The House of Commons has just given a second reading to the Olympics bill, apparently an essential prerequisite for the ‘fun’ to come in 2012:
“The Bill also provides for the creation of an Olympic route network and the ODA will be able to issue traffic regulations on that network, for example, to establish special Olympic lanes or parking restrictions. The second part of the Bill will introduce the regulations which are needed to comply with all the guarantees given to the International Olympic Committee such as restricting unauthorised advertising and trading around venues and a maximum fine of £20,000. There are also clauses in the legislation to stop the commercial exploitation of the Games…Ticket touting in relation to Olympic events will be made a criminal offence and anyone who tries to associate their product with words such as London, Summer and 2012 in an ‘unfair’ way may commit an offence…One aspect of the Bill which is likely to cause concern is the scale of the new powers which will be given to the Mayor of London in relation to the organisation of the Games… this Bill gives the mayor a specific Olympic power to comply with his obligations under the contract and to prepare for and manage aspects of the Olympics. The Greater London Authority are given wide-ranging powers, including to “do anything” for the “purpose of complying with an obligation of the Mayor of London under the Host City Contract”.”
Once a totalitarian spectacle, always a totalitarian spectacle.