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The Economist - Bring on the Touts - Aug 4th Print Edition

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Original Message Post # 1
Fri 3rd Aug 2012 13:24
WhatTheF
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http://www.economist.com/node/21559937

in reaction to empty seats at London 2012 Olympics

 
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Post # 2
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 14:22
Medusa
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Lol - only you What the F!
I do think though that the Olympic tickets have been an utter farce and it is disgraceful to have empty seats - but to put them in the hands of touts? nah

I, and I am sure many others, could have devised a better and fairer system than the one that was used. The seats could easily be filled and should be filled - I can think of few better 'seat fillers' than schoolchildren.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
 
 
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Post # 3
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 15:22
Markland

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Interesting article that shows those who write them have absolutely no idea of who and what many ticket touts are

Give the tickets to real people instead of flatulent members of the so called "olympic family" and "sponsors

Then there wouldn't be any empty seats
 
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Post # 4
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 16:37
nancyhaven

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To be fair to WhatheF, he didn't write the article - he's only the messenger so don't shoot him.

It may feel unjust to some that so many seats were allocated to sponsors, but we mustn't forget that without these sponsors there would have been no Games. And what were they supposed to do with unwanted tickets? No doubt that in many cases publicity about what would happen to touts discouraged them from selling them on. And where was the incentive to return them when all they would get back was what they paid for them - i.e. nothing? I see nothing wrong in sponsors and organisers getting freebies. Would have liked to have seen more free tickets allocated to athletes and their families.

Found it very interesting to watch people being interviewed on Sky before the Opening Ceremony. Without exception they described themselves as being "lucky" to have obtained tickets on the black market. And it seemed as if the more the tickets cost them, the luckier they felt. Without exception, they were delighted. Funny old world isn't it?
 
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Post # 5
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 17:15
Markland

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Was far from shooting WhatTheF, he always bring something new and interesting to debates

The comment was clearly aimed at the author of the article, not WhaTtheF so no clue where you got that idea from

Didn't see the Sky interviews but would have been interesting to listen to

Totally agree with you about more free tickets to people

Part of the problem with the Olympics is the sheer number of corrupt officials willing to sell tickets to touts rather than ensure that they got to athletes, their families and the public for whom they are actually intended

So bad in fact that the IOC has suspended ticketing for the 2014 games

It's a pity the person from the Economist didn't read the comments by Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison of the Metropolitan Police, who is probably in possession of far more information than any of us here on touts, who said:

“Touts are part of organised criminal networks, often involved in other crimes, and we are committed to dismantling them layer by layer.”

 
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Post # 6
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 17:36
nancyhaven

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Quote from Markland - 3rd Aug 2012 17:15 View

Was far from shooting WhatTheF, he always bring something new and interesting to debates

The comment was clearly aimed at the author of the article, not WhaTtheF so no clue where you got that idea from

As far as I am aware, the comment was made by Medusa, not Markland.   Markland now a mind-reader?

 
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Post # 7
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 18:30
Medusa
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I was just having a giggle at the fact that anything trying to promote touts is jumped on and posted!
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
 
 
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Post # 8
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 21:45
nancyhaven

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..as is anything which shows touts up in a bad light. Isn't that what a good discussion forum should be about - differences of opinion?
 
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Post # 9
Top Fri 3rd Aug 2012 22:36
Markland

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Nancy thought you were referring to the my post not medusas as it came immediately afterwards

And no need to be psychic to predict you will be leaping to the defence of touts

Nothing like a healthy debate and differences of opinion though, always interesting to see other peoples viewpoints

It will be interesting to see what debates take place post Olympics about touting, especially as one tout was kind enough to show the BBC a pile of Olympic tickets tonight from various NOCs

How about a debate on why the Police have missed so many opportunities to prosecute the touts ripping off the public, and allowed others, such as AOSSA, to carry on taking peoples money for months after they were given evidence of fraud?

Just an idea

 
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Post # 10
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 08:54
nancyhaven

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Markland,
Please re-read this thread and point out where I have jumped to the defence of touts.

