Now, for a spot of synchronised whingeing | world | Hindustan Times
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Now, for a spot of synchronised whingeing

world Updated: Jul 21, 2012 00:37 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar
Dipankar De Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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Ten years ago, writing in the Hindustan Times, Sunil Gavaskar described England's cricketer as "champion whingers." In the run-up to London 2012, the whingeing's reaching decibel levels previously heard only in the ear-shattering concerts of the Rolling Stones.

Nothing's been going well. This has been London's wettest summer in history. But just when the Met office offered "some brighter, warmer weather" in the opening week, border force staff declared a 24-hour strike on July 26 - the day before the opening ceremony - just when thousands of visitors begin arriving in London.

This could spell synchronised chaos. Unless the dispute is settled quickly, workers will continue with other forms of protest until August 20, the entire duration of the Games. The Daily Mail whinged about "depressing memories of the 1970s".

It emerged last week that G4S, the private protection company, couldn't deliver enough men to secure the venues. So now the army has been called in. And Londoners expect road traffic to be a nightmare, with grumpy office-goers having to compete with athletes and journalists, who will have their own lanes.

"It's England in July for goodness sake and a spot of rain never hurt anyone!" mayor Boris Johnson banged his head against the wall. "We are about to stage the greatest show on earth in the greatest city on earth, and if you believe much of the media, we are all in the grip of paralysing stage fright."

There's been an expansion of London's underground train system, and the promise of a lasting, uplifting legacy for previously rundown parts of east London. But Londoners aren't listening. Residents even took the army to court for daring to install missiles atop an apartment complex, and lost.

But one bit of news cheered Londoners immensely this week - the auction of a 31-year-old toast for 230 pounds. The slice of white bread was left uneaten by Prince Charles on the day of his marriage to Princess Diana.

"Obviously security wasn't tight enough," whinged one newspaper reader. There's always one, isn't there?