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London 2012: one big party or one big prison?

By Mike Wells

Security precautions for London 2012 include the construction of a 17.5 km, 5,000volt electric fence, topped with 900 daylight and night vision surveillance cameras spaced at 50 metre intervals. On first sight of the fence you could be forgiven for thinking you had slipped through a wormhole in the space-time continuum to find yourself on the perimeter of a Soviet era Gulag.

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Chicago 2016 Admits Lying to Public

As reported by Crain’s Chicago Business reporter, Greg Hinz:

Olympic chief admits errors, but promises full disclosure

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The Real Political Lessons From Vancouver's Leakgate Election

I'm getting more than a little tired of being told by the likes of his Highness Larry Campbell (or is it Sir Larry?) and, today, columnist Milo Cernetig in the Vancouver Sun's lead post-election story, just how awful the recent leaking of secret loan documents was and how the leakers should be hunted down and "hung out to dry." I'm not debating the legality of stealing government documents. What I do question is that they had to be stolen and leaked to the media just for the public to be aware of an important civic detail, like the fact I'm on the hook for $100 million loan to prop up private development that will have a very brief use as the Olympic Athletes' Village.

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FOI: what did the LDA pay for compulsorily purchasing Clays Lane?

I recently asked the LDA a Freedom of Information question to find out how much it paid for a number of sites, purchased under the Compulsory Purchase Order, and to whom this money was paid. The sites included the Clays Lane and Park Village housing estates, the Clays Lane and Waterden Road Travellers' sites, the Manor Gardens allotments and the Eastway Cycle Track.

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Olympic sporting legacy – whose responsibility ?

There has been no end of promises for a sporting legacy for London in the wake of the 2012 Games. But fine sentiments alone are not going to deliver it to future generations of Londoners, argues Kurt Barling, BBC London.

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The International Olympic Committee's tax free billions

The IOC is now a financially robust organisation, having reinforced its position as a key player in the lucrative world of sport. For the 2005-2008 period alone the IOC will receive about $2.5 billion from broadcasters, $866 million from its TOP sponsors' programme, a worldwide sponsorship programme managed by the IOC, plus money from tickets and licensed programmes.

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Olympics Ministry being economical with the truth again

Conclusions and Recommendations of the House of Commons Public Accounts Select Committee Report 22 April 2008

  1. Foreseeable requirements for public sector funding were excluded from the estimates at the time of the bid to host the Games, giving an unrealistic picture of the expected costs. Contrary to good practice, the Department [of Culture Media and Sport] did not include programme contingency, now £2.7 billion, because the scale and complexity of the undertaking were not appreciated at the time of the bid. The costs of tax and security, now estimated at over £1.4 billion, were also excluded from the estimates as they were uncertain. Yet £738 million of funding from the private sector was included, despite not being supported by robust analysis. All costs and revenues should have been included from the outset, with the uncertainties explained and a contingency provided.

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London Olympic chiefs defend executive salaries

London Olympic chiefs defended the salaries of its top executives on Thursday after it emerged some were earning up to 100,000 pounds more than first thought.About seven senior executives at the Olympic Delivery Authority are being paid more than 200,000 pounds. The authority published the salaries of its executives in its annual report for 2006/7, but the report only included the amount earned so far that year.

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