I did see one report on TV where a tout (Ukranian I think, but am not sure) was arrested outside a venue, was fined about £350 and then had the fine waived as he had spent two nights in custody. I am really not qualified to say whether this is justice or not. Am also not qualified enough to criticise the Police. Can only comment that I think they have probably done the best they could with the resources they had. I am presuming that ticket touting is not as high on their agenda as you would like, but we have to look at the bigger picture and conclude there are far more serious crimes taking place.

As far as Aossa is concerned, the way this has been handled (or not handled) seems to be the norm. Once again, I am guessing it's due to a lack or resources. Would I like to see the perpetrators dealt with? Of course I would. But on the other hand, if I have a choice I would much prefer the police force to be employed protecting me from terrorists rather than ticket touts.

What to do about empty seats? I am guessing there will be less of these now the preliminary rounds are over. Lovely idea to fill them with schoolchildren but not practical I'm afraid. Schools have all broken up. By the time the authorities manage to contact teachers and they manage to contact the pupils the Games will be over.

Much better to have a "use it or lose it" policy. If the seats are still empty 30 minutes after the session begins, allow the public in to sit there for free.

 
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Post # 11
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 10:10
nancyhaven

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Quote from Markland - 3rd Aug 2012 15:22 View
Interesting article that shows those who write them have absolutely no idea of who and what many ticket touts are

Give the tickets to real people instead of flatulent members of the so called "olympic family" and "sponsors

Then there wouldn't be any empty seats

Not sure how you can be certain that all sponsors and members of the Olympic family and sponsors suffer from excessive wind.

At the end of the day, they are just ordinary people doing a job which has given them the perk of complimentary tickets.  They haven't sold them on for a profit, otherwise the seats wouldn't  be empty.

Let's be honest here.  If I worked for CocaCola or whatever and 6 months ago I had been offered 2 tickets for the Syncronised Tiddlywinks I would have accepted them with gratitude.  They would have gone into a drawer and would not have been thought about until recently.  I may have vaguely thought about finding someone who loved this sport, but more  than likely would not even re- discovered them until the event was over.  This does not make me a wicked or greedy person.  At worst, a bit thoutless.

 
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Post # 12
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 14:51
Markland

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I take it you haven't been following the news about numerous NOC's selling their tickets to touts leading to the suspension of the ticketing arrangements for the 2014 games?

Or the hundreds of tickets in one touts hands, many of which came from NOC's and sponsors, as shown on BBC London news yesterday?

And that was just one tout!

Or the fact that LOCOG cannot get back tickets from sponsors and NOCs over half of the tickets they are not using?

One of the benefits of living in a democracy is a free press, and investigative journalism in this country has done us proud looking into the murky world of tickets and touts at this Olympics

We've seen ticket scandal after scandal exposed at this Olympics

The overwhelming majority of seats that have remained empty to date for the less prestigious heats etc are in areas reserved for the so called "olympic family" and sponsors

Whether these tickets were just wasted or sold on to touts is irrelevant

The real scandal is the fact that genuine sports fans, and relatives of competing athletes have been unable to get tickets and these seats have gone to waste

There needs to be a full independent inquiry into whats gone on with ticketing at this Olympics

Not one led by the IOC and LOCOG who will want the whole sorry mess to go away

And any official, sponsor or "authorised ticket reseller" found to have been selling on tickets to touts, or breaking the law should be banned from the Olympics permanently

Its about time the Olympics cleaned its act up
 
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Post # 13
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 15:04
Markland

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One last thing nancy

These are the words of Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison of the Metropolitan Police, who has more information about touts available to him than any person on this forum:

“Touts are part of organised criminal networks, often involved in other crimes, and we are committed to dismantling them layer by layer.”

So nancy you think that serious, organised crime shouldn't be investigated by police?

And do you think he is right?

 
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Post # 14
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 16:38
nancyhaven

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Quote from Markland - 4th Aug 2012 14:51 View
 

The overwhelming majority of seats that have remained empty to date for the less prestigious heats etc are in areas reserved for the so called "olympic family" and sponsors 

Whether these tickets were just wasted or sold on to touts is irrelevant



No, it's not irrelevant.  The former is born out of apathy and the latter out of a desire to make a fast buck.  How many people do you imagine thought "MY couple of tickets won't make any difference"?  I'm more than sure that had I been in the same position I would have been guilty of the same apathy.  

