Inside Lines: Dearie me! London's Games set to be more PC than IOC

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The Independent Online

London's "diverse and inclusive" Games are set to be the most politically correct in history. This is emphasised in the guidebook to be issued to the army of volunteers.

Apparently Games staff will be told they must avoid "patronising words" such as "dear", surely a term of endearment that visitors, notably from America and Australia, would want and expect to hear in east London at what, after all, are the Cockney Olympics. Dearie me! If an Aussie didn't call you "cobber" or "mate", even "Pommie bastard", at the Sydney Games you felt offended. Oh, and no one must be addressed as "young man" in case the person happens to be a transvestite. So politically correct are these high-tech Games designed to be, they could be labelled the AC/DC/PC Olympics. A good reason for hoping Boris Johnson is re-elected as London's mayor next May, for we desperately need Bojo putting his size nines in it occasionally to lighten things up.



Taxi for Mr Johnson

There's little doubt Bojo had a hand in offering the £500 sweeteners to Bob Crow's merry men to ensure they behave themselves during the Games. Now, after sorting the train and Tube drivers, how about a tip for London's cabbies? Just about every taxi driver we encounter is threatening to block the exclusive Olympic lanes, causing chaos for not only the bigwigs in their chauffeured limos but the athletes too. However, Boris has a conciliatory plan which could allow them to make currently banned turns across the Olympic lanes. To the right, of course.



Judo throws out coaches

Judo has become the first under-achieving sport to take drastic action in the hunt for 2012 medals. The performance director, Margaret Hicks, has been axed, together with the women's coach, Jane Bridge. The Frenchman Patrick Roux keeps his job as men's coach but another import, the Romanian-born Daniel Lascau, 50, also a former world champion, takes over at the top as performance director. Britain has not won a judo medal in the previous two Olympics and failure in the recent world championships has prompted the cull. The British Judo Association chairman, Densign White, says: "Our results have been very poor, the worst ever over the last two years. Our high-performance set-up has not been firing and with the Olympics less than 10 months away we had make changes."

Putin the boot in

Is there a busier, more ubiquitous soul in the land than Lord Sebastian Coe, without a window in his diary, we're told, between now and the end of the Games? A call to the Locog chief's office on Monday elicited the response that he was in Moscow. "When will he be back?" "Oh, this evening. He's only gone for the day." In fact Lord Coe was with PM David Cameron's bridge-building mission to the former communist citadel where, as plain student Seb, he won the first of his two gold medals 31 years ago, in defiance of his future boss Margaret Thatcher. Perhaps he was taken along in case things got sticky with judo exponent Vladimir Putin. Coe himself is a bit nifty on the mat, though not quite in the class of the sixth-dan black belt prime minister of Russia, whose speciality happens to be the stranglehold, with which Coe was once rendered unconscious by sparring partner William Hague.



Lewis wins another race

Carl Lewis, the all-time great Olympian, has been successful in his bid to enter US politics. Last week a federal appeals court allowed him to run as a Democrat in the New Jersey senate elections after Republicans had tried to bar him on grounds of residency in a nasty legal battle that had overtones of racism. Good for him.



insidelines@independent.co.uk

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