Carole James pulled the rug out from under David Black’s bid to bring the Commonwealth Games back to Victoria. Black et al labelled the action a disappointment and a serious missed opportunity. Black, whose press organs dish out regular doses of corporate pap and local feel-good stories hidden among all the advertising, had, at one point, spoken of games that would be at no cost to the taxpayer, if I remember correctly, but in this instance the bill was to start at a cool $400 million with a guarantee of coverage for any cost overruns.
The original announcement that a group was seeking to host the Games had me jumping up and down out of my seat and shouting “no!” repeatedly at the screen as i relived the whole business of the Olympics, the referendum, the promise by Larry Campbell not to do it and the subsequent reversal and when do we actually get to see the books from 2010? Anything that hides under a rock the way that Gordon Campbell buried the process and all the financials so that no one could ever hold him to account.
Notwithstanding the secrecy surrounding our own IOC fest, it seems clear with a quick scan of installations in Brazil from last year and from the turmoil from within the IOC itself, that Games, on the whole, are a terribly expensive distraction from important business, and one might be lead to suspect that the IOC is not the only body using sport and high ideals to hide an agenda of land speculation and corrupt contracts, though that would be pure conjecture on my part.
Thusly do I raise a glass in celebration of the voice of reason that said, in this case, “No, thank you.”