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It was claimed on that Today program this morning that the UK hosting the 2018
World Cup would add '£3 billion to GDP and create thousands of jobs' - the usual
mega-sports-event economic benefit rhetoric.
On the contrary this report from Daiwa Capital Markets based on analysis of 15
previous world cups indicates that average GDP drops for host countries during
the cup year and has no detectable impact overall:
I have to say I did a little dance of joy when I heard this news and I quite
if it was all down to the Panorama ducumentary well done to the BBC I say.
"I'm not an expert on institutional corruption but I'd say that these folks
might probably opt to stick with Russia."
Prescient article from a few days ago.
‚ÄĘ We're listening to people's concerns,' says No 10
‚ÄĘ Signs of split as education department denies u-turn
David Cameron has ordered a rethink of the government's controversial decision to cut funding for school sports
amid unease in the cabinet and a growing campaign by British Olympic stars.
Downing Street sources said a revised plan, with extra funding, would be unveiled soon after a backlash against a decision by Michael Gove to slash ¬£162m a year in funding from school sports partnerships across England.
"There are clearly very strong feelings about this," one No 10 source said. "We are listening to people's concerns."
prime minister indicated a rethink was under way when he told MPs the government was talking to headteachers and he hoped to make an announcement soon. "The culture, media and sport secretary and the education secretary are working hard on this," he said. "We are talking with headteachers so we can make sure that what we come up with actually
works on the ground."
The rethink comes amid mounting anger over Gove's decision to end all ringfenced funding for school sport. The money is used to run PE classes in schools where there are no trained staff, organise sports clubs and run competitions.
champions, including heptathlete Denise Lewis, javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson and cyclist Jason Queally, are among 75 athletes who have written to the prime minister demanding a rethink of an "ill-conceived" policy they claim will damage children's health.
Cameron said at prime minister's questions: "It does seem to me that we all have a shared interest here. We all want good sport in schools, we all want more competitive sport and we have all got to make sure that money is spent well. I think everyone accepts that not every penny was spent well
in the past and there is quite a bureaucratic system."
His emollient language, in answer to a question from the former Labour sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe, contrasted with last week's prime minister's questions when he described the ¬£162m programme as a "complete failure".
But there were signs of differences among ministers tonight, indicating that details of the new plans have yet to be finalised. While Downing Street sources indicated there had been a change of heart, education department sources insisted otherwise. One source said: "There has not been a rethink. The system is bureaucratic and savings need to be made."
The two sides agreed there would be no U-turn on the overall decision to end ringfencing of funds because ministers want to hand the initiative to headteachers in line with the overall approach to education. There will also be an emphasis on promoting competitive sport and establishing the Schools Olympics.
education department source said: "We will foster more competitive sport and we will de-ringfence money. There will be no centralised PE strategy. If schools want to use these partnerships they can pay for it themselves."
Andy Burnham, the shadow education secretary, said the decision to cut funding had sparked a "remarkable grassroots revolt". He said: "In the last 24 hours we have heard a huge change in tone on this issue from both the prime minister and Michael Gove. It seems they now admit they got it wrong and that school sports partnerships have been a success."
Sixty headteachers from across England wrote to the Observer
to express their outrage at the cuts, describing Gove's move as "an ignorant, destructive and (even in terms of coalition policy) a contradictory and self-defeating decision. It is entirely unjustified educationally, professionally, logistically and in terms of personal health and community wellbeing."
In a letter to Gove, the head of King Alfred's, a specialist sports college in Oxfordshire, warned that the decision would put many young people off sport for life. Simon Spiers said there had been a rise in both competitive and recreational sport as a result of the scheme. "Your plans to remove the School Sport Programme will ensure that many young people will be 'encouraged' or forced to participate in competitive team games when they have absolutely no desire to do so."
Leading members of an education programme designed to create sporting stars of the future are outraged the government will cut its funding only a year before the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Sara Kemsley, headteacher of Meopham School, the hub for the School Sports Partnership serving 37 schools in the borough, has joined a chorus of protest across the country, writing to Minister for Education Michael Gove to express her anger at the decision.
The scheme costs ¬£220,000 a year in Gravesham, funded centrally by the Youth Sports Trust.
said: ‚ÄúI have been in schooling for 33 years and this is the only strategy to come out of national government where every headteacher says
it is brilliant.
‚ÄúIt is crazy they are pulling the plug just before the Olympics. It is no secret why we did so well at the Beijing Olympics and cutting this will plunge us back 30 years.‚ÄĚ
As a specialist sports college, Meopham has been the hub for the programme since 2005, with co-ordinators linking with primary, secondary and special schools across the borough to promote exercise, identify talent and train coaches.
Deb Jerrett, one of the school sports co-ordinators (SSCOs) working across Gravesham, could lose her job following the cut in funding.
She said: ‚ÄúWhat this has created is a
link between school sports and pushing through talent to a national stage. When we go so will all that experience, knowledge and contacts. Primary school teachers already have so much on their plate. How are they going to be able to co-ordinate big events or make these links?‚ÄĚ
2005 in Gravesham, fewer than 50 per cent of pupils did two or more hours of PE a week but now 51 per cent engage in five or more hours of supervised exercise in schools, she claimed. Kent School Games, which has proved so successful the Sports Minister is looking to spread it across the country, is organised by the co-ordinators and could face collapse. Also at risk is the Youth Ambassadors Programme, co-ordinated by the partnership, which uses teenage pupils to encourage and mentor up-and-coming athletes in school and clubs.
Ms Kemsley added: ‚ÄúIt isn‚Äôt just about sport. These initiatives have given youngsters huge self esteem, offered them the opportunity to meet the Olympic committee and athletes such as Lord Coe, and developed important links locally with other schools and sports clubs.‚ÄĚ The letter to Mr Gove, signed by more than 50 headteachers, calls the decision ‚Äúignorant, destructive, contradictory and self-defeating‚ÄĚ.
Children‚Äôs Minister Tim Loughton defended the decision. He said: ‚ÄúCreating an Olympic legacy must be more than simply investing taxpayers‚Äô cash to meet a centralised, arbitrary, five-hours-a-week target, which still left low levels of high-quality competitive sport in many parts of the country.
sport should be at the heart of growing up ‚Äď that‚Äôs why we are creating
a nationwide school Olympics. We‚Äôre giving heads the freedom to make more of the established network of school sport partnerships but without
being tied down by centralised targets and a bureaucratic blueprint set
I am sure that some Games Monitors will be very familiar with this website. Lots
of london 2012 articles, videos etc. Well worth a look.
Interview with Johnnie Walker speaking about Hackney Marsh land being destroyed
to make way for Olympic car park.
Their home page is worth a look. Those of you who know or know of Johnnie Walker
will read his column with great pleasure..
Let Fifa's murk be cleared. As WikiLeaks has shown, disclosure is all we have when audit is polluted and politicians are cowed
The grovelling of the prime minister and the second in line to the throne before Fifa's Zurich racket has been a national humiliation. Had they no intelligence of what was going on? Had this exposure to ridicule
not been risk-assessed? Even a cursory glance at the allegations from the Sunday Times and the BBC's Panorama
would have warned Downing Street and the Palace that these were not fit
people for Britain's leaders to be seen glad-handing. The business recalls the obeisance to certain Italian gentlemen once required of American presidential candidates.
The one leader to emerge from the World Cup farrago with credit is, of all people, Russia's Vladimir Putin, who wisely decided that the Zurich shenanigans were beneath his dignity. Depths to which the Russian prime minister is not prepared to stoop are deep indeed. But then he probably already knew he had won. Why
did Britain not know? Why does David Cameron now react with a solemnity
more appropriate for a terrorist outrage or a natural disaster?
abasement of Cameron and Prince William is equalled only by the shocking behaviour of England's World Cup team, in rubbishing journalists investigating Fifa corruption as "unpatriotic" and "embarrassing". Who are these people, and what values do they represent?
With six Fifa officials already sacked
and clouds hovering over at least three of those voting in the bid race, Britain should have had no dealings with Fifa over the World Cup until it cleansed its stables. If that "damaged" a bid, more credit to Britain. Surely honesty comes before sport.
The problem, of course, is that sport turns the heads of grown men and warps their moral
compass. Tony Blair, Lord Coe and Tessa Jowell behaved like besotted groupies before the self-serving tycoons of the 2005 International Olympic Committee, who proceeded to dun the British taxpayer of ¬£9bn to stage their two-week festival of self-glorification. Football's World Cup at least makes money for its host nation. But what other British industry (besides weapons) can demand the time and humiliation of politicians and royalty to this degree, and in so obviously contaminated
These international bodies know no accountability. Their sole enemy is disclosure. Governments, diplomats, officials, contractors ‚Äď all have a vested interest in secrecy, as millions of pounds passes from national taxpayers in opaque "payments to international organisations", and then out to the NGOs and consultants who form an outer ring of cheerleaders. Their staffs owe loyalty only to
their bank balances and jobs for life. Their income, as we saw in the secret settlement of Switzerland's Fifa-linked ISL fraud trial, receives little scrutiny. These are not servants of sport, just very rich men cleverly playing on national pride.
have no illusions about the press. I have watched enough dirt swilling down the journalistic sewer to abandon any quest therein for responsibility, accuracy, sensitivity or humility. The great American editor Oz Elliott
once lectured graduates at the Columbia School of Journalism on their sacred duty to democracy as the unofficial legislators of mankind. He asked me what I thought of it. I said it was no good to me: I was trained as a reptile lurking in the gutter whose sole job was to "get the bloody story".
