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Tugboat Annie

Spin is pernicious, like Japanese Knotweed from tiny fragments of root it keeps popping up everywhere.

Mark King, an innocent 'churnalist', writes a piece in The Guardian: A working life: the lock keeper

East London's waterways are now London's Olympic waterways, snaking around the area of the 2012 Games, currently a building site peppered with rising stadiums and housing. Part of Myers's job is to liaise with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to ensure that barges going to and from the area get through without delay.
In total, up to 1.75m tonnes of construction materials will be brought in by barge, taking up to 170,000 lorry journeys off local roads. "Each barge weighing 300 tonnes or more will keep nine construction lorries off the road," she marvels. "Isn't that great?"

Of course it would be great, but _ is _ it _ true?


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Low 2012 prices show women's sport 'not valued equally'

The organisers of London's 2012 Olympics have been accused of undervaluing women's sports and contravening the Olympic Charter's commitments to equality. Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) said: "There is no doubt it sends a clear message that women's sports are not valued equally. Lower price equals lower value. But this is not just a commercial event. A lot of public money has gone into it. Judgements are being made about the value of women's sport that don't reflect its value in the market: women's sport is at an all-time high."


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Glasto 2012 down the pan

Due to a lamentable lack of portaloos and plod


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That broken promise we'd all been anticipating

Cheap tickets for kids from the host boroughs? You betcha!
'
Alternatively, in the words of Greenwich's 'Great Leader':

Greenwich Council has accused LOCOG of making “secret deals” to price out thousands of youngsters from the host boroughs from watching the sports.

Cllr Chris Roberts, Leader of Greenwich Council said: “Olympic organisers have had five years to plan a ticket allocation which would permit the children of the Host Boroughs to attend the Games taking place on their own doorsteps. Instead seven out of eight schoolchildren will be denied that chance.

The children of the East End were used by the Olympic organisers to win the bid for the Games in Singapore, they have been called upon endlessly to take part in photo-opportunities to build support for the Games and are even used in consultation groups to advise on how to run the Games and build a legacy.”

“Repeatedly, the Olympic Host Boroughs have offered to buy tickets for their children but have been refused. LOCOG don’t want the authentic East End , they don’t want our money, they certainly don’t want our kids.”

docklands24.co.uk


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Not another Queen Elizabeth park

According the Evening Standard the Royal rebrand is a "historic deal" and will help "transform the area" into "one of Europe's most popular tourist attractions".

Prefixing a place with Queen Elizabeth is not exactly the most innovative marketing idea and the Olympic housing estate / would-be tourist hotspot is entering a pretty crowded marketplace. The UK and indeed the world is already well supplied with Queen Elizabeth branded parks of various sorts so you can see why they had to incorporate the Olympic brand as well to try and distinguish it.

There is the Queen Elizabeth Park in Guildford - this is like a mini version of the Olympic Park in not being a park at all but a 'low-density traditional development located in parkland'.

There's the Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Portsmouth, a Queen Elizabeth Forest Park in Scotland, and even the Queen Elizabeth Caravan Park in Stonehaven which sounds a great place to escape to in 2012 - it even has an Olympic-size swimming pool nearby. There's Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury and the Queen's Gardens in Croydon.

There's the small but much loved and under threat Queen Elizabeth Park in Farnborough.

There are also Queen Elizabeth Parks in Vancouver, Sydney, Uganda, South Africa, New Zealand, and the Queen Elizabeth Marine Park in the Cayman Islands.

Once you add in all the hundreds of streets, pubs, hospitals, schools, concert halls and so forth it should be obvious the name is so ubiquitous that it means nothing to anyone in the real world. But of course marketing London's ex-Olympics development site has nothing to do with reality.


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What's in a brand? Royalty 'market-tested' for Olympic Park rebranding

Oh the humiliation! The market rules. The royal name, 'Queen Elizabeth', is just another brand. Before it could be used to re-brand the Olympic Park it had to be 'market-tested' with possible investors, local boroughs and businesses.

The new brand name for the Park was also the subject of an argument between the government and the British Olympic Association. The BOA was unhappy about the loss of sole brand rights to the Park's name and tried to extract £10million before it would agree to allow the new 'Queen Elizabeth' brand to be stuck before its own 'Olympic' brand name!

I am surprised no-one thought to call some part of this merry-go-round 'iconic'.

According to BoJo sticking the royal brand name on the Park is supposed to bring 'fantastic benefits'.

