That, of course, is one of the biggest, most expensive political statements on the planet. The whole thing is shaping up to be about as perfect a pageant of what passes for international values in 2012 as anyone could imagine. Lots of ordinary working people have seen their homes cleared and levelled to make way for a largely publicly funded celebration of global corporate hegemony in an enormous glittering fortress behind whose walls, we are assured, a lot of good, clean fun will definitely be had, or else. Spectators will be herded through an enormous purpose-built shopping centre, encouraged to visit the world’s largest McDonald’s, and have their every purchase and brand endorsement monitored and policed. It’s all stage-managed by a multi-million-dollar global military enforcement machine whose one redeeming feature is its shambling incompetence. Finally, of course, there are the exploited migrants doing the dirty work. This week, it was revealed that cleaners from a variety of countries have been put up in temporary slums, paying £550 per month for the privilege of sleeping 10 to a room in flooded portable housing. If the Olympics are a festival of global prosperity in microcosm, they are an unnervingly accurate one, right down to the underpaid, precarious workers shipped in to do the rotten jobs. And that’s the big secret of contemporary capitalism – much as it serves states to posture about border control and indulge in anti-immigration rhetoric, modern economies cannot function without the movement of cheap labour, usually illegally, across borders.