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Silly Punts

This is from the Scotsman and relates to the Edinburgh Tram fiasco.

Bookmakers have come up with a range of odds on a number of tram-related punts.

They were sparked into action after one disgruntled resident offered to place a four-figure sum on the tram works costing the city more than £900 million. He was offered reasonable odds of 6/4 though it is not known whether he has yet parted with the cash.

For anyone else fancying a bet, there are a range of sure things and less likely options on offer.

William Hill even offered a rate of 20/1 that the world-famous Sagrada Familia – the Barcelona church that was started in 1882 and will not be completed until at least 2026 – will be finished before the Capital’s tram project. The building is, of course, the work of world-famous architect Antoni Gaudi, who died after being run over by a tram in 1926.

Other possible flutters include 3/1 odds that the tram project will be scrapped; 2/1 odds that costs will exceed £1 billion and 6/4 on TIE chief executive, Richard Jeffrey, resigning before the year is out.

For those feeling more positive, the company also offered odds of 4/1 that the tram project would be completed on time and 25/1 on it sticking to the proposed budget of £545 million.

Speaking for William Hill, Graeme Sharpe, communications manager, said: “A letter from a local Edinburgh man encouraged us to look at the tram situation with regard to betting possibilities, and to consider whether we should open a full-scale betting market on it.”

He added that William Hill thought the odds were fair. He explained: “It would be a huge climbdown to scrap the whole project and you’d have to think it is unlikely, but certainly not impossible, so we gave it 3/1.

“Very few major civic projects ever stick to their original budgets – it would be more of a shock to most people if this one did manage to come in at under £1bn than if it did not.

“Reducing the size seems reasonable, and could well be the ideal compromise all round. And in regards to the Sagrada Familia, we think even the renowned and seemingly eternal Spanish cathedral construction, currently planned to end in 2026, could be finished before the Edinburgh tram project. But I doubt it, somehow.”

Now other betting businesses, such as Ladbrokes, have confirmed that they also will consider running similar bets – down the tram line.

Getting into the spirit of things, Mr Jeffrey said he would possibly be heading down to the bookies when the bets come into play.

He said: “I’d be interested to see all the odds available, and would perhaps consider putting a wager on. I wonder what the odds would be on the Evening News going a full week without a tram story.”

Tram project to be scrapped 3/1

• Costs to total more than £1 billion 2/1

• Chief executive Richard Jeffrey to resign before the year is over 6/4

• Full line will not be built 1/5

• The project will not be finished until 2015 2/1

• Sagrada Familia to be completed before the tram project 20/1

• Tram project to be completed on time 4/1

• Tram project to be completed to its budget of £545 million 25/1


Bore of the Year 2010 – Early Nominations

1) The General Election
2) The Cameron Pregnancy
3) The Papal Visit
4) The World Cup

Any other suggestions?

Baby Blue

How low can politics go?

Hoon, Hewitt and Byers? “We haven’t done anything wrong”

My arse!

If anyone thinks that it’s perfectly proper for an elected representative to charge a lobbying company £5k a day to use their influence then they clearly have a different definition of “nothing wrong” than most of us.

What a pair of scumbags Hoon and Hewitt are.

And then there’s the Camerons’ cynical ploy to up the media interest in them in the run up to the election happy and completely unexpected announcement that they are to be blessed with a happy event later in the year.

It’s time for that Steven Fry quote again. “Sometimes there just isn’t enough vomit in the world!”