Today sees the official opening of the Olympics. There’s a few things that bother me about the Olympics, although you’ve probably assumed that some things are going to bother me if you’ve read any of my other posts about anything.I’m seriously concerned that our handling of the Olympics will make us the laughing stock of the world.
I’m proud to be English, but I feel incredibly embarrassed by some of the things that stump us. For example, the foot of snow we had in London during the winter of 2010. This weather was so severe that Central London came to a standstill for one or two days. I had a stupid rental Volkswagen Passat with an automatic gearbox during this period- it was worse than attempting to drive a shopping trolley. Yet I still made it to and from work each day during the extreme weather. Until we were sent home on a couple of days, that is.
Look at the summer riots of last year. The looters were completely out of control and despite our police forces having access to water cannons and rubber bullets, these weren’t used for fear of making matters worse between the police and the “under-privileged” communities. Surely the police aren’t there to be our friends- they’re there to protect us and make criminals fearful. How ridiculous that the police didn’t use rubber bullets or water cannons. If they’re not to be used for riot situations, when are they supposed to be used?
So, of late, England have been a bit drippy about things and perhaps we can save face by excelling at the handling of the Olympics. How fantastic would that be?
But, wait. As everyone knows, there’s some terrorists out there who are kind of pissed off with most of the Western World at the moment and are likely to blow up something in the name of whatever point it is they’re trying to make. I don’t even know what their beef is anyway- maybe I’m naive or maybe I’m ignorant, but I’ve long since forgotten why people are still trying to blow things up. I fail to understand how you’re proving a point by killing innocent people, but maybe I’m just sane?
Because of the terrifying terrorists, it stands to reason that there are security measures in place at the Olympic stadium to prevent any form of explosives from being sneaked in. The security measures for just this are sniffer dogs, who are highly trained to recognise the smell of blowy-up-type things. Dogs’ noses are many times more sensitive than humans’ noses, so this makes perfect sense.
In January of this year, as part of a small test, sniffer dogs failed to detect 20kg of ammonium nitrate that was ‘smuggled’ into the Olympic site. These explosives were later discovered during a manual check but there are claims that a fake device (not containing any explosives) was not detected during any checks on a dummy test prior to this incident.
This scares the hell out of me. Forgive me for being negative, but isn’t the Olympics the ideal target for a terrorist attack? I personally believe that if someone intends to bring an explosive device into any of the Olympic events, they will. There’s nothing we can do to prevent any future terrorist attacks, but I’d feel much happier knowing that we were at least CAPABLE of preventing such a thing.
This brings me onto my next concern; G4S, who are in charge of security at the Olympics, don’t have enough trained staff for the event. In fact, Nick Buckles, the G4S Chief Executive, says he regrets his company ever taking on the contract. How reassuring.
Apparently, many people who applied for security jobs with G4S for the Olympics are still waiting for uniform, details of where they will be based and in some circumstances, even to find out whether they have the job or not!
I don’t know how big contracts like this work, but surely there’s been sufficient time to make all of the necessary arrangements? Would the government be more involved in G4S’s planning for this? I don’t understand how G4S have under-estimated and planned so poorly for the Olympics. I feel better knowing that there are 3,500 troops on standby to help with security at the Olympics and that G4S are going to foot the bill for this. Quite rightly so, but now G4S come across as entirely incompetent.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, we go and offend North Korea by displaying the South Korean flag in a prepared video, shown before a woman’s football game between North Korea and Columbia. In a statement, David Cameron said:
This was an honest mistake, honestly made.
An apology has been made and I’m sure every step has been taken to ensure these things don’t happen again.
We shouldn’t over-inflate this episode – it was unfortunate, it shouldn’t have happened and I think we can leave it at that.
How embarrassing is that? It also seems as good old Dave is trying to just shrug it off as a small mishap. Yes, mistakes do happen but this mistake was pretty huge and pretty offensive- how much more unimportant could we make the North Korean woman’s football team feel? All I’ll say is Google is your friend. I just used Google Images to search for “North Korean flag” and lo and behold, I found it. Very simple.
The Olympics are a great opportunity to show the world that the United Kingdom AREN’T useless and pathetic and that we are capable of organising and protecting such a huge event. Let’s just hope that we don’t let any more explosives into any of the Olympic sites, that there’s enough security staff to offer some form of protection against terrorist bad-guys and troublemakers and that Olympic officials learn to use Google Images.