Yet journalism's stock-in-trade is disclosure. As we have seen this week with WikiLeaks,
power loathes truth revealed. Disclosure is messy and tests moral and legal boundaries. It is often irresponsible and usually embarrassing. But it is all that is left when regulation does nothing, politicians are
cowed, lawyers fall silent and audit is polluted. Accountability can only default to disclosure. As Jefferson remarked, the press is the last
best hope when democratic oversight fails, as it does in the case of most international bodies.
I found myself chastised this week for my defence of WikiLeaks,
on the ground that thieves should not revel in their crime by demanding
that victims be more careful with their property. But in matters of public policy who is thieving what from whom? The WikiLeaks material was
left by a public body, the US state department, like a wallet open on a
park bench, except that in this case the wallet was full of home truths
about the mendacity of public policy.
Of course diplomacy between
nations ‚Äď over sport or whatever ‚Äď cannot be conducted entirely in the open. Some secrets must be protected. But American secrets shared with 2
million people authorised to see them are hardly secrets. The content of the WikiLeaks cables cannot have surprised anyone in the know, least of all the foreign intelligence agencies that must long have been reading them.
What is intriguing is the hysteria of power at seeing its inner beliefs and processes revealed. The denunciation of WikiLeaks as an "attack on America" from the political right is similar to the attitude of England's football authorities towards the Sunday Times and the BBC. Someone had broken wind in church. Truth briefly swept aside the deceptions of public form and left reality exposed. The players in a once subtle game that had fallen to lying and cat-calling were suddenly told to stop, pull themselves together and look each other
in the eye. As the great Donald Rumsfeld said, stuff happens. The air is cleared.
The same goes for Fifa, whose processes cannot even plead national security. Its murk may now be investigated as disappointed nations seek redress. England's sports administrators will doubtless accuse the Sunday Times and the BBC of wrecking their bid ‚Äď though its goose was clearly cooked long ago. These are officials who tried to sweep under the carpet the bungs and kick-backs by which their sport was fuelled, and who turn a blind eye to the sources of football's
Russian and Arab wealth.
They may now take consolation in finding
out how they were beaten. That will come only from a free and active journalism. In the case of WikiLeaks it was journalism that censored vulnerable names and sources from what the state department was widely disseminating. It was journalism that mediated and interpreted the raw data. It was journalism, and journalism alone, that investigated alleged
corruption at Fifa.
Journalism has revealed the antics of drugs companies, the mistakes of climate change scientists, the depths of police misbehaviour, the tax-dodging and theft by British MPs and the City's bonus culture. Nobody else did. When the public interest is undermined by the lies and paranoia of power, it is disclosure that takes sanity by the scruff of its neck and sets it back on its feet.
thank goodness for disclosure. Thank goodness for journalism. I am sorry we did not get the World Cup but, had we done so, it would have been mired in claims of dishonesty. In losing, we had the honour of seeing British journalism doing something to clean up a disreputable sport. That is the cup I would prefer to win.
One of the International Olympic Committee's global sponsors, Omega, which has a critical role in the London 2012 Olympic Games, has been caught up in the widespread Indian investigations into allegations of corruption surrounding the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Omega, through its company Swiss Timing, has been asked by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation for details of the contract it entered into to provide timing, scoring and results for the Games, held last month.
Two of the most senior Games officials secretary general Lalit Bhanot and director general V.K.Verma have been charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act in relation to the awarding of the contract - worth several million dollars and awarded to Swiss Timing.
The CBI said a further 22 Delhi-based persons, including Indian agents of Swiss Timing were also under investigation. At the heart of the claims is concern that the Delhi organising committee overlooked a cheaper
Spanish tender for the contract. It claimed the contract awarded to Swiss Timing was five times the cost of a similar contract for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Swiss Timing director-general Christophe Berthaud rejected the charges and said: "All that is absolutely wrong." He said the company would co-operate in a completely transparent manner and provide documents to the authorities.
In a statement, the company said :''This contract has been awarded after a transparent and standard procedure that is common to all these kinds of sports events as a result of a regular tender process managed by the Organising Committee.''
It is understood that Swiss Timing was asked to extend its usual roles of timing equipment , to also interface and distribute results data - one of the biggest technical problems encountered at the Games.
The ongoing corruption probe into the Games cost overruns has already seen serious corruption and fraud charges and the arrest of three former Games employees M. Jayachandran, T.S. Darbari and Sanjay Mahendroo.
The probe has also had far-reaching consequences for broadcasters and international firms seeking to export technical equipment out of the country.
More than 100 container loads of equipment used at venues for the opening and closing ceremonies has been held up with the authorities refusing to release them while the corruption investigation is continuing.
20th September 2008, 09:30
Sponsored by Visa, brought to you by GE and made possible, in part, by Coca-Cola, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games floated in a sea of corporate sponsorships. By Jennifer Wedekind
The Olympic Games have long been a valuable marketing venue for multinational companies, but commercialism around the Beijing 2008 Olympics reached a whole new level as virtually every facet of the Games
was auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The Beijing Olympics featured an ‚Äúofficial noodles sponsor,‚ÄĚ an ‚Äúofficial leather goods supplier‚ÄĚ and an ‚Äúair humidifier and purifier exclusive supplier,‚ÄĚ along with dozens of other official sponsorship arrangements from prominent and obscure companies alike.
Corporate sponsors showered millions of dollars on each tier of the Olympic organizational committees: from the International Olympic Committee, the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and the
international federations governing each individual sport, to each country‚Äôs National Olympic Committees. Corporations sponsor many Olympic
teams and national governing bodies for particular sports ‚ÄĒ including virtually every national governing body in the United States ‚ÄĒ and individual athletes themselves.
Corporate sponsors raced to sign up for Olympic partnerships because of the unique opportunity to access China‚Äôs enormous and growing market of middle-class consumers. Companies from Adidas to McDonald‚Äôs initiated a marketing blitz around the first Olympics ever to be hosted by a Chinese
Official Olympic bodies eagerly exploited the opportunity. The 2008 Olympic Marketing Plan Overview of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) announced, ‚ÄúFor international entities looking
to expand into the thriving Chinese marketplace, a partnership with the
2008 Olympic Games will deliver a powerful business opportunity for growth and product/service showcasing, while serving to strengthen and build ties of friendship throughout China.‚ÄĚ A record 63 companies became
sponsors or partners of the Beijing Olympics, and Olympic-related advertising in China alone reached an estimated $4 billion to $6 billion, according to CSM, a Beijing marketing research firm.
‚ÄúThis year in particular, the commercialism is far more intense than previous Olympics,‚ÄĚ says sports commentator Dave Zirin. He calls the Olympics a ‚Äúcommercial, privatized, hyper-logoed atmosphere.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt is something that has certainly accelerated as part of the Olympic Games since 1984, which was the first privately funded Olympic Games. This year is like commercialization on steroids,‚ÄĚ Zirin says.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this story.
Failing to Curb Commercialism
The IOC acknowledges that excessive commercialism threatens the integrity of the Games, as well as conflicts with the official ideology of ‚ÄúOlympism,‚ÄĚ which venerates healthful living and celebrates a pure blend of sport, culture and education. The IOC bans sponsorships from tobacco or hard liquor companies, or ‚Äúother products that may conflict with or be considered inappropriate to the mission of the IOC or to the spirit of Olympism.‚ÄĚ The IOC prohibits billboards or advertising in Olympic stadiums or sports venues, and forbids NASCAR-style ads on athlete‚Äôs uniforms. Also prohibited is the use of images of Olympic events from being broadcast with any kind of commercial association.
However, corporate sponsors were adept at finding the loopholes and limitations in these restrictions. Although athletes and officials were barred from wearing ads, manufacturer logos were allowed on uniforms and
equipment. Adidas capitalized on this loophole by providing sportswear for all staff, volunteers and technical officials of the 2008 Games ‚ÄĒ apparel that carried Adidas‚Äô widely recognizable logo. Equipment used by
athletes also prominently displayed manufacturer logos. Visa circumvented the ban on use of Olympic imagery with an ad campaign based
around footage of past Olympic performances. And while distilled spirits sponsorships were banned, beer and wine marketing was not.
The pinnacle of Olympic marketing is The Olympic Partners (TOP) program,
run and managed by the IOC since 1985. This year, the TOP program included 12 companies, which are granted exclusive global marketing rights, including partnerships with the IOC, all National Organizing Committees and their Olympic teams, and the BOCOG. The 12 TOP companies were Atos Origin, a European-based information technology company; Coca-Cola; GE; Johnson & Johnson; Kodak; Lenovo, a computer manufacturer and the only Chinese company to be a TOP partner; Manulife,
a Toronto-based insurance company; McDonald‚Äôs; Omega; Panasonic; Samsung; and Visa.
From limited-edition Olympic-branded merchandise and Olympic-themed corporate social responsibility programs, to pavilion showcases in the Olympic Village, interactive online platforms and athlete blogs, each company worked to capture consumer attention and ensure its brand was associated with the ideals represented by the Olympic rings.
Companies paid the IOC approximately $70 million to become worldwide partners of the 2006 Turin and 2008 Beijing Olympics. The combined revenue from all 12 partners for the 2005-2008 cycle came to $866 million, according to the IOC. At least 25 percent of that revenue ‚ÄĒ about $216.5 million ‚ÄĒ went directly to the BOCOG.
Sponsoring the Olympics provides ‚Äúunparalleled returns on an investment for sponsors,‚ÄĚ boasts the IOC in its marketing media guide.
‚ÄúThe Olympic Games provide a global marketing platform, based on ideals and values, providing excellent opportunities for a company‚Äôs sales, showcasing, internal rewards and community outreach programs,‚ÄĚ the IOC states. In addition to exclusive worldwide marketing rights, TOP partners are granted use of all Olympic logos and icons, preferential access to Olympic broadcasting advertising, on-site opportunities and protection against so-called ambush marketing (efforts by non-TOP companies to use the Olympics as a marketing venue).
