London mayor slams 'whingers'
LOndon - London Mayor Boris Johnson blasted people moaning about the Olympics, saying Friday that Britain was about to stage the greatest show on Earth and the doom-mongers should "put a sock in it".
Johnson urged naysayers to look at the positive impact of the London 2012 Games rather than being gripped in a "paralysing stage fright".
The build-up to the Olympics has been dominated in Britain by worries about security, airport border staff, foul weather, traffic jams and public transport strikes.
"Oh come off it, everybody -- enough whimpering," Johnson wrote in The Sun newspaper.
"Cut out the whinging. And as for you whingers, put a sock in it -- fast.
"We've got an advanced case of Olympo-funk. We agonise about the traffic, when our transport systems are performing well and the world's athletes are arriving on time.
"We worry about security when we always planned to have a strong military role in making our Games as safe as possible.
"We are nervous about our Olympic accommodation -- when our Stratford village is already being showered with foreign praise.
"We gnaw our fingernails about the blinking weather, when it seems to be brightening up a bit -- and anyway, it's England in July for goodness sake and a spot of rain never hurt anyone."
Conservative Johnson, who was re-elected in May, said the festival running alongside the Games would show London was the cultural capital of the world.
"I'm not just talking about a few fire-eaters, or chaps painted silver making jerky movements.
"There will be operas popping up on canals, world-class rock and pop acts in the parks, zip wires, family entertainment of all kinds -- and all of it free."
Johnson said Britain could beat rivals such as France and Australia in the medal stakes.
"And if we get it right, we can make the Olympics a big win for jobs and growth as well -- so let's get behind our team and the Games."