Very few people are indifferent to the greatest event that will grace Britain during their lifetimes. This article critically considers both sides of this contradictory coin
The pro-Olympics camp has much to celebrate. For the first time in over 60 years, the Olympic Games have come to Britain and we will have the opportunity to enjoy a feast of sporting endeavour on our own doorsteps.
For just over two weeks, the sun will shine and proud British athletes are bound to bring in the largest gold medal haul since the modern Olympics began in 1896.
The lucky few will be able to enjoy iconic events such as the opening and closing ceremonies and the 100m finals live, witnessing world records broken with alacrity by athletes whose bodies are so highly tuned that we may never see their like again.
The rest of us can enjoy the thrill of the chase from the comfort of our own homes or even on a variety of mobile devices at work or on the move. At times, this is likely to get so exciting that cities will grind to a standstill as we wait with baited breath to see whether yet another Brit gets gold.
As we have seen with the Andy Murray phenomenon at Wimbledon, Brits love their sport and though the brave Scot didn't quite make it, he certainly inspired a nation so that every TV screen in the country was tuned in to watch and pray. At the same time, tickets for Centre Court were apparently going for the kinds of prices normally associated with family holidays or electric motor cars.
A hidden Olympic benefit will see many youngsters desperate to emulate their heroes, take up a life of sporting endeavour and in doing so shared pounds of unwanted fast food flesh.
In addition to all of this, we will have the Olympic legacy with its transport infrastructure, regeneration of parts of the country and massive sporting stadia, though why we couldn’t have recycled more existing ones is a still a mystery.
More personally, everybody at PKF is very excited at the prospect of seeing their international tax supremo and marathon runner, Katherine Brown leading out in both the opening and closing ceremonies the small, exclusively marathon contingent from a country the name of which she is not yet permitted to divulge.
Anyone that hates physical activity is unlikely to relish two and a half weeks of an unremitting sporting diet that could blight every aspect of their lives.
Even sports lovers might find the constant coverage and inevitable discussion more than they can take.
The hope that London could ignore the physical presence of the Olympics has become slim thanks to some recent revelations. It seems that the city will be doing a good impression of a totalitarian state under strict martial law with major roads closed to allow dignitaries to pass by, surface-to-air missiles and fighter jets deployed in and over the streets of our capital and the general impression that Londoners will be bossed about if they get in the way of events for which they are paying through the nose. But perhaps this is mere paranoia?
The main issue that is causing panic is the prospect, revved up by its operators, that the transport infrastructure will not be able to cope with a predicted 1 million additional visitors to London. It is very hard to believe that this is more than a scare story promoted by those that want to create a false feelgood factor when all runs the time.
While there has to be every prospect that trips to Olympic venues may take a little longer than desired, it is hard to believe that we do not have the capacity to soak up a few extra tourists, especially bearing in mind that so many Londoners are deserting the city for the duration.
It has to be said that sport is not what it used to be. In 1948, every athlete in the Olympics was determinedly amateur, the only kind of performance enhancing drugs that they took were the odd stimulating tot of rum, a pint of Guinness or a quick fag by the side of the track.
One suspects that back then, while every athlete wanted to win, being a good loser meant a lot. Now, victory (or least winning a medal) is all and anyone who comes fourth will be a forgotten failure within seconds.
Unfortunately, recent court cases have turned London 2012 into the drug cheats Olympics. While many people may harbour suspicions that a significant number of gold medal winners this year will be supported by a hidden industry that supplies potentially lethal but highly effective drugs to athletes, it seems even more likely that some previous miscreants will be happy to repeat their offences.
Therefore, either we will not have a level playing field or conceivably the Games will be devalued as vast numbers of seeming winners are chucked out with their medals passed downwards to those that trailed in way behind them.
Whether one believes that the Olympics really will be heaven or hell, let's try to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
For some, that means the chance to see sporting legends in the flesh. For others, there will be wall-to-wall TV coverage to enjoy on our brand-new 50in 3D HD TV screens.
For those that hate the Olympics this mighty least be an opportunity to catch up with friends overseas or those activities that normally never quite get completed.
At the end of the day, we will be left with some fine new housing, sporting structures to die for and, despite pandering to multinational fast food and drink companies, the kind of debts that exceed those of some small countries.