The results of the preliminary round of the hundred metre suspect device smuggling are in:
The government has ordered an inquiry into security at London's Olympic park after a worker reportedly smuggled a fake bomb onto the site.
The man, who has been employed at the site for several years, allegedly carried an artificial bomb in the cabin of his digger through two checkpoints without being searched by security staff.
Missiles on roofs, aircraft carriers in the Thames, chancers with fake bombs. This is what happens when you turn it into the security Olympics; we’re not expecting victory this summer. We’re expecting fatalities, and not from Notional Terror Muslims either.
The Olympics is a bit of a curse. It probably did more to make people suspicious of China than any other event since Tiananmen. Cases like Chen Guangcheng don’t make much impact here because we’ve been conditioned to think of China as simultaneously a chronic human rights abuser and as a place of opportunity. These parallel lines were supposed to merge through a large vague process of Opening Up, at which point everything would be better. In the meantime, all this human rights stuff shows that they have Much to Learn.
So back in 2008, the Tibetan protests and the attempts to label Beijing as the ‘genocide Olympics’ led less to a conviction that the Games shouldn’t have been held there than to a vague feeling that they would be ramshackle and bit Third-Worldy. They were a pat on the head games.
Obviously Beijing had different ideas about that and conducted the whole horrible gala with an efficiency of the kind historically referred to as Teutonic. Everything went like clockwork, the home country gobbled up a huge number of gold medals and the exorbitant costs were swallowed without a belch. Look, everyone: we can do this. There was a distinct shift at this point from the feeling that China should be encouraged to the suspicion that it should be watched. People were broadly OK with the idea that China should hold the games. The idea that it could hold a successful games seemed to be harder to accept, even though the Olympics is generally a pretty good fit for the skill set and social aspirations of any halfway functioning dictatorship.