22 September, 2010


Guardian totally predictable shock

At the Delhi Commonwealth Games site, living accommodation turns out to be filthy and shoddily built and a pedestrian footbridge and the roof over one venue have collapsed. We await further interesting disasters almost by the minute. Athletes are in danger not only from disintegrating structures but also apparently from disease (such as dengue fever), filth and God knows what else.

I have seen plenty of building projects over the years which looked barely half-finished a couple of weeks before the target completion date, but where the outstanding work was actually quite superficial and the whole thing magically came together seemingly overnight. Basically, you don't install the fancy oak pannelling and the plaster elephants until all the hairy-arse work is complete and the hairy arses themselves are safely off site. If that's what was involved here — a bit of embarrassing dog crap and some broken tiles — we might give some credit to Indian promises that it will all be alright on the night.

But it's not, is it?

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Games should be called off or, failing that, that they should be boycotted. So, does the Grauniad recommend this sensible response? Does it roundly excoriate the incompetent kleptocrats and preening fools who have permitted this situation to arise? No, instead we get an article on CiF which seems to be attempting to set our athletes up to take the blame. If they refuse to get involved with the Deathtrap Games, they will it seems be failing to show solidarity with the poor and oppressed of India. If so many of our track and field athletes weren't Black, I expect the dippy tart who wrote this piece would be accusing them of racism too.

So what's the betting the finest minds of the Guardian are not at this very moment burning the midnight oil trying to think up arguments to blame this whole sorry fuck-up on the Raj?

As one of the commentators on CiF also notes, this dumb bint Gentleman is conflating two issues. Of course the slum dwellers displaced by the construction of stadia and the athletes village are enduring terrible conditions- far worse than those the athletes are likely to encounter. A similar fate befell many Beijing residents, who were moved on just as brutally in the run up to the 2008 Olympics. However the stadia, facilities and organisation provided by the Chinese 2 years ago were truly first rate. This year in contrast, the Indians appear to be serving up their usual brew of bodged workmanship, infrastructural backwardness, and rampant corruption.

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