The Chinese government lent its hand to limit ambush marketing. Beginning in July, it restricted advertising space in Beijing, giving priority to the official sponsors. In the past year, the government reportedly tore down more than 30,000 outdoor ads in Beijing in an attempt to clear the advertising terrain for official Olympic sponsors. Throughout the Olympic Green, the government even hung Olympic banners over signs, or put small pieces of tape over logos of companies that were not TOP sponsors.
The lower tiers of the Olympic bureaucracy are also laden with sponsorship money. Each individual sport is governed by an international
federation, each country governed by a national Olympic committee, and each sports team run by a national governing body ‚ÄĒ with many receiving money and supplies from dozens of corporate partners.
Among the international federations, the International Equestrian Federation is sponsored by Alltech, HSBC, Rolex and Samsung. The International Modern Pentathlon Union is sponsored by Lufthansa, New Balance and Speedo, and the International Tennis Federation lists 13 sponsors, including Kia Motors, Sega and Wilson. The Badminton World Federation advertises its ‚ÄúTitle Sponsor Benefits‚ÄĚ on its website in an attempt to garner more sponsorship contracts.
At the national level, Canada‚Äôs National Olympic Committee boasts 42 sponsors and suppliers including 3M, General Mills, Hudson‚Äôs Bay Company
and Air Canada. The Japanese Olympic Committee‚Äôs sponsors include Budweiser, Toyota and Yahoo! Japan, along with 19 others. The Olympic Council of Malaysia is sponsored by Air Asia, BHP Billiton and Nestle, among others.
In the United States, only two of the 30 individual governing bodies for
summer Olympic sports report no sponsorships. The national governing body for triathletes has 60 sponsors and suppliers, but is still actively searching for other corporations to partner with. ‚ÄúEnhance your
brand image by positioning yourself with one of the most intriguing, exciting, fastest growing sports in the world,‚ÄĚ USA Triathlon posts on its website. ‚ÄúMany of our current partners view their relationship with USA Triathlon as a strong tool in their marketing platform. Aligning your product with a sports property as dynamic, driven and intense as triathlon brings a strong dimension to your brand.‚ÄĚ
USA Gymnastics is sponsored by Adidas, AT&T, Chevron, CoverGirl, Tyson and Gillette‚Äôs Venus razor, among several others. U.S. Canoe &
Kayak has AT&T, Nike and Time Warner Cable among its many sponsors.
Marketing in China
Any summer Olympics in 2008 would have generated an advertising spree, but the Beijing Games had a special attraction: the opportunity to appeal to the roughly 300 million middle-class Chinese consumers with significant disposable income. Companies worked hard to create commercials and advertisements with Chinese themes and sports metaphors that would appeal to these valuable Chinese consumers, as well as the growing faction of Chinese corporate consumers.
‚ÄúSince announcing its Olympic Games partnership in 2005, GE has used the
sponsorship to build brand awareness in China with key business audiences,‚ÄĚ states GE‚Äôs fact sheet on its Olympic partnership. GE, a TOP
partner, focused its advertising campaigns heavily on China and featured the now-iconic Bird‚Äôs Nest stadium, as well as other Olympic imagery.
Johnson & Johnson, another TOP participant, played up Chinese history and heritage in its campaign, transporting five Terracotta Warrior statues from the city of Xi‚Äôan in Shaanxi province to its showcase pavilion in the center of the Olympic Green. To build brand recognition among children, the company partnered with the BOCOG to initiate a Band-Aid Brand Olympic Education Campaign, which worked to teach Chinese students about the ‚Äúvalues that define the Olympic Movement as well as health and wound care.‚ÄĚ The program distributed 800,000 sets of posters to elementary and secondary schools across China.
Many companies, such as Adidas and Volkswagen, chose to partner only with the BOCOG rather than the IOC. These companies only had Olympic marketing rights in China, not worldwide, but were still able to take full advantage of their access to Chinese consumers.
Adidas saturated the Chinese market with advertising and plans to have 6,300 stores in China by the end of the year in an attempt to surpass Nike in market share. The sportswear company launched a marketing campaign intended to invoke Chinese nationalism with the slogan, ‚ÄúTogether in 2008, Impossible is Nothing.‚ÄĚ Advertising spots featured prominent Chinese athletes being assisted by average citizens to achieve
Amid the marketing mania, consumer advocates raised concerns about the ability of junk food and alcohol companies to associate their brands with the Olympics. McDonald‚Äôs and Coca-Cola are both TOP partners and deeply intertwined with official Olympic bodies. The companies heavily promoted their Olympic connection both in the United States and abroad. Budweiser was a BOCOG partner and advertised its Olympic ties in China and through television spots during Olympic events.
McDonald‚Äôs and Coca-Cola are also both sponsors of several U.S. national
governing bodies, including the U.S. Soccer Federation, the U.S. Fencing Association, USA Softball and USA Basketball, whose sponsorships
are vetted by the National Basketball Association (NBA). Only the NBA responded to requests for comment about associations with fast food and soda companies.
NBA Senior Manager of Marketing Communications Carmine Tiso says the NBA
is ‚Äúnot at all‚ÄĚ worried about being associated with companies selling unhealthy products, such as McDonald‚Äôs and Sprite (Coca-Cola). ‚ÄúMcDonald‚Äôs and Coca-Cola both offer a variety of products that can be a
part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and responsibly. By partnering with USA Basketball, both companies are promoting sports and exercise, not only among elite athletes but also among all of us who are
inspired by the members of the team.‚ÄĚ
Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, rejects this line of reasoning. ‚ÄúWhile the Olympics
provide a great opportunity to energize the country about physical fitness and sports, that shouldn‚Äôt be undermined by promoting unhealthy foods and obesity,‚ÄĚ she says. Using sports to market junk food ‚Äúcreates a
halo around the junk food in that it creates a more healthful image.‚ÄĚ
McDonald‚Äôs television advertising campaign, for example, featured athletes training and expressing their ‚Äúdream‚ÄĚ of eating McDonald‚Äôs food
‚ÄĒ equating it with a gold medal. The association of the athletes‚Äô toned
physiques with McDonald‚Äôs presented the message that McDonald‚Äôs food is
part of a healthful diet.
‚ÄúChina is such a big country that all of these companies are eager to get into that market,‚ÄĚ Wootan says. ‚ÄúThe health professionals in China should be very concerned about Americanizing the Chinese diet. As their traditional diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables and reasonable portion sizes, starts to shift to more fast food,‚ÄĚ obesity rates are likely to worsen.
A May 2008 study by the Chinese National Task Force on Childhood Obesity
found that one in five Chinese children under the age of seven was overweight, and 7 percent were obese. This is double the amount of obese
children compared to just 10 years ago.
Meanwhile, beer companies were omnipresent at the Olympics. There were three beer company partners for the Beijing Olympic Committee: Anheuser-Busch, Tsingtao and Yanjing Beer. COFCO Wine & Spirits is a
Anheuser-Busch says it is also the sponsor of two dozen other national Olympic committees, including those in Great Britain (Michelob Ultra), Japan (Budweiser) and the United States (Anheuser-Busch). The Japanese beer company Kirin is a sponsor of the Japanese Olympic Committee. Anheuser-Busch is also a sponsor of the soccer national governing body, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and Dry Creek Vineyard is a sponsor of U.S. Sailing. Tequila maker Jose Cuervo is a sponsor of the U.S. Soccer Federation, which apparently does not follow IOC guidelines concerning Olympic sponsors. The U.S. Soccer Federation did not respond to requests
‚ÄúAssociating alcohol and sports appeals to young people and sends the wrong message about drinking,‚ÄĚ says George Hacker, director of the Alcohol Policies Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an incongruous association given that alcohol has nothing to do with success in sports.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúSports are a fundamental building block of character building and of youth development in this country,‚ÄĚ Hacker says. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs something that most young people engage in and associate with good health, and camaraderie, friendship, teamwork, all kinds of values that we try to develop among young people. Those values are essentially being high-jacked by beer companies when they get closely associated with sports, be they Olympic or college or even professional.‚ÄĚ
Sweatsuits and Sweatshops
By virtue of their multifaceted sponsorships, the fact that they outfit the athletes, and their ability to place prominent logos on athletes‚Äô uniforms and equipment, sportswear manufacturers were among the most prominent Olympic sponsors. Adidas was an official BOCOG partner and provided the official sportswear for all the staff, volunteers and technical officials of the Games, as well as uniforms for Team China.
While not an official Olympic sponsor, Nike capitalized on the Olympic atmosphere by launching what it termed ‚Äúlargest campaign in the brand‚Äôs history,‚ÄĚ featuring some of China‚Äôs top athletes. The company launched new footwear for all 28 sports of the Olympics and is the sponsor of several U.S. governing bodies, including the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA
Archery, USA Basketball, U.S. Canoe and Kayak, USA Cycling Inc, U.S. Soccer, USA Softball and USA Track and Field. Nike also provided footwear or apparel for 22 Chinese governing bodies and is a supplier for the World Taekwondo Federation. Speedo is the main sponsor of USA Swimming.
