Captain’s Column - The Olympic clock ticks down

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TICK, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

That’s the sound of the countdown to the London Olympics, now just a few days away, and what a complete and utter shambles it promises to be.

Security mayhem, traffic chaos, hundreds of thousands of tickets unsold, construction work unfinished, coaches ferrying athletes from Heathrow to the Olympic Village getting lost, traffic chaos, you name it, it’s all going wrong.

This is the British way of doing things. No one can cook up a spectacular cock-up like we can.

When it comes to humiliating ourselves, we’re the world leaders. If they were handing out gold medals for failure we’d be top of that leader board.

And the thing is, rather than being embarrassed by this unenviable reputation, we actually seem to revel in it.

People actually seem to be willing for the Olympics to be an unmitigated disaster. Why?

What will we gain from that?

The national media are largely culpable for all the negativity in the lead up to the event.

They’re whipping up a frenzy, pouncing on anything they can to paint a picture of certain doom.

But maybe if things weren’t going wrong in the first place, the media wouldn’t be able to whip up this storm.

Someone told me that the other day that they were driving round the M25 and there were signs up everywhere more or less telling everyone not to even bother trying to drive into central London while the games are on.

That sort of thing is bound to get people’s backs up for start.

I also know a few folk who work in that London who’ve been told to stay away from work for the duration of the Olympics.

Why can’t we just hold this event without it messing up everyone’s lives?

I remember in the run-up to the Beijing games four years ago all the talk was about concerns over civil rights.

Well, for the next few weeks London’s going to resemble a police state, with thousands of troops everywhere, surface-to-air missiles on tower blocks, and people unable to come and go around the city as they please.

Maybe they should just rename the city Borisgrad.

During the next month the eyes of the world will be on the UK.

My eyes will be squinting through my fingers, hoping it isn’t all the huge farce many are predicting.