Ofcourse I am against crime, organised or otherwise.  Just think one has to have a sense of proportion about these things. I don't think that wasting a couple of tickets is a hanging offence.  I'm not even that bothered if  people want to sell on the freebies they've been given because they are corporate sponsors or part of the Olympic Family.  We wouldn't have been able to stage the Games without them.  Apart from buying a couple of lottery tickets I certainly didn't contribute anything financially to the Games.  Did you?

Personally, I think the Games have been a resounding success so far and we should all be proud of the enormous efforts the organisers have made.  Nothing on this scale is going to be 100% perfect in every department, but instead of  dwelling on the shortfalls we should be congratulating those responsible for getting so much right.

 
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Post # 15
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 17:24
Markland

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Quote from nancyhaven - 4th Aug 2012 16:38 View

 

 Apart from buying a couple of lottery tickets I certainly didn't contribute anything financially to the Games.  Did you?

 

It's the taxpayer that has picked up the bill for the overwhelming majority of cost of the Olympic games, so yes, all of us have made a contribution, in fact we've paid for them!

And it wiil not be the sponsors picking up the bill after the Olympics either for the security and upkeep of then defunct Olympic venues, or paying for the so called Olympic legacy

Again it will be tax payers, and those of us who pay full tax and don't indulge in tax avoidance, will be paying the biggest percentage

Not the sponsors or the "olympic family"

Getting back to Assistant Commissioner Allisons statement that ticket touting is a facet of organised crime

He is not talking about an individual with a couple of spare tickets they cant use selling them on, he is talking about the hardened criminals within the ticket touting community who indulge in other forms of crime as well

Given the scale and number of the ticketing scandals to date, coupled with the fact that a well funded, dedicated police unit, Operation Podium, has been unable to stop the criminality around olympic tickets committed by touts, doesnt that give you an indication of the scale of the touting problem and the fact that more drastic action needs to be taken to protect the public?

What part of "its organised crime" don't people get?

 

 

 
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Post # 16
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 18:22
angela3

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Quote from Markland - 4th Aug 2012 15:04 View

One last thing nancy

These are the words of Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison of the Metropolitan Police, who has more information about touts available to him than any person on this forum:

“Touts are part of organised criminal networks, often involved in other crimes, and we are committed to dismantling them layer by layer.”

A statement made by an organization that has accepted brides from the press and has admitted that it has lost the public trust.

I guess Chris Allison has to make such wild statements as it makes his £180,000 Olympics job appear more worthwhile.

If this statement is true about organised criminal networks then it's about time the police backed it up and charged someone.

The police can make such wild statements as they know that no-one will challenge them.

 
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Post # 17
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 18:40
Medusa
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Good point well made!

On a positive note - aren't the Olympics amazing? I wish I was in London at this time...
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
 
 
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Post # 18
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 18:52
angela3

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Medusa

It is nice to agree with you for once.
The Olympics are indeed amazing, London and the country really have pulled it off, it just seems to get better each day.
Been to 3 events now and each one has been great fun, only 3 to go.

I always thought in the past the experience at the O2 Arena was great, however I now think they could learn a few things from the organization of the Olympic events as could the security and staff at many other venues.
 
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Post # 19
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 18:53
nancyhaven

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If you check it out you will find that Chris Allison puts everything down to "organised crime". Why this makes any difference I'm not sure.

Just such a pity that people like Markland concentrate on one negative point when the rest of the country has come together to celebrate such a fantastic Games.

The ticketing issue hasn't been perfect, but overall the whole thing is a fantastic success. Just watch the crowds on TV. So many happy faces, so many nations coming together. Isn't that what it's all about?
 
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Post # 20
Top Sat 4th Aug 2012 18:55
nancyhaven

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Look at that - Medusa and Angela3 in agreement! The positive power of the Olympics!
 
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