Virtually all leading sports apparel and equipment makers have been tied
to sweatshops, notably among them Adidas, Nike and Speedo. The Play Fair Alliance, a coalition organized by the Netherlands-based Clean Clothes Campaign, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Worker‚Äôs Federation, notes that while some sportswear companies have announced highly publicized initiatives to address these abuses, little has changed for the workers in the subcontractor factories that make shoes, clothes and equipment for these companies. ‚ÄúDespite more than 15 years of codes of conduct adopted by major sportswear brands, such as Adidas, Nike ‚Ä¶ and Reebok [owned by Adidas], workers making their products still face extreme pressure to meet production quotas, excessive, undocumented and unpaid overtime, verbal abuse, threats to health and safety related to the high
quotas and exposure to toxic chemicals, and a failure to provide legally required health and other insurance programs,‚ÄĚ wrote Play Fair 2008 in its report, ‚ÄúClearing the Hurdles.‚ÄĚ
The report documented ‚Äúhorrendous‚ÄĚ working conditions in factories along
the supply chains for Adidas, Nike and Speedo, among others. Throughout
the sportswear industry, ‚ÄúClearing the Hurdles‚ÄĚ revealed poverty wages,
excessively long hours of forced and underpaid overtime, exploitative terms of employment, sexual harassment, and physical and verbal abuse.
‚ÄúClearing the Hurdles‚ÄĚ highlights Yue Yuen-owned factories in China as an example of rampant and ongoing labor rights abuses in subcontractor factories. Yue Yuen manufactures about 25 percent to 30 percent of Nike‚Äôs shoes and about 15 percent to 20 percent of all Adidas and Reebok
shoes. Workers in Yue Yen factories in Dongguan, China reported working
an average of 10 to 12 hours a day. They are under intense pressure from supervisors to meet production quotas, but are only paid RMB500-600
a month ‚ÄĒ equivalent to about $0.53 an hour ‚ÄĒ which is much less than the legal minimum. According to Play Fair, a worker making Adidas shoes in China would have had to work more than four months to buy a ticket to
the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing.
Meanwhile, Yue Yuen‚Äôs profits grew from $95 million in 1992 to $387 million in 2007. Nike reported profits of more than $2 billion in 2007; Adidas tallied profits of more than $1 billion.
Campaigners have pressured Yue Yuen to raise wages, but after wages were
raised in one factory, production quotas were then increased to 75 shoes an hour ‚ÄĒ a rate workers had difficulty maintaining. As a result, workers received fewer production bonuses and ‚Äútheir total take-home salary has not increased.‚ÄĚ
There is little evidence of Olympic officialdom‚Äôs interest in these concerns or willingness to demand suppliers and partners manufacture in sweatshop-free conditions. The IOC refused to commit staff or resources to the issue, or to use its influence to clean up supplier manufacturing
operations, according to Play Fair.
In the United States, the NBA‚Äôs formal position on Nike‚Äôs operations appears to endorse Nike‚Äôs existing practices. Nike, a sponsor of USA Basketball, is ‚Äúfirmly committed to improving working conditions in its contract factories around the world,‚ÄĚ says NBA spokesperson Tiso. ‚ÄúTo do
so, Nike has instituted a comprehensive corporate responsibility program that respects the rights of all employees, provides a safe and healthy work place, and promotes the health and well-being of all its employees. A part of the program is Nike‚Äôs code of conduct, which provides an extensive set of guidelines for workplace conditions for all
its contracted facilities. USA Basketball, as represented by the NBA, is committed to conducting its business in a socially responsible and ethical manner and maintains its own licensee and supplier code of conduct that requires licensees and their contractors to share this commitment.‚ÄĚ
By contrast, the issue has not appeared on the radar of U.S. Canoe and Kayak, which is also sponsored by Nike. When asked if U.S. Canoe and Kayak had any comment or reaction to Nike‚Äôs reported affiliation with sweatshops, Media Relations Director Bill McMillan said, ‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt heard of that.‚ÄĚ
No other U.S. teams responded to requests for comment.
More evidence of worker rights abuses in subcontractor factories comes from the New York-based National Labor Committee. In a November 2007 report, ‚ÄúOlympic Sweatshop: Speedo Production in China Breaks Records for Worker Abuse,‚ÄĚ the National Labor Committee charges that sweatshop conditions prevail at Guangzhou Vanguard Water Sport Products Company Ltd in Guangzhou, China, a factory that produces swim gear and sporting goods for Speedo, its major client. The report says workers are forced to toil for 100 hours a week in unsafe conditions. ‚ÄúDuring the peak season, which can last up to nine months, the routine shift is 14 1/2 hours a day, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week,‚ÄĚ states the report. ‚ÄúWorkers report going for months at a time without a single day off. All overtime is mandatory.‚ÄĚ Workers are forced to operate at a gruelling pace, subjected to frequent abuse from supervisors, and cheated out of 40 percent of the wages owed them, according to the report.
‚ÄúThe factory we researched was horrific,‚ÄĚ says Charlie Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee. ‚ÄúEvery single labor law in China was being blatantly violated.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThere was very harsh discipline,‚ÄĚ he continues. ‚ÄúThe workers couldn‚Äôt speak back to the supervisors. Supervisors would call them idiots and garbage, but if the workers tried to speak back or defend themselves, they would be beaten, choked and fired. It was run like a prison.‚ÄĚ
In a statement, Speedo‚Äôs parent company, Warnaco, said, ‚ÄúWe sincerely regret that worker‚Äôs conditions have been compromised at a supplier factory despite our efforts to work with them to improve standards. We operate a rigorous Code of Conduct to monitor correct business standards
with the objective of achieving the highest ethical standards possible.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe have been consulting with the Vanguard factory ‚Ä¶ in an effort to highlight the need for better working conditions,‚ÄĚ the statement continues. ‚ÄúDespite concerted efforts on our part, there has been little
compliance, and as a result we have reduced our business with the factory. ‚Ä¶ We will continue to work closely with our suppliers to ensure
fair working conditions and high business standards are met.‚ÄĚ
Kernaghan says he would prefer Speedo had remained at the factory and made more of an effort to improve labor practices there.
A month prior to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Adidas, Nike, Speedo and others agreed to form a joint working group with trade unions and nongovernmental organizations to address fair labor practices. Only a few weeks later, however, Adidas reportedly announced it was transferring large amounts of its production out of China because wages set by the government were ‚Äútoo high.‚ÄĚ Adidas did not respond to requests for comment.
Corporate entanglements also have the potential to affect the very conduct of Olympic sports and events.
One issue involves the loyalties and favouritism of sports governing bodies and coaches who have commercial ties to equipment makers.
In May, California-based TYR Sport filed an antitrust lawsuit against Speedo, the U.S. Swimming head coach and U.S. Swimming Inc., the governing body of U.S. Olympic swimming. The lawsuit charges that U.S. Swimming refused ads from Speedo competitors for its magazine Splash, the largest circulation swimming magazine in the United States. It also alleges Splash has at times airbrushed photos to remove the logos of Speedo competitors from swimmers‚Äô apparel. The central charge of the lawsuit involves swim team coach Mark Schubert, a paid spokesperson for Speedo, who publicly endorsed Speedo‚Äôs high-tech ‚ÄúLZR Racer‚ÄĚ suit on numerous occasions ‚ÄĒ telling athletes to wear the suit, regardless of their sponsorship deals and contractual commitments. Olympic swimmer Erik Vendt was one swimmer who switched from TYR to Speedo. TYR also named Vendt as a defendant in the suit, claiming he broke a binding sponsorship contract by using the Speedo swimsuit.
The Australian Courier Mail reported in April that ‚ÄúSchubert is recommending all Americans wear the Speedo suit at their Olympic trials even if they are sponsored by another company. ‚ÄėI would strongly advise them to wear the suit at trials, or they may end up at home watching on NBC,‚Äô Schubert said. ‚ÄėDo you go for the money or for the gold?‚Äô‚ÄĚ
The TYR lawsuit claims that ‚ÄúThe actions of USA Swimming, Speedo and Schubert have had the desired effects. Numerous elite swimmers ‚ÄĒ including several Olympic medal winners ‚ÄĒ have worn the Speedo LZR in competition despite being under contract to other manufacturers and have
defected or are considering defecting from their former equipment providers in favor of Speedo. Some athletes (including defendant Vendt) have followed through on Schubert‚Äôs recommendation that they breach contracts with their equipment providers in order to avoid ‚Äėstaying home‚Äô during the Olympic Games. These highly publicized events have had a
pervasive impact on the competitive swimwear market not only at the elite level, but also at the collegiate, high school, club and summer league levels. Not only have these events affected sales of the swimsuits themselves, but due to the high visibility of the swimsuits, sales of accessories will be similarly affected because they are inextricably linked.‚ÄĚ
With the Olympics approaching, the lawsuit was put on pause until after the Beijing games concluded. Neither TYR nor Speedo responded to requests for comment about the pending litigation.
Two-time U.S. Olympian Greg Ruckman feels that these sorts of conflicts become inevitable with the influx of corporate money into sports. ‚ÄúWhen you bring in the money you start bringing in the wrong people for the wrong reasons,‚ÄĚ he says.
Ruckman, a rower, faults the current system of Olympic funding. Unlike other countries‚Äô National Olympic Committees, the USOC receives no federal funding and so relies on private and corporate donations. The National Governing Bodies that control each individual sport also rely on private and corporate sponsors to make ends meet. Individual athletes, too, often garner funds for equipment and training from corporate sponsors.
Sports that receive little media attention, like rowing, often struggle to find sponsors, while more popular sports with well-known athletes, like track and field, rake in large amounts of revenue. In 2006, corporate sponsorships accounted for only about 4.6 percent of all revenue for the U.S. Rowing Association, but made up nearly 50 percent for USA Track and Field.
