One family seems to be doing nicely out of the Olympics. Mrs Windsor's nephew made a profit out of selling Jubilee and Olympics commemorative items at £3,900 a throw. Mrs Windsor herself was awarded an Honorary BAFTA and was ludicrously described as the 'most memorable Bond girl yet'. The Olympic Park is, of course, named after a famous ship, the QEII. A further example of this interminable sycophancy is the renaming of another local park, Marsh Lane Fields, where the Manor Gardens Allotments were forcibly relocated, the instantly forgettable Leyton Jubilee Park.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 08/04/2013 - 16:56.
Went to the latest UEL/LLDC seminar on Sustainability last week and got into a bit of a spat with the speakers and another member of the audience over the sustainability example of London 2012. Samantha Heath of London Sustainability Exchange told us how she had, almost single-handedly, got Ken Livingstone to subscribe to sustainability targets of various kinds back in 2002 to 2004 when she was a member of the Greater London Assembly and how this all depended on Ken making top down decisions, all of which may be true. She had just been telling us what a wonderful example of sustainability the London Olympics had been and how it had created a new culture in the UK. I had to disagree with her that the Olympics had been such a sustainability success given, among other things, the botched remediation, the farce of the turbines and the failure to use the canals to shift materials, none of which she disputed. Another member of the audience chipped in about the sponsors and again she agreed this had not been a success, although she was keen on the torch relay which was a puzzle given the advertising platform it provided for Coca Cola.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 25/03/2013 - 15:53.
Two weeks ago the trial began of nine members of Critical Mass, out of 182 originally arrested, for riding their bikes too close to the Olympic Park on the evening of the Opening Ceremony. Another malicious Olympics prosecution (see p 12), that of citizen journalist and photographer Mike Wells, finally came to an end almost two months ago on 17th January 2013. The story began with an unsubstantiated allegation that Mike assaulted the driver of an excavator at Sandy Lane, the unmade road that runs alongside Leyton Marshes, and ended nine months later at Stratford Magistrate’s Court. Mike’s prosecution occurred against a background of warnings from police and politicians that the authorities would take a hard line in the face of protest and disorder.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sun, 10/03/2013 - 23:15.
Hackney Marshes – Public Consultation
I am writing to let you know that the Council is planning to launch a public consultation on a proposal to apply for PINS consent to hold major public events on Hackney Marshes between 1st May and 31st August each year.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Wed, 20/02/2013 - 17:49.
Olympic legacy: ‘this is where they practised hammerthrow and I don't think it's benefited us very much’
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Tue, 12/02/2013 - 14:00.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sat, 26/01/2013 - 23:03.
Not so long ago the ODA was being touted by its former Chair, John Armitt, as a model for running infrastructure projects. Politicians and others should not interfere in these projects, which should receive cross-party support, instead they should be overseen by a quango - like the ODA. Armitt's proposal is backed by the Labour Party, which has created a panel to investigate the management of infrastructure projects. Lord Adonis, one of Armitt's panellists, rushed to endorse his proposal.
Armitt's big idea is based on his claim that the ODA 'got it right'. Far from getting it right the ODA failed to carry out its functions safely, as in the botched remediation, harassed and persecuted local residents affected by its programmes at places like Leyton Marsh and Leabank Square and lied constantly about alleged legacies such as Stratford City or the 'largest new park in Europe for 150 years'.
Now further evidence has emerged of its failure to investigate or even pay attention to allegations of blacklisting by its contractors. The case of Frank Morris was already known back in February 2011. The ODA took no action in response to the protests which followed over either the original sacking of a co-worker or of Frank Morris himself, when he raised objections to the original abuse.
In November 2012, the ODA's Chief Executive, Dennis Hone, told the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigating blacklisting:
“The ODA did not receive any evidence or could find any evidence of blacklisting on the Olympic Park during the construction phase or otherwise." He also claimed that: “At that time there was a discussion with our contractors and we requested evidence from people making the allegations and no evidence was forthcoming. If it had been then we would have gone after the contractors involved."
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Fri, 25/01/2013 - 22:14.
Mount Kariwang-san is one of the Korean peninsular's most important forest habitats. The Uiryong People, of the Good Friends to Nature--Korea NGO, have been campaigning against the destruction of this habitat and have provided images showing the variety of species and the area affected by the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. In the mid-1990s they thwarted a government project to construct a motorway over a key pass in the Mount Pukhan National Park in Seoul...
...working ahead of official teams, members of the non-profit organisation conducted a general survey of the woods in the proposed ski area using GPS to spot all the remarkable trees and then counted and measured them over the last two years...
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sun, 20/01/2013 - 14:54.
'Save Mt. Kariwang-san, an Ecological Ark of Ancient Forest, from Ski Area Construction for the 2018 Winter Games at Pyeongchang, Korea'
Summary Note on the Controversial Olympic Downhill Condemning a Treasure Mountain
Written by Cho Sang-hee (contact email@example.com)
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Thu, 03/01/2013 - 14:25.
One of the curiosities of the Olympics is how other groups like to be associated with it regardless of the realities on the ground. For example the Noise Abatement Society gave the ODA its so-called 'silent approach' award for its code of construction back in 2010. It specified the following:
The ODA’s Community Relations team work closely with the contractors to ensure that the construction programme has little impact on residents living close by. This is achieved through:
the provision of a free Construction Hotline
regular residents’ construction update meetings for people living closest to the park
the Corporate Social Responsibility programme and community events.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 10/12/2012 - 20:59.