Assessing the Olympic farce facing London, George Monbiot recently asked: “However, if it is true that all this is being done for the good of the residents, then why have they not been given time to speak?” Good question, George, but they have been asked (see my Olympi-had?). It's just their answers were ignored - and belittled.
The one word you can’t get away from when investigating the 2012 Olympics is “legacy”. It’s somewhat like that other New Labour word: “debate”. There is no “debate”, and likewise there will be no “legacy” for the residents of East London, other than the soaring council taxes they'll be asked to pay soon.
One thing that residents demanded during the “consultation” was “affordable accommodation”. The M.C. for the week-long consultation, Sir Steve, honoured in 1999 “for services to regeneration in East London”, was appalled. Sir Jacobs thundered: “Do we want to build housing for poor people?” and “Perhaps we don’t want affordable accommodation? You’re talking about housing for need. You’re being very old fashioned. Should we be housing people according to lifestyle rather than need?” These assembled consultants and London 2012 agents nodded in agreement. They had heard the words of the Lord, and they saw that it was good (and profitable).
Sir Steve had further words of wisdom for those who wanted “affordable accommodation”: “Make good and move out. My parents they made good and moved out”, and that making accommodation affordable in an area attracting rich people “means having sand in the cement”. Translation: the filthy and poor grainy sand mixed in with the rich and smooth cement.
The last thing you can say about London 2012 is that East Londoners weren’t consulted. Those not at the “consultation” have an excuse. Those that were can plead stupidity in believing the extravagant claims now being made when not so long ago they heard the true voice of London 2012.