fredag 14 januari 2011

The East End's Olympic hopes are being dashed

So runs an article in today's Guardian. The wonder is that anyone really believed that there would be some kind of trickle-down for the hard-up residents of the depressed part of London where the stadium would be built.

Competitive sport as we know it today was invented in the late nineteenth century, growing out of the social-Darwinist paradigm. The mindset behind it is essentially fascistic and it is no coincidence that totalitarian regimes have been outstanding in promoting it.

The British bid was part of the drive towards the grandiose, which characterises British politics, regardless of which party is in power. Partly it reflects the wider delusion that the country is still a great power

If one wants to develop the infrastructure of a run down area, the investment must be carefully tailored to the circumstances. It will not be if the primary purpose is a big sports complex. That will leave little in the way of useful legacy.

A further factor is that we don't know how to pay for infrastructure. The taxpayers' money goes in and it ends up in higher rents and property prices for some lucky landowners to make off with. And it is all a bonanza for the big civil engineering consultancies and contractors.

Read article here

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