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Thursday, June 07, 2012

£24 billion For The Olympics - 10 Times What We Were Promised

  From Britain's best, arguably only, newspaper, the Mail, if you accept the old journalists' definition of news as what somebody powerful doesn't want you to read.
The final bill for the 2012 Olympics could be ten times higher than the original estimate, according to an investigation.

The predicted cost of the games when London won the bid in 2005 was £2.37billion. That figure has now spiralled to more than £12billion and could reach as much as £24billion, the Sky Sports investigation claims.

But the three-month investigation, which used figures from freedom of information requests and public documents, revealed extra spends that could drive up the cost to taxpayers by an extra £2.4bn.

These include anti-doping control officers, legacy schemes, tube drivers being paid extra to work and local Olympic torch relay programmes...

Sky's figure of £12bn includes the cost of buying the land for the venues, which currently stands at £766m....
But it does not include the £1.131bn being allocated to the police for extra counter terrorism during the games or the £4.4bn budgets of the security and intelligence services.

Nor does it consider the cost of having up to 12,000 officers policing the games instead of crime fighting elsewhere or the £6.5bn spend on upgrading transport networks....

The investigators say the final figure could exceed its £24bn estimate as many requests for information have been ignored....

However a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman today hit back at the Sky investigation saying: 'The Public Sector Funding Package for the Games is £9.3bn and includes all additional security, defence and public transport provision for the Games.

'It is simply not right to start adding on top of that budgets that would have been in existence regardless of 2012 and claim that as being an Olympic cost.'

He added: 'We have always been transparent about the cost of the Games and have rigorously managed the budget to ensure the programme remains within the £9.3bn.
   So that original promise that it would only cost £2.37 billion was "transparent" if the Ministry is being truthful. I suppose one can call a transparent lie "transparent".

   The purpose of hosting the Olympics is, except for the minor bit about sporting fellowship across humanity and getting more medals than the slitty eyed dagos, is to enhance Britain's standing across the world.

   Lets see if there are some other ways we could spend it to better enhance our standing and to make both us and the world better off.

£18 billion ($29bn) Jerry Pournelle's initial X-Prizes
pay to the first British owned company (if corporate at least 60% of the shares must be held by British citizens) the following sums for the following accomplishments. No monies shall be paid until the goals specified are accomplished and certified by suitable experts
1. The sum of $2 billion to be paid for construction of 3 operational spacecraft which have achieved low earth orbit, returned to earth, and flown to orbit again three times in a period of three weeks.
2. The sum of $5 billion to be paid for construction and maintenance of a space station which has been continuously in orbit with at least 5 Britons aboard for a period of not less than three years and one day. The crew need not be the same persons for the entire time, but at no time shall the station be unoccupied.
3. The sum of $12 billion to be paid for construction and maintenance of a Lunar base in which no fewer than 31 Americans have continuously resided for a period of not less than four years and one day.
4. The sum of $10 billion to be paid for construction and maintenance of a solar power satellite system which delivers at least 800 megaWatts of electric power to a receiving station or stations in the UK for a period of at least two years and one day.
5. The payments made shall be exempt from all UK taxes.
That would do it. Not one cent to be paid until the goals are accomplished. Not a bit of risk, and if it can't be done for those sums, well, no harm done to the treasury.
£1 billion into ageing research - basically the M-Prize X 1,000

£1.5 billion into a 1 year trial of prizes in education - £1500 per child for that year.

£2 billion - various military spends - originally I put this at £377 million but that was choosing which of these should be done. Doing 9 would probably be under £2 bn but lets play safe

1 - HULC is an exoskeleton ....equip 25,000 soldiers which is in the area of all the truly front line troops available at any one time..
2 - Unmanned Aerial Vesicles (UAVs).
3 - Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) ... is a mobile laser capable of shooting down incoming shells. This means they can also do missiles and aircraft.
4 - Pay for the development of a considerably scaled up version of THEL effective an SDI programme as one can reasonably hope for.

5 - Military X-Prize unit.
6 - Pay SpaceX for one or more of the Heavy Lift Vehicles they they are developing, designed to put the equivalent of a 737 in orbit by 2013/14.
7 - Thor - Project Thor is an idea for a weapons system that launches kinetic projectiles from Earth orbit to damage targets on the ground.
8 - Taking the design of the British rocket plane of the 1950s, the SR53, but using modern materials Parliament has been informed it would be possible to build a suborbital space plane for £50 million. This would be considerably lighter and more powerful than was possible back then and should be able to launch rockets, on at least a daily basis, able to put very small satellites in orbit

10 - Orion - this would give us the capacity to put 10s of thousands of tons into orbit or indeed far beyond. Britain's defence capacity would extend to the entire solar system. The entire cost of doing this, including flights to Mars and Saturn was, taking 1960 costs and correcting for inflation, £5.4 billion over 12 years. I would propose setting up a joint stock company to which the armed forces would contribute 7% of the capital in the form of the atomic fuel. No commercial company could provide the fuel but so vast are the potential profits I am certain that, once fuel and permission were available, the share offering would be vastly oversubscribed, even if, for security reasons, limited to British investors.

£500 million - Provide enough harbour facilities, electricity, roads & water infrastructure to let Ascension Island develop as the world's or at least Atlantic community's spaceport.

£1 billion Build a massive telecommunications satellite for putting in geosynchronous orbit above the longitude of Europe/Africa. The cost here is just a guess, assuming that we already have the SpaceX heavy lift mentioned above but also assuming that it will be obviously profitable. We would then supply Europe on commercial terms and Africa virtually for free. The marginal cost of doing so would be small when the satellite station is already in place. Mobile phones are a major factor, possibly the major factor, in Africa's current growth. Since the amount of information passed is directly proportional to the size of both transmitter and receiver power a massive solar powered satellite could operate across Africa with even the simplest mobiles.

  Working through these phones could provide banking services with a stable currency across Africa (or indeed Europe). If we worked it well the stable currency could even be Sterling again.
    There you are. £24 billion. Britain gets to be easily the most advanced spacegoing nation; the world's leader in conquering ageing; improving our educational results; militarily dominant is several high tech areas; ending poverty in the world's poorest region. On most of these also greatly expanding the economy.

    That does it for War, Disease and Poverty. That would do more for our standing than hosting a sports competition. Of course if they didn't work, since most of them are prizes, well, no harm done to the treasury.

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You are truly a wise voice in the wilderness.
Neil great article. The olympics are no better than the old Roman gladiator games ... they are just there to glorify the politicians at our expense.
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