As the first tongue of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it must take precedence at medal-giving and all other Olympic ceremonies. "Billboards and pageantry" in French as well as English must be displayed throughout the capital.And the committee just dropped trousers, bent over and let the IOC… well, you get the picture, I’m sure.
The stipulation is among thousands of pages of detailed demands made by the IOC as a condition of hosting the games.As Angry Exile points out:
"...the real question is why it took two years of battering the bastards with the Freedom of Information Act before this came out. Or why they didn't feel able to be open about it and say this in front of all the flag waving crowds five and a half years ago when there was still a chance for Britons to demand the bid be withdrawn."Quite. It's not just the immediate areas of the Games that will be affected, either:
The Union flag must be flown fifth in precedence behind the Olympic flag, the London 2012 symbol, the United Nations flag and the flag of Greece at the stadium and fourth elsewhere in London for the duration.Pretty ambitious of them, eh? So, if some pub in London hosts an Olympics Party, does it have to comply with this, if it wants to fly the Union flag?
London must "require behaviour modification for residents, public and business communities" as transport is disrupted.Now, that's a pretty sinister sounding phrase, isn't it? God knows, the last 13 years of Labour misrule tried their best, but it seems we seem to be quite adept at avoiding 'behaviour modification', so good luck with that, IOC!
London is required to prevent spectators from "wearing clothes or accessories with commercial messages other than the manufacturer's brand name." This would ban them from wearing football clubs' replica strips, which usually carry the name of the club's sponsor.Yes indeed, instead of 'No shirt? You're not coming in, pal!', London will reverberate to 'Arsenal? ARSENAL?! No way, chum!'...
The city authorities must also "obtain control of all billboard advertising, city transport advertising, airport advertising etc for the duration of the games and the month preceding." Olympic "brand protection teams" must "confront violators" and "conduct surveillance" across London. Police and customs officers must enforce sponsorship rules.It's an authoritarian wet-dream...
A spokesman for London 2012 said: "This is information provided to cities to get them thinking about all the things they need to do.Easy targets, pal, easy targets. The sort of people who will be enforcing this go for them every time.
"The hotel room numbers are guidelines and we may not necessarily need, for instance, 100 rooms for the ceremony stars. The ambush marketing provisions are targeted on mass ambushes, not people wearing their football shirts."
I give it a day from the introduction of these 'guidelines' before the 'Sun' or 'Mirror' has a crying child on the front page telling a tale of woe about the Olympic staff who stripped him of his football shirt...