The £80m Cultural Olympiad was intended to celebrate 2012 across the UK, mainly through music and drama. But of the 1,174 approved projects, only seven are in Scotland.That works out at 0.6% of all events. Wales and Northern Ireland are also getting events in the single figures. Clearly, the allocation of events in no way, shape or form reflects the populations of the UK.
I am Scottish and a tax-paying citizen. I am paying for the 2012 games. So too are the people of Wales and Northern Ireland. Yet time and again, whenever one of us "celtic fringe nations" dare question any part of the 2012 Olympics, we are routinely attacked for doing so.
The London 2012 games will obviously reference London. But the benefits have to be for all of the UK since London is the elected city on behalf of the UK.If the games were staged in Cardiff, Belfast or Edinburgh, they too would have to share the spoils throughout the UK fairly. Currently, England is getting more than its fair share of benefits. The transformation of Stratford comes at a price -- a price ALL of the UK is paying but which is NOT benefitting the rest of the UK fairly.
I have been told many a time by English forum members here that the London 2012 games only have to benefit London and England. Anyone with a cursory understanding of the UK knows that the 'United Kingdom' is a kingdom made up of four nations : Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland and England. Thus, the benefits of any UK wide event have to bring benefits to all parts of the UK proportionately.It's this kind of ignorance which is sadly commonplace.
There's no "victim complex" here. Rather, just a desire to see fairness and equality for all.England makes up 82-84% of UK population but is getting approximately 98% of all events in the Cultural Olympiad. And almost all of the £9.4billion spent on the games (from the UK Taxpayer) brings benefits exclusively to England.The UK's Olympic stadium. costing the UK taxpayer £547million, is getting given to an English premiership football club after the games. The people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have thus been forced to finance a football club. That's not fair. Those are all facts, not conjectures. Thus, the inevitable "stop moaning" insults I will receive are irrelevant in the face of truth.
In terms of construction, Scottish firms have received less than 1% success from their bids i.e 7 firms 'won' something out of 2806 Scottish bids. That's less than 1% success (0.2% actually).Welsh and Northern Irish firms have done even worse.London firms bidding had a 3271% success increase over Scottish firms and even more over Welsh and Northern Irish firms.
Here's a physical illustration to show where all the events in the Cultural Olympiad are taking place. Note in England that over 1,100 are being staged.