Friday, 15 April 2011
Olympic dreams - and nightmares.
Don't get me wrong, I'm in favour of the Olympics. Or at least I'm in favour of the Olympic idea. Young people from all over the world living in an "Olympic Village" and competing together in their chosen sport. What's not to like? If parts of East London were regenerated and the housing and transport infrastructure improved for local residents that would be nice too. The fact that the whole shooting match will be hijacked by politicians, property developers and the global fast food industry is hardly the fault of the athletes. Despite all the rip offs and broken promises the games will be a life changing experience for many young athletes and that must surely be a good thing. But is London, by which I mean the power elite who think that they run the place, actually up to the job? There are now fears that with an estimated five million extra visitors the transport system will just be unable to cope. Londoners are now being asked to rethink their travel plans during the games. There are suggestions that people "work from home" as if everyone was a keyboard jockey. What about schools, hospitals and the transport system itself? Not, mind you that it's entirely out of the question that tube workers will be on strike anyway. The Olympic legacy may well turn out to be a positive one but for Londoners it could be an Olympic nightmare.