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They sold me a merry Christmas

December 17, 2010   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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Christmas – season of goodwill or orgy of conspicuous consumption of useless tat? As we approach Games-time the push to sell London 2012 merchandise is hotting up. You can see the offers available on the London 2012 website at http://shop.london2012.com/   When I was at the Beijing Games in 2008, I commented on these pages about the huge appetite Chinese people had for the Games and the cheap merchandise that went with it. I tried to describe the huge retail outlets piled high with all manner of stuff carrying the Beijing 2008 logo and the hot, tired shoppers queuing outside the door to get their hands on these items. At the time I expressed a desire that London 2012 would be different. During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, I commented on the horror stories coming from China about the labour and environmental standards employed at the factories making the mascots for the event. Claims of excessive profiteering were abundant, damaging the reputation of the event. This was shortly before LOCOG gave the world Wenlock and Mandeville, the twin Olympic mascots for London 2012. I must say I was quite impressed with the way sustainability messages were weaved into …


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