‚ÄúIt gets more and more about money, to the point now where everything that goes on within U.S. Rowing is about how many medals we have to win to continue to get subsidized by the USOC to the tune of a million, $2 million every year,‚ÄĚ Ruckman says. ‚ÄúAnd where does that money go? It goes to building up a bigger bureaucracy.‚ÄĚ
Ruckman says that this commercialization of Olympics detracts from the ‚Äúpurity‚ÄĚ of the Games. ‚ÄúIt detracts from what the sport is supposed to be about and can hurt the athletes who are in it just for the sport of it,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúThe athletes are so vulnerable in this process. The more money that comes in, the worse it gets.‚ÄĚ
Jennifer Wedekind is a researcher for Multinational Monitor. Additional reporting by Ben DeGrasse. This article is based on a Multinational Monitor report, ‚ÄúThe Commercial Games: How Commercialism is Overrunning the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.‚ÄĚ
By Jennifer Wedekind
Now we have something to be really concerned about!
Are the 2012 Olympics part of a plot to take over the world? Some people believe
an elite clique will use the games to simulate an alien invasion in their plan
for global domination.
Guardian. Mon 6th December
The New Lammas Lands Defence Committee will be holding an informal meeting and
social get-together on Monday 13th December 2010, from 7.30 pm at the ‚ÄėHare &
Hounds‚Äô PH on Lea Bridge Road (opposite Emmanuel Church) E10.¬† We are
the invitation to join us to our friends in the Lea Valley Federation, Waltham
Forest Civic Society, Millfields Users' Group, the Hackney Society and local
Historical Associations, as well as to past members and to people who have come
on our walks or to picnics or meetings in the past.¬† Please feel free to invite
any friends who you think may be interested in learning more about us and what
we do (or even possibly joining our group!) and pass this message on!
As we usually meet on a Thursday evening (the third in each month except
December) we thought it would be nice to hold an informal meeting on a different
evening to enable those members, past members, past members, friends and
supporters who cannot make Thursday evenings to join us and have a chat about
the Marshes and what NLLDC are doing to try to protect these precious green open
spaces.¬† As it is the festive season, this is also an opportunity for us to
a social gathering now that we no longer do a Christmas Lunch together.
There will be no fixed agenda and no minutes, but we would like to spend around
an hour primarily discussing ‚Äúbusiness‚ÄĚ matters from about 8.00pm.¬† Please
come along and bring your friends - a flyer is attached, if you would like to
print some off to hand on.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Katy and Joe (Co-Chairs, NLLDC).
INFORMATION for those who are not members but have received this invitation
The New Lammas Lands Defence Committee is an entirely voluntary community group
set up in Autumn 1993, with a membership mainly from the Boroughs of Waltham
Forest and Hackney.¬† We take our name from the original Leyton Lammas Lands
Defence Committee, which was elected at a public meeting to represent the
interests of Commoners in Leyton following the famous riot, led by John de
Morgan and the Commons Defence League, in August 1892.¬†
The present committee came into existence when the Lee Valley Park‚Äôs Riding
Centre fenced off former Lammas Lands on Walthamstow Marshes for paddocks.¬†
Since then we have been involved in many campaigns, and are presently mainly
occupied with opposing plans by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority to double
the size of the Riding Stables and put in new floodlighting, and for a budget
hotel and car-park on Lammas Land in front of the Ice Centre.¬† We are also in
the middle of opposing a Planning Application for four high-rise high density
residential tower blocks at Essex and Eastwood Wharf, on Leyton Marshes beside
the River Lee Navigation, and preparing to help the Borough of Waltham Forest
fighting a forthcoming Planning Inquiry into four proposed ten-storey
residential tower blocks at the same location.
We are also very concerned about the future of Marsh Lane Fields (also former
Lammas Lands and part of Leyton Marshes), where we have been told the allotments
supposedly relocated there for the duration of the Olympics are to be made
permanent and where there is a scheme for three high-rise residential housing
blocks behind the back gardens of Clementina Road, E10 - again on covenanted
We lobby local Councillors, write letters to the local and regional press, and
take part in consultations about management of the Lammas Lands within the Lee
Valley Regional Park and with other bodies.¬† We submit papers to Government
Committees, Public and Planning Inquiries, and sometimes speak at Council and
Neighbourhood Committee and Community Council meetings in both Waltham Forest
and Hackney.¬† We also liaise with other local, regional and national
organisations and community groups wishing to preserve our former Lammas Lands
as green open space.
We also hold four FREE public events during the year :- Beating the Bounds of
Leyton Marshes, usually around late April or early May, a Lammas Community
Picnic, held near either New Lammas Day (1st August) or Old Lammas Day (12th
August); a late autumn Luncheon and Gripe Walk round Walthamstow Marshes just
before the clocks go back, and a walk to mark World Wetlands Day (2nd February)
on a theme chosen annually by the United Nations‚Äô Ramsar Secretariat in
Our next walk will be from Knotts Green to the Eagle Pond (in the Walthamstow
Slip) on the theme of Wetlands and Forests, in early February 2011.
1 of 1 File(s)
A letter for publication follows.¬†
The text is given below, and the actual letter is attached.
We see from the local Council paper in Waltham Forest that ‚ÄėLondon 2012‚Äô is
consulting the public before submitting a Planning Application to close of
Drapers‚Äô Field, on the Leyton and Stratford New Town border, as an
Village Support Centre.‚ÄĚ¬† This public sports field is in the far south of
Waltham Forest and has been used for recreation by residents of both Boroughs as
such since at least 1916, and probably since 1894 when it was sold off by the
then Lord of the Manor of Ruck Holt.¬† As the name suggests, it was once owned
the Worshipful Company of Drapers.
A few years ago, when the London Development Agency (LDA) was assembling land
for the 2012 Olympic Games, they wanted to compulsorily purchase as part of the
Olympic Village site a long-standing official Gypsy Traveller site at Clay‚Äôs
Lane.¬† At the Public Inquiry into the LDA‚Äôs land grabs within and outside the
Olympics zone, the LDA‚Äôs Compulsory Purchase of the Clay‚Äôs Lane site, which
within the Olympic Zone, was upheld.¬† As an officially-provided site, this
Newham was legally responsible for finding new homes for the families living
Understandably, the families at the Clay‚Äôs Lane site wanted to remain together
as a community and to move somewhere safe enough for their children to play
outside.¬† This wish had been acknowledged by the CPO Inquiry, so the Borough of
Newham had to find somewhere large enough for all the Clay‚Äôs Lane site
many of whom had children at school in the area and with friends in the local
Residents became concerned when the Borough suggested providing a new site on
open land at Major Road, just inside the Newham boundary from Waltham Forest.¬†
This large area, surrounded by busy main roads, was home to a sizeable
multi-purpose sports hall and community centre, two football pitches, a
children‚Äôs playground and a smallish park containing a nice rose garden.¬†
was also a Church in its separate grounds at the northern end.
Several New Lammas Lands Defence Committee members had attended the CPO Inquiry,
as part of our local Lammas Lands on Leyton Marshes, at Marsh Lane Fields, were
also under discussion.¬† Some of our members subsequently attended meetings of
Major Road area residents in South Leyton and met with residents of the Clay‚Äôs
Lane Housing Co-Operative and the Gypsy Traveller site.
The Church and its holy grounds could not be touched, and it is still there.¬†
None of the other sports and leisure facilities required any statutory
replacement, except for the children‚Äôs playground.
As the Major Road open space was outside the Olympics site, the proposals had to
be ratified by Newham Council. ¬†The children‚Äôs playground, despite strong
objections, was to be relocated on open registered Common Land adjacent to an
elderly people‚Äôs Home.¬† Newham were claiming that increased use of Drapers‚Äô
Fields, across the road but in Waltham Forest, would be adequate replacement and
mitigation for the loss of the two football pitches and other facilities at
Major Road (this does not appear ever to have been put to WF Council).¬† I
attended the Newham Council meeting and Sir Robin Wales, the Leader, very kindly
allowed me to speak.¬† I asked one thing only: if this were the case, would
Newham please undertake to pay Waltham Forest towards the increased cost of
upkeep and maintenance of the Fields.
This was agreed to and I asked for it to be minuted.¬† According to Cllr.¬†Terry
Wheeler, a Ward Councillor for the area in which Drapers‚Äô Field is situated
who was until May this year Waltham Forest Council‚Äôs Cabinet Member for the
Olympics and Regeneration, it was done and compensation has been paid by Newham.
Now we hear that Drapers‚Äô Fields - supposedly mitigation land for the lost
sports facilities at Major Road in Newham and one of the few sports facilities
left in south Leyton - is to be taken over as well, for storage facilities, and
not just for the duration of the Games but for several months.¬† No alternative
provision for local people whatsoever has been mentioned, and furthermore there
is no guarantee of the Fields coming back into public use or of any mitigating
improvements if and when that happens.¬†
Only on Sunday 5th December did we learn that former Lammas Lands to which the
Manor Gardens Allotments, formerly in the Borough of Newham, were moved at Marsh
Lane Fields on Leyton Marshes in Waltham Forest are to remain fenced off as
allotments after 2014, when local people had been promised that the field would
be unfenced and returned to public use - yet another broken promise.
Far from encouraging people to take part in sports activities, the effect of the
Olympic Games so far on residents of the Lea Valley in both Newham and Waltham
Forest seems so far to be a permanent reduction in open space and sports
facilities, particularly in the Leyton and Stratford New Town area, with little
prospect of these returning when the Olympic Circus thankfully leaves town to
wreak havoc in Brazil.
Co-Chair, New Lammas Lands Defence Committee.
