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Unread 23 Feb 2007, 23:27   #1
milo
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Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Obviously by could hit they mean will slam £9 billion and go all the way through. The thing that surprised me is the cost of Beijing is alluded to be around £20billion by lord coe. So the Chinese spent £20billionish without exposing themselves to real market conditions let alone the cost of doing anything in london. Considering the fact Wembley still hasn't been completed and has become the most expensive statium ever, does anyone actually expect the damn thing to be built on time let alone on budget?

Does anyone even care about the olympics? Its basically a collection of sports that noone cares about at any other time.
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Unread 23 Feb 2007, 23:36   #2
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

For reference, social security spending in the UK is about 110 billion/year. So the money would probably just have been wasted on poor people anyway - at least threres a vague possibility of me getting some tangible benefit from the olympics even though I dont care about it very much.

If you want to complain about government waste, it makes more sense to talk about the major sources of spending rather than quibbling over a few billion here and there.
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Unread 23 Feb 2007, 23:37   #3
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

this is true. About 50-70 different variations on swimming - why cant they just have one ****ing pool of one distance and everyones allowed to swim whatever way they want?

I mean seriously, **** off. A gold medal for the crawl, a gold medal for the breaststroke? Go **** yourself. One method has to be better than the others; by definition. Or just do what you feel. How about a gold medal for who can swim 100m quickest while holding their cock in their hand? thats a difficult skill and a craaazee new twist on the same old shit.


In conclusion; more and more reasons to be glad to not live in that hole london
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Unread 23 Feb 2007, 23:42   #4
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

quality has it's price.

and to quote my former architecture teacher:

"the cheapest way to build, is to not build at all"
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Unread 23 Feb 2007, 23:43   #5
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

The idea of someone training their whole life to be the best in the world at swimming 137 meters using a breaststroke (but not being very good at going 150 meters with a crawl) is tragically comical, especially when you compare it to the original Greek games where athletes were expected to be well-rounded rather than absurdly overspecialised to an extent which would make modern academics blush.
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Unread 23 Feb 2007, 23:53   #6
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

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Originally Posted by Nodrog
For reference, social security spending in the UK is about 110 billion/year. So the money would probably just have been wasted on poor people anyway - at least threres a vague possibility of me getting some tangible benefit from the olympics even though I dont care about it very much.

Lies it wouldn't have been raised without the olympics; besides im not sure what your argument is, theres a tangible benefit to all spending. Even if you just stick it all in a bonfire you'd be able to dance around it or something.

Since i hate most buildings that have been built over the last few years i can't think of an architectural value that is likely to come from multi billion pound spending, plus im never going to need a baseball diamond or handball court or whatever else bizzare sports there are.

Incidently IIRC olympic shooters were driven out of the UK by the gun laws, how are they planning on getting over them? or was there an exemption? Having a competition to find the best sharp shooter in a country that hates guns is rather funny.

edit i also have a prejudice against non empirically objective 'sports', so arbitrarily deciding why one prepubescent girl waving a ribbon is better than another should be ditched.

edit edit i mean prejudicial in the sense of them not being sports, interpretative dance/arts are fine, but you don't see medals being handed out based on the decisions of critics in newspapers.
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Unread 23 Feb 2007, 23:58   #7
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
The idea of someone training their whole life to be the best in the world at swimming 137 meters using a breaststroke (but not being very good at going 150 meters with a crawl) is tragically comical, especially when you compare it to the original Greek games where athletes were expected to be well-rounded rather than absurdly overspecialised to an extent which would make modern academics blush.
that's Capitalisms division of lavour for you.
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Unread 24 Feb 2007, 11:58   #8
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

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Originally Posted by Nodrog
For reference, social security spending in the UK is about 110 billion/year. So the money would probably just have been wasted on poor people anyway
Milo's made this point but this is idiotic since a good proportion of this money will come from either additional taxation levied on London householders or through special lottery proceeds (which being a near monopoly is a form of government subsidy).

Besides, a good proportion of your £110bn figure is payment to pensioners. You might argue that these people should have their own private provision (and indeed some will do) but it seems perverse to tax people through their lifetimes into some form of national insurance and then effectively condemn their scrounging when they come to withdraw from it. There are numerous other arguments in defence of social spending even within the framework of a heavily capitalist society but I will not waste time repeating them here.

