In Brown’s Britain, Stalin rides again

by | Dec 2, 2008

It’s been very disturbing to discover today that I have a contraband government document in my possession. Given the recent furore over leaks, I am expecting to be arrested at any moment…

The Times broke the news today that, back in 2002, a ‘secret report‘ warned Ministers that much money would be wasted if the Olympic games came to the UK. I remember ‘Game Plan’ well and still have a copy on the shelves somewhere. It was sent to me through the post (!) when… I requested a copy.

Now, according to the Times, the report was only ‘selectively distributed‘ and its “findings are not widely known even in sport’s upper echelons.” I have never aspired even to sport’s very lowest echelons, so you can imagine my surprise to find I was included on such an exclusive circulation list.

According to Hugh Robertson, who is Shadow Sports Minister (the Shadow Minister for Sports, I should add, not the Minister for Shadow Sports), the report shows that we should have let the perfidious French host the Olympics instead of us:

By ruthlessly suppressing the report without addressing its conclusions, the Government has knowingly wasted huge amounts of public money that could have been used to improve sport in this country.

(I assume that this is a different Hugh Robertson to the one who claims that the Olympics would never have come to London without him, and who got all mardy when the taxpayer refused to pay for him to go to Beijing on a jolly on a vital study tour…)

But moving on… I think it is important that the government moves swiftly to complete its Stalinist removal of Game Plan from the pages of history. Maybe they should start by:

  • Taking down the copy that is hiding in full view on the Cabinet Office website.
  • Asking a few hundred other websites to take their copies down.
  • Stopping answering questions about it in Parliament, especially in the presence of… Hugh Robertson.

Bonus – below, a picture of Hugh being steadied on hearing today’s v upsetting news…


  • David Steven

    David Steven is a policy analyst, strategic consultant and researcher. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University, and a Director of River Path Associates where he specialises in development policy, the 2030 Agenda, and leads on CIC's Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies programme.