Category: “Olympics

Olympics good place to take stock of primacy of strategy over tactics and reality over PR

Posted on 31 July 2012 | 11:07am

With apologies to Gorkana, who interviewed me a while back, and to whom I said I would post the interview when they ran it, here it is a few days late. They chose to run it on the day of Danny Boyle’s brilliant Olympics opening ceremony, so in common with many others on the planet, […]

Crack the empty seats problem and we are on for best Games start ever

Posted on 29 July 2012 | 10:07am

There is something very British about the obsession (which I confess to sharing) with empty seats at big events. I am not aware of any other country where ‘you couldn’t sell all your tickets’ is a popular football chant insult. But unless the empty seats problem is solved soon, it is an insult likely to […]

The long and winding road to 2012 – and the turning point of a stack of handwritten letters to Tony Blair

Posted on 27 July 2012 | 10:07am

It was as a result of a mid morning phone call from Tessa Jowell that I went to my diaries for 2002 and 2003 and tweeted some of the key moments in the history of the Olympic Bid. She was calling from the athletes’ village, where she is staying for the duration of the Games […]

Wiggins’ win the start of a great British summer for sport – and the chance to rescue Olympics legacy

Posted on 22 July 2012 | 11:07am

Out this morning for a pre-Wiggo-triumph two-hour ride through small French towns and villages, I popped into a little bike shop to get a few bits and bobs. Bradley Wiggins’ yellow helmet took pride of place in the helmet stall. Black socks were doing better than usual. And despite the hefty price tag, the shop […]

It’ll take more than the Queen’s popularity and the Olympics to help Tories shift the mood around them now

Posted on 31 May 2012 | 8:05am

A while back I remember reading an article in which, on the back of the Royal Wedding, a senior Tory was predicting that with the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics to come, Britain was set for a wave of patriotism which would benefit his party. Well the wave of patriotism is certainly upon us, but […]

Leveson drama will run and run, but double dip recession is event of the week

Posted on 27 April 2012 | 9:04am

A Tory strategist (now there’s a rare bird) is quoted in the FT today as saying ‘I don’t think there will be a permanent impact [from recent troubles] if we can show we are a competent government.’ That may be true, though I doubt it; may be wishful thinking, indeed clearly it is; but the […]

Even table tennis tickets send shiver down spine with London 2012 one year away

Posted on 27 July 2011 | 1:07pm

My £7000 potential outlay led eventually to a couple of tickets for the table tennis early rounds and two sessions of athletic heats. Not exactly what I hoped for, and not nearly as good as the amazing (sponsors’) tickets I had for Athens, when my son and I saw Kelly Holmes win her second Gold, […]

Olympic project takes a big step in the morning

Posted on 21 February 2011 | 11:02pm

Just back from seeing West Ham sneak a 5-1 win over Burnley, allowing us to concentrate on the League while they concentrate on relegation. Depending on who goes up and who goes down, it could be the last time I visit Upton Park before West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium. Burnley fans were excellent […]

Beware the detail in coalition ‘U-turn’ on school sport

Posted on 18 December 2010 | 12:12pm

The papers are being briefed that the government is to perform a U-turn on the planned scrapping of School Sports Partnerships. This is to be announced as early as Monday. It is also to be placed in the category marked ‘keep an eye on the detail’, and ‘don’t fall for the spin’. ‘Key elements’ of […]

If Fifa were a country, it would not look like Britain

Posted on 4 December 2010 | 8:12am

Here is the piece I have done for today’s Daily Telegraph on the fallout from the Fifa decision to hand the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. The Telegraph headline is ‘If Fifa were a country, it would be Russia,’ which is not quite what I say, as you will see. My […]