By Julian Cheyne and Rebecca Kim - Researcher at the Democracy & Social Movement Institute, SungkongHoe University, Seoul
Against the background of the all consuming scandal which has engulfed South Korea's now deposed President Park Pyeongchang2018 looms up as the next fixture in the Olympic murk. The scandal surrounding ex-President Park Guen-hye, her confidante, Choi Soon-sil, and South Korea’s secretive companies, or chaebols, such as Samsung, Hyundai, Lotte or Hanjin, has cast a light on the shadowy interactions between the government, the secret services and the chaebols, the companies which came to dominate the South Korean economy during the dictatorship of Park’s father, Park Jung-Hee.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 27/03/2017 - 13:20.
Article | Coe | Compulsory Purchase | Corruption & Ethics | Displacement | Environment | Human Rights | IOC | Mega Events | Planning & Development | Pyeongchang 2018 | Rio de Janeiro 2016 | Sochi 2014 | Sponsors | Sport | Tokyo2020
After putting up heroic resistance in the public interest the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) finally gave in and published the details of the contract with West Ham for the London Olympics stadium after being ordered to do so by the Information Tribunal. However, a search of the LLDC website for the contract produces 'no result' and does not provide any trace of the document and nor is it mentioned under 'News' or 'Press Releases'. The full agreement can be found here. Interestingly the details of the contract had not been pursued by any public authority or by GLA Assembly Members, by the European Union or even by rival football clubs like Tottenham Hotspur or Leyton Orient but by Supporters groups from fourteen different clubs. Apparently Boris Johnson had said he would be happy for the contract to be published. If so it is hard to understand why he didn't push for this to happen, as the LLDC is very much his baby, rather than allow it to spend over £21,000 fighting the case.
The BBC outlined the details. The final cost of the stadium is £701million with the cost of conversion £272million, up from the original estimate of £160million. West Ham's contribution to this refit was £15million. [As an indication of how bad this deal is it has to be recalled that West Ham's previous owner Eggert Magnusson offered £100million to take over the Olympic stadium! He was prepared to guarantee an athletics legacy as well] It will pay £2.5million rent per year with a scale of charges depending on the club's footballing success or failure. However, it will not pay for a variety of services like security, undersoil heating, floodlighting, cleaning which are worth up to another £2.5million.
The BBC claims the stadium will be a multi-use venue. It is hard to see the point of this statement. It is a 'multi-use' venue because of the enormous amount of money spent on converting it to accommodate athletics and football! However, if a two month window for, in all probability, one major athletics event a year qualifies it as a multi-use venue then this is a strange understanding of multi-use. The fact that music events will also be hosted is hardly unusual for stadiums of this type, many football clubs host such events without this kind of expenditure.
However, in this article the BBC fails to mention the £40million loaned by Newham to West Ham as part of the deal although back in 2011 it reported on concerns in Newham and among some Newham councillors that the deal had little to offer the community and highlighted the control exercised by Newham's Mayor, Robin Wales, who is able to use political patronage to silence opposition in a borough without any non-Labour councillors. The BBC reported:
One serving councillor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "A significant number of councillors have reservations.
"There are massive doubts over supposed community benefits."
The councillor continued: "Why are we arranging a loan for a private company? West Ham should go to a bank like everybody else.
Councillors are afraid to speak out. This rings alarm bells.
Anita Shields, Independent auditor
"The financial football model is hardly blessed by success."
But not one serving politician will go on the record.
The councillor said: "The problem is the mayoral system.
"People are frightened to go against the mayor. They are frightened of a lack of patronage.
"He's had almost the same executive since 2000 - on £40,000 each. People want a bit of the action."
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Thu, 21/04/2016 - 00:27.
London 2012 is still not inspiring people in the host borough of Newham to take up sport. A recent report from UKActive showed that the borough was home to the least active population in England. A second host Borough, Barking and Dagenham, came second in the list. UKActive also highlighted the unsurprising finding that participation was lowest in the poorest parts of the county. But not only is poverty a marker for lower rates of activity so, perhaps surprisingly, is youth. Far from inspiring sport participation among the 'target' age group of 16-25 year olds the period after the Games witnessed an actual decline in activity in this age group.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Wed, 19/11/2014 - 00:29.
Having contrived to get themselves horse-whipped by some of Putin's cossacks yesterday, Pussy Riot's Sochi 2014 themed video for Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland is out there already. The lyrics with helpful annotations can be found on The New Republic.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Thu, 20/02/2014 - 08:44.
By Blacklist Support Group
Campaigners celebrated yesterday (Wed 18 Dec) claiming the bitter year long blacklisting dispute on Crossrail and protests at Olympics were totally vindicated following evidence given by Pat Swift to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in the Westminster parliament. Pat Swift was the head of Human Resources for the BAM - Ferrovial - Kier (BFK) consortium on Crossrail and the manager at the centre of the claims that UNITE shop steward Frank Morris had been dismissed in September 2012 because of his previous union activities.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Sat, 21/12/2013 - 17:49.
Thanks to Julian on the newsgroup for this bit of cheer entitled 'Olympic-style agency to lead transformation of Old Oak Common around HS2 hub'.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Sun, 01/12/2013 - 10:14.
Peers are apparently keen to prevent appointment of fellow peer the Baroness Grey Thompson (of the £7500 a
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Tue, 23/04/2013 - 09:46.
Usain Bolt is to get £500,000 for appearing at this summer's Olympics Anniversary event. Up till now Bolt has been the victim of 'punitive' tax laws which have prevented him earning these absurd sums in the past, but now the law has been changed to rectify this injustice! His British rivals, the likes of Ennis and Farah, will have to make do with a miserable £100,000 or so.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Thu, 18/04/2013 - 01:42.
The BBC describes the Stadium deal as an "unavoidable marriage". We're left to wonder exactly how much Newham paid for the wedding present?. Coe's concerns weren't for footie of course or he'd have done some research:
"Whisper it quietly, but football fans rarely want to watch football in an Olympic Stadium".
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Mon, 25/03/2013 - 09:51.
Revenge is a dish best served cold and companion of dishonour Coe is enjoying his repast. His arrival at the BOA has ‘coincided’ with the departures of Chairman Colin Moynihan, who left a year early, the former commercial director, Hugh Chambers, and the director of sport, Sir Clive Woodward, who noted the organisation was taking a ‘new direction’.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Fri, 15/02/2013 - 13:45.