On the Olympics generally, they could be a useful regeneration tool - the additional focus on an area means that capital heavy projects (like new transport links) are likely to finally get done and cost/benefit calculations change for redeveloping brownfield sites and the like. The problem is here, with London, is that it's largely unnecessary. It would have been useful twenty years ago and would probably be useful elsewhere in Britain, but London's construction market is already strong and house price inflation continues unabated. From speaking to people in the building trade recently I've been told that most of the Eastern European workers (from Poland etc) who have been manning a lot of building sites in the south-east the last couple of years are increasingly demanding higher rates of pay in line with "native" workers. So costs are starting to creep back up and wage inflation (depressed due to extra supply) is increasing. Maybe this will be a temporary thing but I'm not sure.

Either way. it'll be hugely costly but from a media / event point of view should be reasonably well run (unless there's some kind of "incident" like a bomb or something). The only possible benefit we (that is, London) could get is a couple of extra tube stops, an improved rail network in East London and some badly needed family sized houses (eventually). All of this could be provided at about a fifth of the price we will have to pay for it, but that's government project management for you.

Mainly it'll be a large subsidy paid primarily to people who are already top rate income-tax payers (that is the army of consultants, contract managers, construction firm owners, property speculators, media-types, senior civil servants, partnering strategists, etc who will be "needed" for such a project). Anyone who has analysed the practical execution of government spending on projects like this will of course find this entirely unsurprising.
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Unread 24 Feb 2007, 13:12   #9
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Regenerating the east-end, improving the london transport system, constructing more sports facilities and promoting sports in the UK are laudable projects. I'd also estimate that the increased wealth that the olympics will bring to the east-end may help the woeful situation there; although that's only wishful thinking to be honest (they could sell their homes for £££s and move somewhere else where there's less racial tension I suppose).
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Unread 24 Feb 2007, 15:43   #10
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

This was so bloody predictable. I didn't support the Olympics because it was a waste of whatever amount of government money goes into it even if it isn't that large an amount in relative terms, but what really pisses me off is how inaccurate the cost predictions for these big projects always are. Surely they knew roughly what needed to be built, so how can they have predicted £3bn when the final cost will probably now run to at least £10bn?

I could understand a prediction costing 120% or 130% of the expected amount, but more than 300%? And it isn't a one off - it happened with Holyrood (1100%, no less) and Wembley too, and no doubt others. Surely it must be someone out there's job to make these cost analyses? Someone with access to all sorts of expertise and information about how much projects tend to cost and how often early guesses horribly underestimate the actual cost? And are these people getting sacked for this rank incompetence? For having a project gain our government's approval on the understanding that it will cost a third of what it actually will? I wouldn't even mind the £9bn cost that much if it bore any relation to what was predicted, it's just the ridiculous discrepancy between predicted and actual cost that pisses me off.
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Unread 24 Feb 2007, 15:50   #11
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

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Originally Posted by Nondescript Human
Surely it must be someone out there's job to make these cost analyses?
Of course. And there'll certainly have been more than one internal memo (or conversation) where a "worst case" (or risk analysis based) figure of ten billion plus would have been floated. But who the hell is going to want to be the one telling the press (during the bidding process, when you're trying to get all enthusiastic) it's going to be that much?

Also, there's often a reasonably good reason for costs inflating massively. Like Koen says, to build something well costs money. The intial quotes were probably with a minimal level of transportation investment (say). But then once you're building stuff, someone quite rightly says "Well, while we've got thousands of people here doing things, and planning permission, political momentum, etc we may as well do this other quite worthwhile thing too, right?".

To use a humdrum analogy from my own work: You're going to paint the fascia of a block of flats. So you need scaffolding. But then, once you've got scaffolding up, you may as well replace the fascia completely in uPVC to reduce future maintenance costs. And once you're doing that, why not do the gutters too if they're reaching the end of their lifecyclce? Oh, and then you discover some roof works once you're up there....and so a repainting job ends up costing 10x the initial quote, despite the fact each addition is economically rational.
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Unread 24 Feb 2007, 16:23   #12
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

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Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
Of course. And there'll certainly have been more than one internal memo (or conversation) where a "worst case" (or risk analysis based) figure of ten billion plus would have been floated. But who the hell is going to want to be the one telling the press (during the bidding process, when you're trying to get all enthusiastic) it's going to be that much?
I'm assuming you're not defending that behaviour, though?
Quote:
Also, there's often a reasonably good reason for costs inflating massively. Like Koen says, to build something well costs money.
Yeah, I don't have a problem with it costing a lot of money to build something well, I just have a problem with being told that it doesn't when it clearly does.
Quote:
The intial quotes were probably with a minimal level of transportation investment (say). But then once you're building stuff, someone quite rightly says "Well, while we've got thousands of people here doing things, and planning permission, political momentum, etc we may as well do this other quite worthwhile thing too, right?".
Shouldn't all this have been done during the planning stage and included in the initial estimate, though? I've never worked on anything like this so I don't know how it all works, but I'm sure some of this stuff could have been better co-ordinated.

