With the less than pleasant after-taste of the machinations of FIFA still fresh, it was sad to read of the also less than pleasant machinations of the IOC as the draconian conditions imposed on London as host city were made public. Both are self-elected bodies wielding unreasonable and seemingly unaccountable power.
It is bad enough that you can’t wear your favourite T-shirt if it carries any branding, that 700 limos with peak capped chauffeurs must be available to whisk dignitaries around in the style which they assume is their right regardless of commuter agonies and that the French language takes precedence over English.
Even more demeaning is the condition, accepted, that the Union Jack must be smaller than the Olympic flag. This is an overt flexing of corporate power and glorified global branding. It is not a reflection of the astonishing spirit of the Games.
Fortunately the essential spirit seems to survive most things, even the less than glorious phase in the history of the IOC in 1936. Hopefully for London’s sake that spirit will overcome the conditions and cost of 2012!