The precariousness of life in politics was brought home to me the other day when I was chatting to someone from the Greater London Authority about the Olympic Games. "I may not be in a job by then," was their rueful line.
And there is, of course, the rather significant matter of a Mayoral and Assembly election in London scheduled for May 2012 - just over 2 months before the start of the Games. It may not be Boris Johnson brandishing the flag in the opening ceremony; and yet most of the big decisions from London's point-of-view will have already been taken. The "one amazing year" the Mayor has talked about will be five months old when the capital's electorate gives its verdict.
So the outcome of last week's General Election has added another layer of uncertainty to the London 2012 planning. There are massively bigger matters at stake like the future of the economy and the shape of our political system which are being reported brilliantly by Nick Robinson & Co; but during the campaign I bumped into one of the nation's great and good who said he was looking forward to the outcome because we'd have a settled government that knew it would be in power in 2012 and beyond, and that would help all the projects. Which made me think he hadn't been looking at the polls.
A few observations, then, about the world we find ourselves in. First, the Olympic organisers are pleased that London 2012 wasn't a feature of the election campaign. That means, in their view, that it's seen by all parties as making good progress - and it's not the political hot potato it might have been. The people who underestimated the original budget have been flame-grilled for their sins, but now there is a political consensus about the costs and the organisation of the Games. This message has been sent out internationally by the organisers.
The Olympic Park is taking shape in east London
But I saw the former Home Secretary Dr John Reid on ITV saying that the Olympics and especially having a strong approach to security would be key for a new government, and our understanding is that London 2012 will be a significant part of the briefing documents for incoming ministers. And amid the challenges are opportunities too: whoever's in power in 2012 can expect a rosy glow of approval if the year goes well. I've spoken to a number of politicians who recognise that in a time of austerity, and with tough economic challenges ahead, London 2012 is potentially the one very good news story for the UK if it's delivered successfully.
If you were a betting person, then, it would be surprising to have a UK general election in the spring of 2012 unless it's absolutely unavoidable. The combination of the frenetic pace by then of Olympic planning with the Diamond Jubilee would be a powerful reason not to have an election too; whereas speculation about an autumn poll would allow another chapter to be written about the relationship between sport events and politics. I spotted again recently the discussion about the link between England's exit from the World Cup in 1970 and Harold Wilson's defeat at the ballot box shortly afterwards.
For all the current consensus, though, the emergence of a new government will have a discernible effect on the tone and style of London 2012. Different politicians see us differently as a nation. And there will be even more tangible consequences for the Olympic legacy. The argument has already started about what impact spending cuts will have on sport.
So if you were drawing a conclusion about where the Olympics stand at a time of uncertainty, it would be a pretty simple one. London 2012 is as well-placed as it could reasonably expect to be, but like everything in the UK it won't be immune from the political cross-currents. The Olympic rings won't protect any sacred cows.