Had we known what we know now, would we have bid for the Olympics? Almost certainly not. I have often observed that we bid for 2012 in one economic climate and are now in another. Had the scale of the downturn been anticipated, I am sure there would have been a view from some that this would not be the time to commit significant public expenditure to a project like the Olympics.
But she then goes on to argue the opposite case...
...but as I made clear in my speech, the reality is very different. This is precisely the time for this investment to be made. It has the potential to be economic gold at a time of economic need.
So what point was she trying to make? Because the net result of it all is that she comes across as not knowing her arse from her elbow. Maybe it is clumsy use of language, but she is essentially saying that had the government been able to predict a recession it would not have committed public funds to the Olympic programme. Which is odd, when as she later points out, the investment programme in new buildings, stadia and the regeneration of East London will create many thousands of jobs - and not just in London. Isn't the Olympics a prime example of where public investment can indeed boost the economy? I think that's what Tessa Jowell was trying to articulate, but she didn't get off to a very good start, as evidenced by the Telegraph headline.