09 June 2007

Chippenham embraces the guiding light of songun

Chippenham is one of many towns and cities across the UK hoping to get aboard the 2012 Olympics gravy train by hosting one of the teams as it prepares for the games. Knowing full well there was no chance of attracting a major nation like the USA the burgher of Chippenham sent off brochures to smaller sporting nations.

The first response, however, was the North Korea - an embassy official wrote that it was very interested and a North Korean photographer turned up earlier this week to take pictures of the town. The only catch so far is that the embassy has wondered if the town would care to pay for its athletes to stay there. The town rather thought it would be getting money!

North Korea is not the biggest prize of course: Birmingham is close to sealing a deal with the USA that could benefit the city by £10m or more; Loughborough, Bath and Millfield, are all hoping to host Team GB (or a sporting giant if they miss out); Bristol has signed a deal with Kenya not only to host its pre-games camp but to organise a series of sporting, educational and cultural exchange programmes.

So will Chippenham be the centre of Juche in England in five years time? Will Dermot Hudson and the British membership of the Korean Friendship Association (both of them!)be moving there? Will Chippenham be paying for the privilege?

Chippenham 2012?

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