London Olympics: the full horrors revealed

After a two-year tussle under the Freedom of Information Act, our friends at the excellent Games Monitor website have obtained the full, previously secret contracts signed by poor old London when it agreed to host the 2012 Olympics – the so-called “Olympic technical manuals.” I and my colleague Ed Howker have done a big chunk on it in today’s newspaper and as the cover story of this week’s Spectator magazine. There are thousands of pages of excruciatingly demanding, legally-binding but often preposterous requirements, including:

– At least 40,000 hotel rooms to be provided for the International Olympic Committee, dignitaries and other official guests for the duration of the Games (this figure does not include competitors, of course – they’re housed in the Olympic village);

– The Queen must attend a special IOC ceremony and meet all IOC members;

– Union Jack to be flown fifth in order of precedence at stadium;

– French must take precedence over English at Olympic ceremonies;

– “Pageantry and billboards” in French and English to be erected across London;

– Control over “commercial” logos on spectators’ clothes. Unauthorised “hats, visors and T-shirts” to be confiscated;

– Personal chauffeurs for 700 IOC members or officials (recommended);

– Pool chauffeurs for a further 400 IOC officials (recommended);

– Enforce “brand protection” for Olympics and its sponsors by “conducting surveillance.” Police to be diverted from preventing crime to preventing “ambush marketing” by the sponsors’ commercial rivals. Olympic officials to be given power to enter private homes and confiscate unauthorised goods;

– Enforce “behaviour modification” on Londoners’ travel (because many of London’s normal transport resources will be diverted to serve the Games);

– Four colours of photocopying paper “according to the precise instructions of the IOC.”

Still looking forward to 2012? We’ll be putting up the documents in full in the next day or so and I’ll blog again when that happens.

3 thoughts on “London Olympics: the full horrors revealed”

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