A few stories seemed to have grabbed some media headline attention in connection with the Olympics.
The first is that some people are getting quite lathered about having to pay £7 a pint for beer during the Olympics. Well, a simple, three-word piece of advice is, don't buy any. Just let the vendors from rip-off Britain plc not sell any, and let them stew in their over-expensive liquid for many weeks after the event. Then maybe they'll think twice using their brains instead of their corporate bank accounts for a change. You, the consumer, have only yourselves to blame if you pay that sort of money.
Just, for a change (which you'll not get much out of a tenner for a pint of beer), vote with your feet.
Although if you do vote with your feet, make sure the logos on your nasty trainers made by some poor, half-blind child in the Far East for $2, you know, the ones you bought at £80 last week, is the correct one. Locog ankle cameras have been installed at all the Olympic venues to check you are wearing only the tat from those shoe providers sponsoring the Olympics.
Then there's those nice bank-connected people from Visa, another of the 'official' sponsors, who has decided in its infinite wisdom, and with the blessing of the idiotic Locog behemoths, requested, in typical democratic fashion, that the 27 existing cash machines in and around the Olympic venues should be switched off and replaced with eight machines they (Visa) will supply.
The director of the UK Payments Council, a Ron Delnevo (no doubt on such a huge salary, or, as is often the case, an executive director of Visa himself) who presumably doesn't give a curse about the general public, doesn't appear to care one way or the other when he says that machines at ExCel (a true supporter of rip-off Britain regardless of the Olympics, where you need a mortgage and not just a Visa card to be able to buy a sandwich and a bottle of water), Earls Court, Wembley, Old Trafford, Coventry Stadium and St James's Park will all be switched off during the games.
This flies in the face of the hard-pressed and continually ripped-off consumer, paticularly those who have just obtained a pay-as-you-go Mastercard to try and avoid RyanAir's ASA-ignoring dishonesty. Mr "Customer Care" Delnevo has said that "visitors will have to use Visa cards or cash, as no other cards will be acceptable at any of the Olympic venues".
This is as embarrassing as it is a disgusting state of affairs, and I think Mr Delnevo should be forced to resign straight away. He is a disgrace and a true proponent of restrictive practices, but than again, it must be so difficult to go through life as a banker non knowing what it was like to have a father. And with the remainder who might have a father, it was only because their mothers ran off before they were born.
This is really great for the tourist, who has already been completely ripped-off should he have arranged his venue and hotel tickets through another of the official partners Thomas Cook, with their astounding retail-mark up on quite standard tickets for the event.
It seems despite their attitude for milking the consumer for as much money as they think they can get away with (it would appear that phoning a hotel to book a room is far more expensive now that it would be were their no Olympics in London, although a man with a beard and glasses from one of the BBC consumer programmes confirms it as being correct when BT say are one of the very few companies whose charges prior, during and after he Olympics remain unchanged), their debt of £1.39 billion means the £20 million sponsorship they've parted with might have been a mistake. Oh dear, such a shame. I have complete sympathy for their staff, but nothing but contempt for the suits and shareholders, who I sincerely hope have to register with DWP the moment the games are over.
Why do we continually put up with these rip-offs? Yes, I know there's an element of sheepishness, where the people running the rip-offs know that the stupid British consumer WILL just roll over, put up, shut up and pull their wallets out.
But it really is time we stopped.
We shouldn't support these 'thieves', because that is all they are, ok officialy-sanctioned thieves. Let them stuff their sponsorships where the sun rarely shines. We have already seen totally idiotic cases of 'brand infringement'. For example a kebab shop that has been in the "Olympic area" of London for years has had to change its name (Olympic Kebabs) or close down.
Now why couldn't some philanthropic solicitor or barrister divert some of their outlandish hourly fees and help the kebab shop owner take the Olympics and Locog to court for breaking the copyright on his shop name? He was there first, and just because he might be infringing on some official backhander, er I mean supplier set to make a fortune, it shouldn't have to be at Mr Kebab's expense!
Is Olympic Air (they use 6 rings as their logo) being banned from airports in proximity to the Olympic cash cows?
The Olympics being held in London have marked one time that I'm embarrassed to be British.