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July 09, 2007

Watching the Tour De France

Over at Norm's:

More than two million spectators lined the tortuous, 216-kilometre (134-mile) route between Greenwich and Canterbury.

Could be, although I'm not entirely and wholly convinced. That's four people every yard, or more than one person every foot of the way on both sides of the road.

July 9, 2007 in The English | Permalink


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2 million watching a bunch of cyclists. Thousands watching the unveiling of a new aeroplane.

Don't these people have jobs?

Posted by: sortapundit | Jul 9, 2007 2:52:34 PM

I couldn't possibly comment about Boeing in Seattle but as for Britain:

"Britain's economic growth owes just as much to the country's creative industries as it does to more traditional areas such as the financial sector, it was claimed [in June].

"A report by the Work Foundation, which looked at 13 sectors within the entertainment and design industries, found that cultural exports from Britain, such as music and television programmes, are greater than from any other country. According to the findings, Britain's creative sector employs 1.8 million people and makes up 7.3 per cent of the national economy."

"Tessa Jowell, then Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport said "I very much welcome The Work Foundation’s report. This analysis shows just how vibrant – and how economically important – our creative industries are. It reinforces how vital government investment in creativity is, nurturing talent which in turn creates jobs and economic success."

These days, watching is creative stuff.

Posted by: Bob B | Jul 9, 2007 3:14:03 PM

But what's the tour de France doing on the road to Canterbury? Lost their way or summat?

Posted by: Peter Spence | Jul 9, 2007 5:31:13 PM

Lost their way? Good heavens: No!

In terms of its residential population, "London is now the seventh biggest French city. There are around 300,000 French people in London - making it the seventh largest French city."

Posted by: Bob B | Jul 9, 2007 5:44:07 PM

What are the bigger 6 Bob? Do they count Montreal, Geneva, Brussels ....?

Posted by: dearieme | Jul 9, 2007 6:09:14 PM

Don't blame me - it came from the spin put out by Sarkozy when he did a stop-off in London in the course of his campaign during the French presidential election:

"The front-runner in France's presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy, has taken his campaign to what he calls France's seventh-largest city — London. Stephen Beard reports."

Apparently, Sarkozy's daughter works in London. There was also a real political purpose to this - Sarkozy was making an important issue that bright, enterprising young people out of France's higher education system often treked to London to find a sufficiently rewarding job suited to their skills, sometimes commuting back home for weekends via the Eurostar Express.

Posted by: Bob B | Jul 9, 2007 6:35:43 PM

LOL well observed Tim.

Posted by: Opinionated | Jul 9, 2007 8:17:21 PM

Look, there's me!

Posted by: Mark Holland | Jul 9, 2007 11:05:38 PM

Oh, and:

Fabian Wegmann thinks that the British aren't known for their bubbling temperament, but this weekend they tried very hard to set a good mood, the German reports on his website, www.fabianwegmann.de.

The Gerolsteiner rider had hoped for many spectators at the prologue, but he didn't expect that they would be standing six or seven-deep in every town and every small village that the peloton passed.

"I have never experienced anything like that," the German Champion contended, and elaborated that there were so many people that it was actually hard to take natural breaks. "It is a stupid situation. You are cycling along and hope that after the next curve there is no fan so you can releave yourself."

But then what would he know about it anyway? Hasn't he done the maths? Sigh.

Posted by: Mark Holland | Jul 9, 2007 11:08:56 PM

The fact that the 2 million figure was announced days before the event actually occurred does make me rather sceptical of the figure.

Posted by: Ross | Jul 10, 2007 1:52:43 AM

Well possible. I didn't watch the whole race, but I saw the last hour and there were indeed solid crowds of people several deep on both sides of the road all the way.

Posted by: Martin Adamson | Jul 10, 2007 4:19:00 PM