Is there anybody out there?

May 25, 2010   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy


May 2010 will see the publication of the Commission’s 2009/10 Annual Review. We are feeling increasingly optimistic about the delivery of sustainable venues by the ODA and we are impressed by the plans being developed by LOCOG to deliver a sustainable Games. We were less impressed with LOCOG’s management systems and we expect these to be improved in the coming months, but in general things are going well. Or are they….? If London 2012 had just promised to deliver sustainable venues and Games we could publish a very positive report. But much more was promised in the bid and in …

London calling

May 10, 2010   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

I was a child when England won the football World Cup in 1966 but I remember it vividly. I could still name the entire team and remember the drama unfolding at Wembley Stadium: the dodgy Russian linesman giving us the goal that never was, the extra time, Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick and the immortal commentary line “They think it’s all over…it is now!” These were more innocent times and the kids in our neighbourhood celebrated by charging round the street on our bikes singing the praises of “World Cup Willie”. Willie was the mascot for the 1966 World Cup, as I recall, a proud looking little cuddly lion wearing a union jack vest. Forty-four years later, another World Cup is upon us in South Africa and mascots are now part of the event. Some could argue they are something that nobody needs, manufactured for no purpose other than profit for the organisers. For others, it is an essential part of the experience and a lasting memory of the event. I wonder how many of today’s eight year olds will remember the 2010 mascot when they are in their fifties? The mascot for the World Cup in South Africa came under severe …