18 Edward Road, Walthamstow E17 6LU
tel: 0790 415 9398
NOTE:New Lammas Lands Defence Committee
c/o Hornbeam Environmental Centre,
458 Hoe Street,
Co-Chair: Mr. Joseph Ward¬†¬†
Co -Chair: Ms. Katy Andrews
Co-vice-chair: Mr. Laurie Wortley
Co-vice-chair and Membership Secretary: Ms. Cath Rasbash
Treasurer: Mr. John Gilbert
Hon. Secretary: Mr. Chris Hill
Within the Olympics zone the LDA could compulsorily purchase anything they
wanted, through the Thames Gateway Urban Development Corporation and the Olympic
Delivery Authority‚Äôs unaccountable Planning Committee, but outside the Olympic
zone the Boroughs were still in control of Planning decisions, although
obviously subject to very heavy political and financial pressure.¬† ‚ÄúLondon
have now taken over this r√īle, but having already assembled all the land within
the Zone their land grabs are now all necessarily outside it and therefore have
to be given permission by the local Boroughs.
The community of Irish Travellers at Waterden Crescent, in the Olympic zone
within the Borough of Hackney, were relocated to three different sites.¬† They
felt that their site was overcrowded and did not ask to be relocated together,
although their wish for a smaller site specifically for older members of the
community was not granted.¬† Some, including a family with a Special Needs
are now on a brownfield site near the Eastway flyover at Hackney Wick; some are
on the land of a former waste transfer depot near Mill Fields in Clapton; and a
third group - accompanied by several illegally parked trailers - are on a former
Council depot opposite the Wick Community Woodland on Homerton Road, Hackney
Wick.¬† The Clay‚Äôs Lane travelling community, who are Romanichals, were not
about moving to the Major Road open space, particularly as the site is
surrounded by busy main roads, but their primary wish was to remain together.
PS - Please don‚Äôt sign this letter off as ‚ÄúCo-Chairwoman‚ÄĚ as the Waltham
Guardian did for a similar letter published by them last week - my Co-Chair is a
very masculine male and was very offended!¬† (I also detest the stupid PC term
‚ÄúChairwoman‚ÄĚ - one is either a Chairman or a Lady Chairman, and so we are
‚ÄúCo-Chair‚ÄĚ for convenience as we have a job-share arrangement of one of
1 of 1 File(s)
Dear Jonathan and Charlie,
A further letter for publication follows, as NLLDC have just learned that the
enclosure of part of our former Lammas Lands at Marsh Lane Fields on Leyton
Marshes (WalthamForest) is going to be made permanent by the Borough.¬† The land
was supposed to be fenced off for a temporary period only - I attach a copy of a
letter written by me to Harry Cohen MP at the time (dated 12th February 2008)
for your information.
The Manor Gardens Allotments were transferred from the Borough of Newham,
despite the fact that they were owned by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
and either Newham or the LVRPA should have been made responsible for the
relocation.¬† My understanding is that there was a temporary lease on the land
the London Development Agency, so any continuation of the fencing off would
amount to purpresture (look it up!).¬† Perhaps the Borough can tell you what the
agreement with the LDA is, as I have only had this information from a member of
the Manor Gardens Allotments managing committee.
I will try to get in touch with Safira about going around the area sometime
later on this week, perhaps Thursday as I am busy all day on Friday; I‚Äôm
we were defeated by the weather last week!
Thank you for publishing (part of) my letter to you about London 2012‚Äôs plans
enclose Drapers‚Äô Field in the Waltham Forest Guardian last week.
[As I pointed out in the full letter:]
Due to the obligatory relocation of families from an official Gypsy Traveller
site at Clay‚Äôs Lane, within the Olympics Zone, local people in South Leyton
suffered the loss of a large area of open recreational land at Major Road, just
over the boundary in Newham.¬† This had been home to a sizeable multi-purpose
sports hall and community centre, two football pitches, a children‚Äôs
and a smallish park containing a nice rose garden. Drapers‚Äô Field was to be
by residents of the area living in the adjacent Borough of Newham after
The children‚Äôs playground had to be relocated and, despite strong objections,
was rebuilt on open registered Common Land adjacent to an elderly people‚Äôs
Home.¬† Newham suggested increased use of Drapers‚Äô Field, immediately across
road but in Waltham Forest, would be adequate mitigation for the loss of the two
football pitches and other recreational facilities at Major Road, but this does
not appear ever to have been put to Waltham Forest Council.
I attended the meeting of Newham Council at which this was ratified and Sir
Robin Wales, the Leader, kindly allowed me to speak.¬† I asked one thing only:
this were the case, would Newham please undertake to pay Waltham Forest towards
the cost of upkeep and maintenance of the Fields.¬† This was agreed to and I
asked for it to be minuted.¬† According to Cllr.¬†Terry Wheeler, a Ward
for the area in which Drapers‚Äô Field is situated and who until May this year
Cabinet Member for the Olympics and Regeneration, some sort of compensation has
If Drapers‚Äô Field is now to be taken over for Athletes‚Äô Village storage
facilities for several months, where is the alternative provision for local
people - not only in Waltham Forest but in Newham as well?¬† What guarantee do
have to ensure that if the temporary use is granted it will in fact remain
temporary so that the land will be subsequently returned to public use?
On Sunday 4th December, the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee learned that the
Manor Garden Allotments, supposedly temporarily relocated to former Lammas Lands
at Marsh Lane Fields on Leyton Marshes until after the Olympics, are now going
to be moved in 2014 - not back into the Borough of Newham, from whence they
came, but onto open space in Waltham Forest that was formerly part of the Eton
Manor Club sports fields.
However, far from taking down the fences at Marsh Lane Fields, we have now
learned that Waltham Forest are intending to retain the area permanently as
allotments, and that the plots there will be offered to people on the WF
allotments waiting list.¬† Yet more promises broken!¬† Worse still, as this
not entail a change of existing use it would not even have to come before a
Committee of WF Council and therefore there will be nothing local people can do
to protest about yet another blatant purpresture of our public green open spaces
- this time by our own Council!
18 Edward Road
tel: 0790 415 9398
The multi-purpose sports hall and community centre at Major Road was the
original home of the Eton Manor Folk Club, later renamed Stratford Grove Folk
Club after it moved to the Henniker Arms at Maryland, of which I was Secretary
for many years.
2 of 2 File(s)
December 6 - Rio de Janeiro could potentially face problems when
it hosts the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, fears the United States Embassy in Brazil according to documents released by Wikileaks.
The warning comes from Lisa Kubiske, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Mission in Brazil, who sent a series of cables detailing the country's preparedness for staging major events.
Brazil successfully hosted the 2007 Pan American Games, Kubiske notes in a cable that "the Olympics will present a different kind of challenge".
Brazil, she continues, has "articulated a vision for the Games - an Olympiad based on South American culture, openness to youth and environmentally friendly that played well in terms of domestic
politics as well as appealing to the IOC (International Olympic Committee)."
But she fears for whether Rio will be ready in time.
the big picture goals and leaving details to the last minute may be a typically Brazilian approach, but could lead to problems," she wrote.
has released hundreds of thousands of classified US documents from around the world that have embarrassed the Government in Washington.
The full document relating to Rio is reproduced below: REFERENCE
ID: 09BRASILIA1439 CREATED: 2009-12-24 13:01 RELEASED: 2010-12-02 09:09
CLASSIFICATION: CONFIDENTIAL ORIGIN: Embassy Brasilia
Cultural Olympiad celebrity lineup
Actress Cate Blanchett, Blur's Damon Albarn and artist David Hockney will be
involved in a 12-week arts festival running alongside the 2012 Olympics.
Their participation was announced in London by Tony Hall, chair of the Cultural
London 2012 Olympic Games organisers have revealed that international sports federations and sponsor allocations will take priority over the allocation of tickets for the British public.
Paul Deighton, Locog chief executive, told the London Assembly on Wednesday he couldn't provide the breakdown on public tickets that will be available for each of the 656 Olympic sessions. He said such uncertainty existed because the levels of demand from the non-public areas had not yet been finalised. As such, the numbers of public tickets to each of the sessions had not been signed off.
The ticket allocation for the British public will be released in in March 2011 and oversubscribed applications will go into a ballot.
''We haven't seen the demand from the other 25 per cent [of non public allocation], once we see that then we can see the public demand,'' Deighton said.
Of the 8.8 million tickets, 6.6 million will be available to the British and European Union public while the remaining will be divided between non-European ticket sales through national Olympic committees (13 per cent), sponsors and broadcasters (10 per cent) and international sports federations (1 per cent) and prestige hospitality (1 per cent).
But members of the assembly said they had been unable to obtain the specific breakdown of public tickets available to each of the sessions, particularly high demand sessions, and asked Locog to make such information available.
Deighton said he expected that most of the public ticket applications would be filled except for the small proportion of high demand sessions.
Meanwhile, John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, has told the Assembly he will investigate whether any environmental agencies had retrospectively granted approvals in relation to the soil remediation processes on the Olympic Park.
Liz Nicholl tells of her hopes and fears as she dishes out millions to sports aiming to make an impact in 2012
Liz Nicholl may be little known outside the world of sports administration but to a large extent she now holds the fate of the London 2012 Olympics in her hands. It is widely acknowledged that the performance of British athletes will decide whether the Games are remembered as great or merely good.
The new chief executive of UK Sport, responsible for investing hundreds of millions in Olympic sport, has warned athletes there are now "no excuses" for underperformance after their funding was protected through to 2012 and beyond despite government cuts. "There could have been a cliff edge but we're not seeing that now. We can start to plan the next cycle, which we've not had an opportunity to do before. There is slightly less money but it's not unmanageable at all. It's very exciting and very motivating," said Nicholl, in her first interview since her appointment in September.
