Latest News in Olympic Insanity

Brand-Free Zone

Familiarize yourself with the totalitarian neologism “Brand Exclusion Zone”:

The Brand Exclusion Zone is the newest form of urban demarcation, and can be used not only to affect signage and advertising, but also restrict personal freedom of choice. Within this context, the London 2012 Olympics represents one of the most radical restructuring of the rights of the city in London. The ‘canvas’ of London will belong exclusively to the Olympic marquee brands.

In essence, London has abdicated all rights and responsibilities to the International Olympic Committee, and implemented legislation which creates radical new spatial demarcations not only within the Olympic Park, but because of the distributed nature of the Olympic venues, across the whole of central London. London has surrendered the traditional rights to the city to the demands of the Olympic ‘family’ and their corporate paymasters. What the IOC want, London will give. London will be on brand lockdown.

(…) And it’s not just London. All the venues for the 2012 Olympics will be on brand lockdown.

Kosmograd has the maps to detail the zones, and elaborates on what they entail.

This is what forking over huge amounts of cash in sponsorship buys you. After all, these companies spend big bucks to sponsor the games. Or do they now?

Tax Evasion

Actually, it’s basically a requirement that, to host the Olympics, you have to grant the so-called partner organizations and their foreign employees tax exemption for their participation in the games:

Zero tax

Without these tax sweeteners the IOC would simply take their corporate circus elsewhere and so begins a race to the bottom in a bidding process that echoes the offshore system. New tax rules ushered in as part of the winning Team GB bid include ‘a temporary exemption from UK Corporation Tax and UK Income Tax for certain non-resident companies’.

The legislation is written to include ‘partner’ organisations such as McDonald’s and Visa. Both, along with other ‘partners’, look set to make a tax-free fortune. The former will a monopoly on vending branded food and the latter a total monopoly on venue and ticket payment methods.

This not only means a loss of revenue for a country that is already spending over £10 billion for the events; it means that partner organizations get a competitive advantage over local business who has to pay the taxes just like every other Brit.

It’s great that there’s an influx of customers, but, as a business owner, how do you offset the prices of partner companies who don’t pay taxes?

The article also alleges that the government will lose out on £600 million in tax evasions, but I couldn’t manage to find anything to corroborate the claim—even in the linked reference. It sounds completely plausible, sadly.

Interview with Space Hijackers

Finally, this interview with Agent Monstris from Space Hijackers—whom you might recall from a Twitter imbroglio—manages to capture all that makes the London 2012 event such a monstrosity and an example never to be repeated.

Update: A Dragon’s Best Friend has more about the tax exemptions: