olympic village.

Their journey reportedly took three hours despite it supposedly being one that was fast-tracked by the implementation of the Olympic lane on the M4 and should have taken an hour.

Australian Olympic Committee media liaison officer Damian Kelly, who was also with the group of around 30 athletes, medical staff and team officials that had arrived in London on flights from Melbourne and Sydney, described the bewildering journey that extended an already long trip.

“The driver just said ‘I’m sorry, I’m lost, it’s my first day on the job and I’m lost,” Kelly told Australian media.

“We were moving, we were in the Olympic lane and we were going places, we just weren’t going where we were supposed to go.

“He just said it was his first day in that bus and they hadn’t told them how the GPSs worked and that he didn’t know how to use it and apparently the Olympic Village hadn’t been loaded into the GPS.

The British seem to take a perverse pride in their incompetence these days.

LA replies:

Their one-time graceful and humorous self-effacement has turned into malignant self-hatred. They pride themselves on how much they despise themselves—and on how devotedly they are destroying themselves.

In connection with which, see the article on “The Guiltolympics.”

An Indian living in the West writes:

I remember the day London’s successful bid was announced: 7 July 2005. The Parisians were in “despair” of course. It was a contest between British and French forms of vain cosmopolitanism. I don’t know which of the two countries would have been more incompetent at it. The French would have probably gone on strike right before the start of the games.

The best organised Olympics till date, by common consent, were in Beijing in 2008. Everything ran like clockwork without a single hitch. Even the Germans and the Swiss competing in the games were totally amazed. They should not have been.

ILW continues:

I should add that the reason for British incompetence is not entirely down to mutliculturalism, although it is a factor.

Much of the incompetence is down to the decay of Britain’s own indigenous working class population. Here I would cite Theodore Dalrymple for a start. Why is it that with unemployment running in double digits, you can only get competent plumbers in London that are Polish? It is not as if there is a shortage of unemployed indigenous British people. The reason is that the work ethic of Britain’s working class was totally destroyed over decades of failed welfare state policies. It was simply assumed that the British working class would respond to welfare benefits in the same way that the Scandinavians do. They didn’t of course. Charles Murray predicted all this long before it happened. Britain’s “Coming Apart” situation is actually twice as bad as America’s (if not worse).

If you do not believe me, you can watch these two episodes of British history: Part 3 and Part 4. I concede that this is a documentary by a liberal BBC journalist of the New Labour variety. But the facts that he states in the documentary are not open to dispute. The episode runs from the 1960s through to the end of the 1970s. During that period, Britain’s industrial base essentially disappeared. The British were struggling to compete everywhere with almost every country in Europe, not to mention the Japanese. Britain became known for badly made, shoddy goods that no one wanted to buy. Things got so bad that Britain needed a special loan from the IMF in 1976 to avoid outright bankruptcy.

It is an astonishing thing to think that the same people had been running the greatest empire the world had ever seen just thirty years before. How did this happen? How did the British become so incompetent?

I hope I am not painting a picture with too broad a brush. The British still do some things well. After all, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is still fitted with Rolls Royce engines. But these are the exceptions to the rule. Shoddy quality became a hallmark of British manufacturing a long time ago. I don’t think that image has changed much over the years. All that has happened is that the British in more recent years were able to convince the world that they were excellent bankers. We now know even that isn’t really true!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 23, 2012 12:02 PM | Send

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