27 Olympic sports assessed using UK Sport's Mission 2012 criteria will today find out their funding levels for the next 12 months, in the last chance for any tweaks in time to affect performance in 2012. Any extra money awarded to one sport showing unexpected progress will have to be taken away from another.
UK Sport will reveal that on its traffic-light assessment scale 12 sports are now rated as green overall,
with 15 rated amber and no sport given an overall rating of red. But Nicholl, who was a key architect of the "no compromise" philosophy that resulted in the Beijing medal charge led by cycling and rowing, warned they would continue to face cuts if they did not meet agreed performance
She is also concerned that the conveyor belt of talent could splutter to a halt after 2012 due to school sport funding cuts that this week led children to march on Downing Street with a petition bearing more than half a million signatures.
In the meantime sustained investment in elite sport, a feat achieved because cuts of 27%
in exchequer funding will be mitigated by changes to the National Lottery, meant the UK should avoid the fate of other countries such as Australia that have invested heavily for a home games but seen coaching talent drain away and performance stall afterwards.
"The shift in the cycle to cover the four years from 2011 to 2015 will make critical people involved in the system feel that they can build on the success of
2012," she said. The investment this year, around ¬£111m, will be replicated in the run-up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
who has spent a decade in senior roles at UK Sport, also acknowledged that the political prize of a successful 2012 Games played in its favour.
"We knew success at 2012 was a high priority for this government, but we had to do some very early thinking about the cost of the Rio cycle," said Nicholl, who replaced John Steele in September after he left to become RFU chief executive.
Although funding for elite sport has been largely protected, there are fears that the impact of the Department for Education's decision to axe the ring-fenced ¬£162m budget for the Youth Sports Trust's national network of school sport co-ordinators will have dire consequences for the promised legacy.
we're clear about the impact, we are right to remain concerned. The Youth Sport Trust has done some great work over recent years. It has created a movement and a much wider understanding of the impact of sport
on young people. It's important that's not lost," said Nicholl.
there is a negative impact, if it is a patchwork in terms of provision we probably won't see the impact on Rio [de Janeiro] but we will after that."
Internally UK Sport and Sport England must slash their costs by 50% by 2015, largely through merger in the wake of the Games. They must slash their joint administrative bill of ¬£17m a year in half, much of which will be achieved by moving out of central London to shared
office accommodation ‚Äď probably in the Olympic Park.
that working more closely with Sport England, the grassroots sports body that has also had its funding protected thanks to the lottery changes but will have a hugely expanded remit as cuts in school sport and local authority spending bite, would have its benefits. "It is part of my job to ensure this is a step up for British sport, not a step down
or a step sideways. We're not in this to compromise on what the sporting system needs," said Nicholl, a former Wales netball international who was then chief executive of English Netball for 16 years before joining UK Sport.
The two bodies will be expected to work more closely together to drive commercial investment, both at the elite end and into the grassroots. Part of the challenge will be to ensure that Olympic sponsors paying up to ¬£50m to be involved in the 2012 Games retain some of that investment within sport.
But while Sport England and UK Sport forge closer ties, relations with the British
Olympic Association remain strained.There are recurrent fears that the BOA is trying to expand its remit beyond its brief and its chief executive, Andy Hunt, recently reignited an ongoing difference of opinion when he said there was "no performance value" in setting medal targets at this stage. UK Sport has a clear target of fourth in the medal table.
This week the BOA appeared to pre-empt UK Sport's funding announcement by encouraging it to increase the amount of money given to volleyball.
"I'm committed to building positive relations
with the BOA. We really value the role the BOA plays in the final stages of team preparation and taking them into the Games," said Nicholl. "There are two areas that we have disagreements on but they are
manageable. One is about targets and it's a shame when that features so
publicly," she said.
"It's a bit disappointing because you would want the leader of the team to acknowledge that the sports each have targets. But if for some reason the BOA feels uncomfortable with that, that's OK. It's unhelpful if it confuses sport."
Choosing her words carefully, Nicholl says the focus "shouldn't be on organisations but on athletes". But she adds: "Where there have ever been tensions, it's only because we don't tolerate duplication. We respect and value the unique role the BOA has to play but, if there's any duplication, we will challenge it."
As part of the CSR settlement, UK Sport also agreed to play a larger role in improving standards of transparency and auditing among governing bodies. She also agreed there was "much more to
be done" to secure a legacy for coaching from the Games. Having come through the CSR [Comprehensive Spending Review] period relatively unscathed, Nicholl is keen to refocus attention on the prize that could be realised in 20 months' time: "The potential to have a fantastic impact at 2012 and the prospect of what might be achieved still leaves me quite tingly."
TAKE ACTION NOW
Sign the open letter to the Olympic organisers and the catering companies. Tell them to ‚ÄúSource Fairtrade: make every Olympic catering purchase a winning one‚ÄĚ.
Within the next few weeks, the first
big wave of Olympic 2012 catering contracts will be awarded. This is a critical opportunity for us to remind the London Organising Committee of
the Olympic Games (LOCOG), the main sponsors (McDonalds, Cadburys and Coca-Cola) and the contract catering companies about keeping the Fairtrade commitments already made, and about Londoners‚Äô enthusiasm for caterers to go further and extend the range of Fairtrade products used.
Our message is simple:
‚ÄúSource Fairtrade: make every Olympic catering purchase a winning one‚ÄĚ.
Goods news' that Hackney Marshes wind turbine will be scrapped, say footballers
The stipulation is among thousands of pages of detailed demands made by the IOC as a condition of hosting the games. Other legally-binding requirements include providing at least 40,000 hotel rooms for IOC members, foreign sports administrators and other official guests, and producing the Queen for a "ceremony planned by the IOC" just before the games open, at which its members can all meet her.
The Union flag must be flown fifth in precedence behind the Olympic flag, the London 2012 symbol, the United Nations flag and the flag of Greece at the stadium and fourth elsewhere in London for the duration.
London must "require behaviour modification for residents, public and business communities" as transport is disrupted.
The documents are the so-called "Olympic technical manuals" described by the IOC as an "integral part" of the "host city contract" signed by London in 2005 when it won the games.
They were obtained under freedom of information laws by The Spectator magazine and the Games Monitor website after a two-year battle.
As well as saying that Olympic ceremonies "must be presented in English and French" and that the English version "should be read after the French", they demand draconian powers to protect sponsors such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds, from "ambush marketing" by rivals. London is required to prevent spectators from "wearing clothes or accessories with commercial messages other than the manufacturer's brand name." This would ban them from wearing football clubs' replica strips, which usually carry the name of the club's sponsor.
Games organisers must "attempt to confiscate any infringing ambush material" from spectators, although there are warnings against being "overzealous". The city authorities must also "obtain control of all billboard advertising, city transport advertising, airport advertising etc for the duration of the games and the month preceding." Olympic "brand protection teams" must "confront violators" and "conduct surveillance" across London. Police and customs officers must enforce sponsorship rules.
Britain has complied by passing an Act of Parliament which makes "ambush marketing" at the games a criminal offence and gives officials power to enter homes and seize "infringing material".
The documents stipulate that IOC meeting rooms must be provided with "photocopy paper in various colours ‚Äď white, pink, green, blue ‚Äďaccording to the precise instructions of the IOC."
The hotel rooms are broken down by grade. The 105 IOC members alone, their interpreters and officials must be given 1,800 "four and five star" hotel rooms. The total "minimum requirement," including rooms for the overseas press, is 40,000. The London organising committee for the games, Locog, must pay for at least 7,000 of them.
Most of the other demands will also fall on Locog, which is largely funded by sponsorship and ticket sales.
A spokesman for London 2012 said: "This is information provided to cities to get them thinking about all the things they need to do.
"The hotel room numbers are guidelines and we may not necessarily need, for instance, 100 rooms for the ceremony stars. The ambush marketing provisions are targeted on mass ambushes, not people wearing their football shirts."
After a two-year tussle under the Freedom of Information Act, our friends at the excellent Games Monitor
website have obtained the full, previously secret contracts signed by poor old London when it agreed to host the 2012 Olympics ‚Äď the so-called
‚ÄúOlympic technical manuals.‚ÄĚ I and my colleague Ed Howker have done a big chunk on it in today‚Äôs newspaper and as the cover story
of this week‚Äôs Spectator magazine. There are thousands of pages of excruciatingly demanding, legally-binding but often preposterous requirements, including:
- At least 40,000 hotel rooms to be provided for the International Olympic Committee, dignitaries and other official guests for the duration of the Games (this figure does not include competitors, of course ‚Äď they‚Äôre housed in the Olympic village);
- The Queen must attend a special IOC ceremony and meet all IOC members;
- Union Jack to be flown fifth in order of precedence at stadium;
- French must take precedence over English at Olympic ceremonies;
- ‚ÄúPageantry and billboards‚ÄĚ in French and English to be erected across London;
- Control over ‚Äúcommercial‚ÄĚ logos on spectators‚Äô clothes. Unauthorised ‚Äúhats, visors and T-shirts‚ÄĚ to be confiscated;
- Personal chauffeurs for 700 IOC members or officials (recommended);
- Pool chauffeurs for a further 400 IOC officials (recommended);
- Enforce ‚Äúbrand protection‚ÄĚ for Olympics and its sponsors by ‚Äúconducting surveillance.‚ÄĚ Police to be diverted from preventing crime to preventing ‚Äúambush marketing‚ÄĚ by the sponsors‚Äô commercial rivals. Olympic officials to be given power to enter private homes and confiscate unauthorised goods;
- Enforce ‚Äúbehaviour modification‚ÄĚ on Londoners‚Äô travel (because many
of London‚Äôs normal transport resources will be diverted to serve the Games);
- Four colours of photocopying paper ‚Äúaccording to the precise instructions of the IOC.‚ÄĚ
Still looking forward to 2012? We‚Äôll be putting up the documents in full in the next day or so and I‚Äôll blog again when that happens.
