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OLIVER HOLT: LONDON'S LIGHT SHOW IS A BIG CON.

Byline: OLIVER HOLT

AS I sat in my favourite stretch of traffic jam on the St John's Wood Road outside Lord's last week, I suddenly realised something had changed.

Nothing important, obviously. Nothing that was going to make a difference. But unmistakably, nonetheless, a new row of flagpoles were sprouting out of the pavement.

Brightly coloured banners fluttered from them proclaiming Back the Bid and, as is my habit, I substituted 'Back' for the other four-letter word that automatically pops into my head when I read our imaginative 2012 slogan.

Then the penny dropped. The banners had been erected for the benefit of the members of the IOC evaluation committee here to vet Lord's and its suitability as an Olympic archery venue. And it hit me again as I stewed in my gridlock how appalling the cynicism of that stunt was. Its shallowness sums up much of what is wrong with London's bid.

They put the flags up a couple of days before the committee arrives and no doubt they will take them down a couple of days after they leave. Welcome to the Olympic Sting.

Welcome to a four-day end to London traffic jams for a few limousines courtesy of what bid leader Lord Coe refers to as "the resequencing of traffic lights".

And so the evaluation committee gets to see London as it might be, even as it should be. But definitely not as it is. They are shown a view of London life that is utterly false.

I hope they realise that. I hope they realise they've just flown straight into the Big Con.

CAPTION(S):

So Chelsea are lucky are they, Sir Alex? Two words come to mind as a riposte: 'Pedro' and 'Mendes'.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2005
Words:288
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