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Why aren't Londoners excited about the 2012 Olympic Games? Let me count the ways.
The Olympics will be just one other thing that happens to other people who happen to share our geographical space. It is not part of our reality. Very few of us were able to get tickets to the Games. We will watch them on TV like the rest of the world — although with the double advantage of having them take place in our time zone and having them broadcast on the BBC — so, no commercials.
Our main interface with the Olympics will be when we can't get to work because the Tube is overcrowded, or get caught in a traffic jam created by security-conscious policing.
And here we get to the real reason, Londoners are so indifferent to the Olympics. The Games were awarded to London on July 6th, 2005. Less than 24 hours later, in a series of coordinated attacks, suicide bombers killed 52 people. I remember how excited the city was to get the Olympics, and the whiplash its citizens felt when it became clear what the death toll was the next day.
Three years later, Lehman Brothers collapsed, and ushered in the long, enervating years of austerity and unemployment. The London boroughs with the highest rate of unemployment are adjacent to the Olympic Park.
This is the deep reason for Londoner's not really getting excited about the games: Our joy at staging the Olympics belongs to a different historical epoch.