December 9, 2010 By
Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly Members have raised concerns over the affordability and accessibility of the London Olympics
and Paralympics following the appearance of Olympics chiefs before the Assembly this week.
On Wednesday representatives from the Olympic Delivery Authority told
AMs that Blue Badge users will not be able to use ‚ÄėOlympic Lanes‚Äô to travel within London and to the games. The news comes just days after 2012 chiefs called on Londoners not to use the Tube network during the Games.
Criticising the ODA‚Äôs stance, LibDem Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon
commented: ‚ÄúWhen less than one in four tube stations is wheelchair accessible it is appalling that the ODA have ruled out such a modest proposal. Quite frankly the need of many disabled people is far greater
than many of the other people who will be able to use these lanes.
‚ÄúThe excuses put forward by the Olympic Delivery Authority for not implementing this policy are simply indefensible and totally contradict the promise we made to the world to host the most accessible Games ever.‚ÄĚ
On Thursday Pidgeon‚Äôs colleague Dee Doocey said claims the games would be the ‚Äúmost accessible ever‚ÄĚ were in ‚Äútatters‚ÄĚ after the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games announced it would not provide
free tickets to carers of disabled people purchasing ticket unless they
are a wheelchair user.
Doocey said it was ‚Äúshameful that LOCOG are failing to adopt a fair policy towards all disabled people.‚ÄĚ
The AM added: ‚ÄúWith less than one in ten disabled people being wheelchair users LOCOG‚Äôs policy is blatant discrimination against the huge number of disabled people who require a carer to attend any event, such as many blind people or people with a learning disability.
‚ÄúFar from pushing forward in access standards it seems that the 2012 Games will not even match the ticketing policies that are already adopted by many music and sporting venues. The pledge that the 2012 Games would be the most accessible Games ever is now in complete tatters.‚ÄĚ
Assembly LibDems have also criticised LOCOG for failing to ensure there was sufficient mix in the events for which affordable tickets would be available. On Thursday the Assembly‚Äôs Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee heard hat more than half of the ‚ÄėPay Your Age‚Äô tickets for games will be restricted to football events.
Doocey commented: ‚ÄúBy allocating such a huge chunk of affordable tickets to a low profile Olympic sport the harsh reality is that there will be far less affordable tickets for sporting events that many families really want to see.
'How dare foreign bureaucrats dictate where we fly our national flag and insist
that French will be the first language of the London Olympics'
Alexander Chancellor writing in the Guatdian
Hotels are set to more than double their prices during the 2012 Olympic Games, but doing so could cause long-term damage to corporate business an expert has claimed
Demand for London‚Äôs 120,000 hotel rooms is set to reach ‚Äúunprecedented‚ÄĚ levels
Basing its predictions on data gathered during the Vancouver Winter Olympics, market intelligence company Rubicon believes hotels in the capital can expect to see profits leap during the summer of 2012.
However, hoteliers are being warned to watch their margins so as not to turn off business from the corporate sector, which is expected to plunge
by up to 80 per cent during the period.
Long term damage
Andy Storey, managing director for Rubicon Europe, said that high room rates could potentially damage business in the long term.
‚ÄúGenerally hotel owners fail to put enough attention on the shoulder seasons either side of sporting events, and this is what causes them to do worse than in ‚Äėnormal‚Äô years,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIt is no surprise that hotels will be busy during the event itself, but London properties should heed warnings and set pricing and market accordingly.
‚ÄúBy recognising past trends, London hotels can now look to manage
their pricing effectively throughout the Olympic summer of 2012, enabling them to compete more effectively with their competition and draw in both tourist business and corporate travellers. Business traffic
often drops off significantly either side of these landmark events and hotels must be wary of overpricing in these periods.‚ÄĚ
Visits from tourists on package holidays to London is also expected to fall during the Games, as tour operators fear they may be priced out of the market.
Non-London hotels to benefit
The Olympics organising committee LOCOG has first choice of 50,000 rooms
for officials, dignitaries and 22,500 international media, putting hotel stocks in the capital under immediate pressure.
Because of this, Rubicon believes towns within an easy commute to London
will also find they benefit from the Olympic Games, as business travellers and tourists are forced to find reasonably priced accommodation outside the capital.
Employers across the London area will be encouraged by the Government
to cut down on meetings and turn to teleconferencing during the 2012 Olympic Games.
A Travel Advice for Business service, run by the London 2012 Organising Committee,
will give out information on how business travellers can best get around the capital as transport networks fill with games spectators.
It offers advice on where and when disruption is likely, maps, factsheets and sample surveys that can be used by employers to gauge when staff may have difficulty travelling.
Launching the service, local transport minister Norman Baker said it would be vital for businesses to plan ahead to avoid disruption. Baker recently presented to delegates at PST‚Äôs Engage round table in Leeds via videolink.
‚ÄúI am also pioneering an initiative to encourage employees and businesses to reduce their need for travel by adopting smarter ways of working ‚Äď like video and teleconferencing and home working,‚ÄĚ the minister said.
‚ÄúBy working together, I am confident that business and Government can
deliver a successful Games whilst minimising inconvenience for those going about their everyday lives.‚ÄĚ
Baker said the capital‚Äôs transport system would need to cope with up to 800,000 spectators each day, and 55,000 athletes, officials, media and others working on the event in addition to its normal patronage and that Travel Advice for Business would ‚Äúreduce overall ‚Äėbackground‚Äô demand for transport during the Games‚ÄĚ.
Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said places of work likely to be affected by Olympic congestion should ‚Äústart considering plans as early as possible.
‚ÄúThis might include implementing travel plans or flexible working for
employees, reducing non-essential journeys and making adjustments to delivery schedules.‚ÄĚ
the umbrella body for London boroughs, complained last Spring that boroughs had not been fully consulted about planned traffic arrangements
for the roads surrounding Olympic venues.
It urged the Olympic Delivery Authority to work with its members to prevent parking problems around outer London railway and Underground stations caused by spectators using public transport from these to the Olympic venues.
THE town has turned its back on the 2012 Olympic Games, a new report has
The importance of an Olympic legacy scored zero in a Brentwood poll drafted by
budget-busting council officials wanting to know what residents' priorities are.
And of the 2,000 residents who took part in the recent tracker poll Ė published
in the July edition of Essex County Council magazine Essex Works Ė just 50 said
they thought tourism was worth promoting...
It‚Äôs costing more than the government cuts in welfare,
more even than the UK‚Äôs Irish bail-out, but what exactly is all that money set aside for the 2012 Olympic Games actually being spent on? You might be surprised.
In this week‚Äôs Spectator, Andrew Gilligan and I disclose, for the first time, all the petty, legally-binding demands made by the 115-member International Olympic Committee (IOC) of London.
This is information that the government, the mayor and the London Olympic organisers never wanted you to see ‚Äď even though it forms a binding part of the Host City Contract signed when we won
the right to host the games in 2005.
Paul Charman, a researcher in East London who contributes to the website GamesMonitor (www.gamesmonitor.org.uk), fought a two year battle
with City Hall to get them into the public domain arguing,
quite correctly, that their disclosure is outstandingly in the public interest. Happily, the Information Commissioner agreed.
Contained within 21 so-called ‚ÄėOlympic Technical Manuals‚Äô, the IOC sprays around rules governing everything from tax-breaks to the uniforms
they expect their chauffeurs to wear
for the duration of the 2012 Olympics. The limits they will place on the everyday lives of Londoners are simply draconian. They IOC want London to shut roads and even close flight-paths. They
demand a meeting with the Queen and even that their Olympic flag always takes precedence over the Union flag for the duration of the games. And there‚Äôs much more.
The picture that emerges is of our capital city yielding up its public
infrastructure, legal powers and identity and handing them over to an international sporting body with a taste for the high
life. Taxpayers are paying ¬£12bn and counting for the games, another ¬£1.4bn has been raised from private sources and millions more have been donated by the IOC ‚Äď so this is
going to cost us dearly.
The Manuals run on for thousands of pages and I‚Äôm sure there are elements of the IOC‚Äôs plans that bear further investigation. For this reason I am placing them, along with that Host
City Contract, online. Just click on the links below:
Host City Contract
Technical manual on Accomodation
Technical manual on Accreditation
Technical manual on Brand Protection
Technical manual on Ceremonies
Technical manual on Communications
Technical manual on Design Standards for Competition Venues
Technical manual on Hospitality
Technical manual on International Federation Requirements
Technical manual on Media, Written and Photographic
Technical manual on Medical Services
Technical manual on Olympic Village
Technical manual on Organisation of Election to IOC Athletes Commission
Technical manual on Organising Meetings
Technical manual on Other Olympic Games Matters
Technical manual on Paralympic Games
Technical manual on Planning Coordination and Management
Technical manual on Protocol
Technical manual on Sport
Technical manual on Ticketing
Technical manual on Transport
Technical manual on Workforce
Old Ford Nature Reserve has been destroyed and is being slabbed over with
concrete. Does anybody know when ODA/Thamew Water gave themselves permission to
I see that in this Public Consultation document of March 2009 it is stated that
`The Old Ford Nature Reserve is a key element of the area and its setting'.
Here is what I imagine to be the planning permission for the desecration of the
Old Ford Nature Reserve. Wonder if the London Wildlife Trust were consulted? I
note that Newham had no objections and it was deemed that no Environmental
Impact Assessment was required.
ODA Planning Decisions Team Mtg. 13th April 2010. Signed by Chairman 24th August