Leader: Olympic organisers must fly flag for whole of the UK

TT HAS been billed the "London Olympics". Unfortunately, it is now living up to that very limiting name.

Latest figures show that schoolchildren in London will receive two-and-a-half times more free Olympics tickets than youngsters in the rest of the UK combined.

Thus, while 125,000 tickets will be handed out to children studying at schools and colleges in London, just 50,000 will be distributed to school pupils across the "regions" - this includes the rest of England, plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Now add to this the news that just 145 Olympics-related contracts have been won by Scots firms out of a total of 2,806 tenders worth 5 billion and it is not hard to see why enthusiasm for the Games here may be short-lived and not be burning as bright as its organisers would wish - and have an obligation to ensure.

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This is a massive UK event. It is being supported by the UK taxpayer together with some 150 million of Scottish National Lottery money.

Few would quibble that London is an ideal location for this global spectacle and that it has the infrastructure and know-how to mount a successful and magnetic event, which will draw hundreds of thousands of overseas visitors to Britain. Hopefully some will devote part of their time to see Scotland. But ticket distribution, particularly to the young, needs to have more regard to the fact this is a major UK event, not just London's and Olympic organisers must demonstrate more than a patronising attitude towards the "rest of the UK".