Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Politicians' Silence on 2012 Games Speaks Volumes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Politicians' Silence on 2012 Games Speaks Volumes

Article excerpt

Byline: John Inverdale

SO our three main party leaders have taken their places on the podium but it's hard to tell who's got which medal. They've made their speeches about how delighted they are to have won, or devastated they are to have lost.

Have thanked friends and loved ones for their support and have hinted at the challenges ahead. Politico-speak and sport-speak are one and the same.

The last few weeks have been a marathon not a sprint and now it's all over. Till the next time.

By when, it's possible, although given the result not likely, that the 2012 Olympic Games will have come and gone. You remember the Olympics? The biggest event of most of our lifetimes is only 26 months away and yet barely a word, hardly a syllable, has been uttered on the subject by any politicians in the run-up to polling day. One reason for that is probably, and rather unusually, the efficient way the preparations for the Games are progressing.

When the only news stories circulating in the past month have been the announcement of Loughborough University as the holding camp for the GB team (not altogether surprising) and the risk of a rise in the rat population on the Olympic site because of the huge building operations (even less surprising) you know it's pretty quiet.

I went round the park last week and it takes the breath away. Not just the stadiums and arenas but the scale of the parkland that will rejuvenate the entire area. No wonder the politicians haven't been talking about it -- although Gordon Brown, by proxy, could surely have claimed it was Labour who brought the Games to London.

Far easier to complain and criticise and score points off projects and ideas that are failing. But another, somewhat less upbeat reason, is perhaps behind their reluctance to bring the Olympics into the political arena. From blue to red and yellow, are they all just a bit concerned about the true scale of any sporting legacy that will be left behind -- the bedrock of that brilliant bid in Singapore five years ago. …

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