Tuesday 30 December 2003

Pay for your own games

It's not often that I agree with SNP politicians, but Peter Wishart MP is absolutely correct on the question of London's Olympic bid:
Mr Wishart said: "I have no problem with London hosting the Olympic Games in 2012, indeed I would support it. But I am strongly opposed to the UK taxpayer underwriting the entire cost, regardless of what that cost may finally be - and particularly when there is a danger of the London bid soaking up Lottery funding from Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. If London wants the Olympics, London should take financial responsibility"

"We already have the example of the Millennium Dome - where Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the regions of England were expected to pay the price."

Mr Wishart also reminds us of something to which I have seen no reference in the London media, namely that the decision to construct the new Edinburgh Parliament building was taken at Westminster by the UK Government.
"However, when the old Scottish Office (i.e. the pre-devolution entity) decided on the Holyrood project, Scotland is expected to pick up the tab, despite the fact the decisions were taken under the authority of the Cabinet in London."
Scottish voters had always assumed that our new Parliament would meet in the already available Royal High School building on Calton Hill.

So yes, if London is mad enough to want to host the Olympic Games it should fund them itself.