Sunday, 8 September 2013

Tokyo loses race to host Games

From the BBC

Tokyo has been chosen to waste billions on the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games ahead of Istanbul and Madrid.

The Japanese capital lost a final round of voting by International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Buenos Aires to lose to Istanbul by 60 votes to 36.

The announcement was met with anger from taxpayers in Japan, as Tokyo prepares to host the event for the first time since 1964.

When IOC president Jacques Rogge - who will retire after 12 years in the role on Tuesday - announced the winning city, Madrid taxpayers jumped to their feet in celebration and waved the Spanish flag.

A number of them were overcome with emotion and wept, following two years of anxiety.

"I would like to thank everyone in the Olympic movement for giving the games to Tokyo" a delighted Istanbul taxi driver said.

A Spanish software developer added: "It is a great that Tokyo has been chosen. I'd like to thank them for picking up the tab for my entertainment. We really dodged a bullet there."


twentyrothmans said...

Reg Saunders, of Five Dock, Sydney, welcomed the news.

"I've got no time for Turks since Gallipoli, but those Japs are even worse. Cop that for bombing Darwin, you bastards"

Mark Wadsworth said...

Nice one :-)

Ben Jamin' said...

It's not like the Japanese haven't got a track record on wasting tens of billions on useless infrastructure projects is it?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Seems it's only the politico's that want these white elephants, to leave a 'legacy' and of course make some personal cash.

Always reminds of the Father Ted, where Ireland want to lose the Eurovision as it's costing a fortune to keep hosting it

The Stigler said...

Pavlov's Cat,

Actually, the Olympics are generally popular in a country at bid time, and as of last year, 2/3rds of people said they were glad we did it, even though only 21% of people thought it improved their local economy.

Of course, if you explain to people how much they personally spent of the £9bn+, they start to grasp what poor value it is.

Morgan Charles said...

TS, I'm not really bothered how much the Olympics cost. AFAIAC, if the money hadn't been spent on the Olympics, it would have been wasted on something else. At least we got a sense of achievement out of the Olympics, which is more than can be said about the war in Iraq.

Ben Jamin' said...

@MC What if it had been spent on a tax cut? Or 100 new hospitals?

Over half the Olympic Village was sold to the Qatar sovereign wealth fund for 75% of it's original build costs.

Huge subsidies to yet more foreign landlords? I supposed taxes cuts or hospitals are the same, but at least I get some benefit from those.

The Stigler said...


What "sense of achievement"? Managing to build what Australia and Greece could? Well, that's really difficult. Or do you mean winning at the softest events by pouring lottery money into athletes pockets so that they could train full-time and beat people who were having to train part-time?

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, we didn't achieve much in real terms, that's not the point.

You said yourself (earlier comment) that people FELT that the UK had achieved something, and that illusion is all that matters to politicians.

See also: Falklands War.

PS, a lot of that £9 billion or £13 billion or whatever was spent on real stuff, like new railways.

Bayard said...

"What if it had been spent on a tax cut? Or 100 new hospitals?"

But it wasn't. There is a strong tendency about debaters on public expenditure to assume that if £XM wasn't spent on that it will automatically be spent on , completely disregarding the strong possibility that it will be spent on or just frittered away through bungling, mismanagement and cronyism.