Friday, August 8, 2008

Funny sort of teachers they have

Yesterday's Daily Telegraph carried an article entitled "How the public is spending £7 million on Beijing Olympic staff". (The Telegraph link is a little iffy but here is one to the article in the Daily Mail. The wording is almost exactly the same, which makes one wonder which news agency provided the copy in the first place.) This details the many officials, politicians and BBC journalists that are going to the Olympics at the taxpayers' expense.

Here is the full list of the 631 people in question. Team GB (what a name!) comprises of 313 people. They are the ones who are supposed to be going to the Olympics if we must take part in this ridiculous farce.

Why does the Prime Minister need an entourage of 20 people? Why does Boris Johnson need 13? Why do all these government departments need to be represented in such numbers? Could it be because a trip to China is still very expensive and the Olympics are a good opportunity to indulge oneself in a tax-funded "jolly" at a time when most people are thinking of tightening their belts?

On the whole it was this that really shocked me:
In addition, the taxpayer is footing the £240,000 bill for 39 Metropolitan Police staff to go on a fact-finding tour in Beijing.

Dorset Police is sending four people to find out how to police the 2012 sailing event and Greenwich council, which will help host the gymnastics in 2012 in the O2 Arena, is sending six officials at a cost of £14,000.
Time was, dear reader, when police from all over the world came to Britain to learn about crowd control. Now our boys and girls in blue go abroad to do the same. Not just any old abroad but to one of the most oppressive and brutal regimes in the world. Well, well.

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