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Brown's Olympic Jobs Promise Inflation

Olympic promise inflation has hit a new high with Gordon Brown’s assertion that, in addition to 30,000 construction jobs, "there will be 50,000 jobs permanently created as a result of all the facilities that the Olympic site will make possible for the future", as reported in the Evening Standard ‘PM hails Olympic Job Prospects’. This claim has to be set against the original evidence from the London Development Agency to the Compulsory Purchase Inquiry that the 2012 Olympics would create 6,000 net new permanent jobs! Even that figure was open to question.


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Winter Games Project Hits Snag in Vancouver

By Ian Austen, New York Times published: November 14, 2008

OTTAWA — When Montreal announced that it would be the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics, Mayor Jean Drapeau promised that the Games could “no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby.” Ultimately the Games left behind about $1.5 billion in unexpected debt that was paid off only two years ago.Now, Vancouver residents prepare to vote in a municipal election on Saturday, the freeze in credit markets and a collapse of the city’s real estate market have made the financing of the 2010 Winter Games a critical issue.


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Leaked IOC Beijing Media Kit

German public service broadcaster Südwestrundfunk recently obtained this 48-page IOC media kit for Beijing 2008 (or 'One-Year-to-Go Countdown Resource'). Marked CONFIDENTIAL – FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY, it offers an intriguing insight into the way the IOC views itself and its relations with the media, governments and NGOs and protest groups.


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Why Bush will stand with Hu Jintao at the opening of the Beijing Olympics

China's government, which invests up to a third of its $1.68 trillion in currency reserves in [US] Treasuries, is "not smart'' to invest in U.S. debt and should seek higher returns, a former legislator said [June 13 2008]. "I don't think it's a smart move to invest in U.S. bonds,'' said Cheng Siwei, former vice chairman of the National People's Congress, China's legislature, at a Beijing conference.


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Contaminated Dust at the Eastway, the HSE responds and the ODA upgrades its monitoring

Further to my earlier article about contamination at the former Eastway cycle track the HSE responded after nine weeks (see email below). I remain astonished that it took nine weeks for the HSE to be able to summarise the monitoring being undertaken at the Eastway site. I would have thought the information would be readily to hand but apparently not.


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Beyond Belief in the Olympic Zone

There is a credibility gap between what people in local voluntary bodies have been told by professionals in the Olympic industry and what local volunteers' experiences of outcomes has been. This has happened most to those local voluntary bodies which have been affected by relocations from sites within the boundaries of the Olympic Park.


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Ask a silly (Olympic) question…. 'Parliamentary' answer part 2

Why does an MP ask a question of a Minister? A simple question you might think. Take a look at the following. First is the question asked by Andy Love, Labour MP for Edmonton.

'To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many local authority tenants will be displaced from their housing as a result of the 2012 Olympics; how their housing needs will be met; and if she will make a statement.'


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Community! Community! Wherefore art thou, community?

Who the hell or what the hell does the LDA think is 'the community'? Below is a comment from Martin Slavin of Games Monitor, who tried to follow up an LDA 'consultation' with 'the community'. Sustaining communities was one of the buzzwords used by the LDA to justify its Olympic programme. We know what that meant for Clays Lane. Demolition. What does it mean for the Legacy? Who knows? In this case the community seems to be a few officials who, in all likelihood, do not live where the development is planned. East London is now faced with further ransacking by developers who plan to build skyscrapers fanning out from the City where, incidentally, almost no-one lives. Maybe that is the LDA's perfect community. Banks, offices, council committees and as few residents as possible.


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