Despite being part of the Olympics organisation (better not give too many details or I'll be thrown out), I've already expressed misgivings about the cultural, architectural and commercial aspects of the games - I'm with Iain Sinclair and Will Self on the way mega-projects erase local communities in the name of sterile regeneration.
So I'm overjoyed by London 2012s honesty when it comes to its choice of mascots. In particular, Wenlock, named after the Wenlock Olympian Games in Shropshire: I've won medals in that competition several times. Most impressively, the latest edition of Wenlock gets to the heart of my fears about the Games:
Yes, that's right. They've dressed up a Cyclops as a Metropolitan Police Officer (and other 'cuddly' versions of the Security State. The all-seeing Eye, the Panopticon of surveillance, the implicit threat of Total Security - lots of special laws have been passed for the Olympics, not all of them giving tax-free status to the IOC and its sponsors - packaged up as a cuddly toy. With thousands of soldiers, cops and rentacops being drafted in, along with riot control gear, an aircraft carrier, drones, armed FBI and other American forces (why?) and ground-to-air missiles, this is going to be the most paranoid and repressive Games ever… and once awarded, those powers aren't going to be handed back. All that public space is handed over to private corporations - as you'll discover if you produce the 'wrong' debit card, drinks container, packed lunch or t-shirt.
Still, beneath the cuddly toys, an awful lot of security companies will make £billions from turning East London into something like the Gaza strip.