Sometimes you just have to love the Olympics!


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Professionals leave it late to oppose Chicago Bid

Where were they when it mattered? NoGamesChicago has a couple of neat little stories about those who become wise after the event. First, there was the American Planning Association whose magazine, in February 2010, discovered “Unfortunately, hosting the Games gets no medals as an urban development strategy. Host efforts tend to be over promised and underfunded, and seldom achieve the goals local organizers set out.”

NGC asks 'Where were they when the bid was being proposed and marketed to the citizens of Chicago and the rest of Illinois?'

Then there was Frank Deford, senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated, who, in June of this year, commented “…as Vancouver goes about the nasty business of trying to pay off this winter’s Olympics, and as we approach the World Cup and South Africa sees its bill soar toward $5 billion, it’s worth reminding cities and countries that think they can be the apple of the world’s eye just by hosting a sports spectacular, that there are only two words you can be guaranteed will always highlight every Olympics and every World Cup nowadays, and those are: over budget.”

NGC plaintively cries out 'Frank, we could’ve used your voice last year.'

When it comes to being 'the apple of the world's eye' NGC also points out that Patrick Sandusky, Chief Spokesman for Chicago 2016, still wants to claim exactly that success for the 2016 Bid by insisting Chicago got 'global scale' marketing exposure out of the venture.

It's that 'world city' thing again!


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No boulevard of dreams on High Street 2012

The 2012 Olympics are working their magic and bringing people together - in frustration! East London rings to cries of 'Betrayal!' and 'Civil Unrest'!

Tower Hamlets Council and a handful of MPs have protested at the rerouting of the Olympic marathon to the much more iconic and tvgenic West End and the waste of £10million spent on tarting up Whitechapel for the privilege of having 100 runners pound up the briefly named Olympic Boulevard, now High Street 2012, otherwise known as Whitechapel, Mile End and Bow Roads, for a few minutes.

Now West Ham's Hammers and Newham Council are appalled at the prospect of North London's Haringey upstarts Tottenham Hotspur occupying their Olympic stadium!

Hammers' boss, David Sullivan, threatened riots could break out if this came to pass: "I think there could be riots, such is the ill feeling between West Ham and Spurs and I know the police feel the same."

I am not quite sure what he means by 'the police feel the same'. Is he suggesting East London coppers might join in and take on their North London counterparts?


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Marathon mendacity

Lots in the blogosphere on Coe&Co having chosen to re-route the marathon away from East London.

This comment on Diamond Geezer is really quite touching:

As an Engineer with Team Stadium, I watched a colleague spend an awful long time on his pride and joy - the marathon route. There's a purpose built path that leads into the Olympic park, entering the stadium close by the 100m start and allowing for a final lap of the stadium before crossing the finish line. He's a little disappointed too! We'll have to change the spiel we give to 'stakeholders' who come to visit as well. Shame.
and shame that noone in the MSM seems to pick up that there were several central city loops in the original plan with the final branch off to the stadium.

Dave Hill's latest flags up 853's 'The Olympic marathon – can LOCOG be trusted in Greenwich?' and has comments pointing to the Diamond Geezer post and to

Regeneration&Renewal's Tim Williams, who thinks it was to please the sponsors and doesn't seem to particularly trust Coe either, accusing him of perfidy:

What does add up is the money from sponsors offered to change the route. My own sources suggest that the compelling reason for Locog to betray East London is a combination of new bilateral sponsorship deals being offered by individual countries seeking their ‘live sites’ to be televised and pressure from Visit London to highlight mainstream tourist destinations along the route. I invite them to deny this. It smells true.

(No-ones mentioned the perhaps greater difficulty of securing the East End route from what I've seen so far though)


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I'll tell you a story

The disinformation continues:
According to the blurb Bob Allies, Allies & Morrison, Games and legacy masterplanners; Stephen Bayley, architecture and design writer for the The Times, author of Labour Camp; Ricky Burdett, Centennial Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, LSE and advisor to the Olympic Park Legacy Company; Tony Hall, director of Cultural Olympiad and chief executive of the Royal Opera House and Alison Nimmo, Director of Design and Regeneration, Olympic Development Authority will be discussing that "largest new urban park in Europe for over 150 years" at London and the Olympics: Predicting the legacy of the 21st century, in one of BoJo's Story of London gigs at the British Library?

Debunked here


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