I have never been a sporty person, and when the UK was awarded the 2012 Olympics I was less than enthusiastic, the resultant blunders in cost left me even less jubilant – the cost of security was estimated without the additional of VAT, a careless political blunder.
With the ensuing Banking Crisis the £8 Billion or so it was due to cost looked even less likely money well spent, but the benefits were going to be huge in tourism, and also 2012 was going to become an auspicious year with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations along with a cart full of other celebrations going on. The benefits have started to look less good.
A recent report showed that the Landlords – as capitalists are want to do – have begun evicting tenants near the games, or if not evicting them putting the rents up so high that they were unaffordable, simply to cash in on the games – as usual this gain is going to short-term.
The effect on the working families, and families, is huge. A report showed that the further you live from the centre of London the less life chances you had – in fact for every tube stop from Westminster decreases your life expectancy. The Math is pretty simple, you earn less, you spend more time commuting and for the really poor having to hold down two part-time jobs to make ends meet it disproportionately increases commute time, less time with the kids, less time sleeping equals poorer health.
Another factor is that re-locating families not induces strain, it also wreaks communities – moving to strange neighbourhood breaks the ties that hold society together, the entire idea of the Olympics goes against the normal processes of society.
Of course during the Olympics the transport system of the UK will be stretched to almost breaking point, taking London for example – the Tube is near, or sometimes, past capacity. Having lived in London you got used to a Tube Station being closed due to the sheer volume of people, now we are going to magnify this effect. At least I don’t live in London anymore, so I guess I can just look at the chaos and carp.