I don't live in London so I'm not sure about this, but it's only 2007 so I'm assuming they can't be very far into actually building it yet. To use your analogy, they might not even be at the stage where they've discovered the broken roof yet. I just found this story from only 3 months ago covering an announcement that the cost had risen to £3.3bn, so I very much doubt that they're dumping all the conceivably possible bad news in this one £9bn announcement; who's to say we won't have several more of these in the years running up to (and possibly after) 2012?

I understand that costs can spiral quite easily from delays and such like, with interest on loans and payment of contractors or whatever, but in this case I wouldn't have thought delays are even an issue, since there's a set time limit.
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Unread 24 Feb 2007, 17:13   #13
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

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Originally Posted by Nondescript Human
I'm assuming you're not defending that behaviour, though?
Oh no. It's disgusting, but I don't think governments should be involved in this particular kind of activity at all (even within the framework of a capitalist/social-democracy/whatever we're calling it).

Even ignoring the ideological and economic issues I have never met a single person who cared about the Olympics (as an event) so even as a pointless vanity project this all seems rather strange. If we ever hosted the (football) World Cup then I could see more political mileage in it.
Quote:
Shouldn't all this have been done during the planning stage and included in the initial estimate, though? I've never worked on anything like this so I don't know how it all works, but I'm sure some of this stuff could have been better co-ordinated.
Yeah, definitely. This is all completely shameful, I'm just trying to offer some explanations as to why it might have happened. As I say, most of these things would have been predicted by someone, they just wouldn't want to have put it in the bid tender process in case it made it look bad (this is a more general social problem I think).
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Unread 24 Feb 2007, 23:31   #14
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Personally I think your letting the fact that in general you are not very good at said Olympics be a reason not to support it.

For Australia at least where we do very well at several events the Olympics is practically iconic for our nation.

It can be a good boost to tourism and economy in general so whatever you may spend in building the structures you are sure to get back again providing you don't screw it all up.
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 00:06   #15
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

name one interesting sport at the olympics
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 02:08   #16
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

For summer games: I find Volleyball, Handball, Basketball (sort of), Decathlon, and Badminton pretty interesting. Haven't watched olympic football, but judging from various U21/U23 matches I saw, it maybe isn't that great (compared to other international events). I'll also watch some track & field or swimming competitions here and there.
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 03:19   #17
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Of the 5 you mention; how much TV coverage do they actually get? **** all until a brief segment on the finals - unless a british person is doing well (robertson/emms spring to mind in the badminton). Decathlon you get a bit of, but volleyball, handball etc.. barely anything. Its just track field pool and horse wankery
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 04:14   #18
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

actually I don't think I've ever watched a single minute of non-equestrian Olympic coverage that I havent enjoyed (including diving, floor gymnastics, sailing and so on).
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 05:43   #19
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phang
actually I don't think I've ever watched a single minute of non-equestrian Olympic coverage that I havent enjoyed (including diving, floor gymnastics, sailing and so on).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
Of the 5 you mention; how much TV coverage do they actually get? **** all

Thank goodness that we have managed to retain rational objective view points and not get bogged down in subjective mediocratity
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 12:04   #20
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
how much TV coverage do they actually get?
I have no idea how the BBC do it, but in Germany you have one of the two government-funded stations sending olympic programming the whole day (with decent to good ratings, I believe). I think sports stations like Eurosport also show some stuff.
If the olympic games are not as popular in Britain, maybe hosting them will make some people appreciate it a bit more.
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 12:23   #21
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

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name one interesting sport at the olympics
HOCKEY


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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 13:32   #22
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

We're living a world of digital television and on-line viewing. there is going to be so much olympics that I'm going to want to move to Iraq.

It's going to be about 1000 less painful than suffering 2012.
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 16:02   #23
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phang
actually I don't think I've ever watched a single minute of non-equestrian Olympic coverage that I havent enjoyed (including diving, floor gymnastics, sailing and so on).
snore.

If you actually enjoy watching the 200 variations of people swimming theres not a lot of hope for you as a discerning sports watcher
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 16:10   #24
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

I enjoy watching like half of the swimming ones. Like the freestyle, butterfly, relay etc.
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Unread 25 Feb 2007, 16:14   #25
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Re: Olympic Costs could hit £9billion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deffeh
snore.

If you actually enjoy watching the 200 variations of people swimming theres not a lot of hope for you as a discerning sports watcher
i don't enjoy them on their merits as "oh wow it's butterfly! they're flailing wildly!", rather "oh hey, swimming"
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