Poor Athens. They spent billions on their Olympics, nearly bankrupting the country and are left with a huge financial mess and a swathe of derelict and decaying buildings. And for a what? A few weeks of fame back in 2004. It's an ominous sign of the financial disaster ahead. Give Athens and this country a break, switch London 2012 to Athens and save us a fortune.
Athens spent more than £9 billion staging their Olympics, slightly less than the current official estimate (and rising) for the 2012 London Games. And what's there to show for it now? An ominous forewarning of what's to come after London 2012.
The London Olympics will be one of the biggest financial disasters in the world. Its shameful legacy and financial repercussions will be there long after the the last team has flown home with their medals.
This may create national pride and regenerate the area. But at what cost? If we want homes, sports facilities and transport links, why not just build them? Well, no. That would place them on New Labour's public spending balance sheet. And there's an awful lot of money to be made out of the London Olympics.
The true London Olympic cost has been full of deceit and spin since the beginning. The original bid put the cost at around £4 billion. This was later admitted to be just a number plucked out of thin air to secure the bid. Nothing like the true cost which no one can yet put a figure on. Officially it's around £9 billion but unofficially around £14 billion. And there's still four years to go.
It's already proving to be huge drain on regional sports grants, a lottery tax con and soon the workforce will be heading back to Poland. And we haven't yet started building!
So why not just scrap the whole thing. Tell the International Olympic Committee (IOC) we don't want to play the game anymore and offer to put a few billion pounds into Athens to stage the Games there again and put all those wasted buildings and facilities back to good use.
It's remarkable that you could give a few billion pounds to Athens and that's still peanuts compared to the cost of the London Olympic fiasco.
We can still build the sports facilities. transport links and the houses and regenerate the East End. After all, we are told the groundwork is already being done.