Discomforting words

Ok, we should have known better. As we point out in our accompanying UK Infrastructure Report 2012, we gathered together six asset class professionals for a roundtable discussion a mere nine hours after the curtain had been brought down on the Olympic Games in East London.

Now, this was no laughing matter. It was clear from the ‘pre-roundtable’ chit-chat that most (if not all) of the invitees were nursing hangovers. But these were not (repeat NOT) of an alcohol-induced variety – instead, the sore heads had been brought on by a lack of running, jumping, swimming, cycling and all sorts of other sporting activities that had sustained them over the last two weeks. (Not as participants, but as excitable, flag-waving fans).

Briefly, smiles would flicker as memories were recalled of Bradley Wiggins’ two-wheeled heroics or Usain Bolt’s dash to glory. But then the reality would strike home that now it was all over, never to be repeated. And back came the long faces. 

And that’s why we should have known better than to scribble the accompanying message at oneend  of the room. Yes, UK infrastructure matters. But so did the Olympics. They mattered like hell. And that’s why, when asked for thoughts on the message that greeted them, one of the assembled mumbled: “Hmm. Bit mean spirited if you ask me.” He sort of smiled as he said it. But we suspect he meant it.