Two weeks ago the trial began of nine members of Critical Mass, out of 182 originally arrested, for riding their bikes too close to the Olympic Park on the evening of the Opening Ceremony. Another malicious Olympics prosecution (see p 12), that of citizen journalist and photographer Mike Wells, finally came to an end almost two months ago on 17th January 2013. The story began with an unsubstantiated allegation that Mike assaulted the driver of an excavator at Sandy Lane, the unmade road that runs alongside Leyton Marshes, and ended nine months later at Stratford Magistrate’s Court. Mike’s prosecution occurred against a background of warnings from police and politicians that the authorities would take a hard line in the face of protest and disorder.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sun, 10/03/2013 - 23:15.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sat, 26/01/2013 - 23:03.
Not so long ago the ODA was being touted by its former Chair, John Armitt, as a model for running infrastructure projects. Politicians and others should not interfere in these projects, which should receive cross-party support, instead they should be overseen by a quango - like the ODA. Armitt's proposal is backed by the Labour Party, which has created a panel to investigate the management of infrastructure projects. Lord Adonis, one of Armitt's panellists, rushed to endorse his proposal.
Armitt's big idea is based on his claim that the ODA 'got it right'. Far from getting it right the ODA failed to carry out its functions safely, as in the botched remediation, harassed and persecuted local residents affected by its programmes at places like Leyton Marsh and Leabank Square and lied constantly about alleged legacies such as Stratford City or the 'largest new park in Europe for 150 years'.
Now further evidence has emerged of its failure to investigate or even pay attention to allegations of blacklisting by its contractors. The case of Frank Morris was already known back in February 2011. The ODA took no action in response to the protests which followed over either the original sacking of a co-worker or of Frank Morris himself, when he raised objections to the original abuse.
In November 2012, the ODA's Chief Executive, Dennis Hone, told the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigating blacklisting:
“The ODA did not receive any evidence or could find any evidence of blacklisting on the Olympic Park during the construction phase or otherwise." He also claimed that: “At that time there was a discussion with our contractors and we requested evidence from people making the allegations and no evidence was forthcoming. If it had been then we would have gone after the contractors involved."
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Fri, 25/01/2013 - 22:14.
Nick Whitten recently posted a guest contribution by Matthew Black of estate agents CBRE on the Estates Gazette Olympics Blog. On their website CBRE describe themselves as 'key property adviser' to the now defunct London Development Agency in relation to the London 2012 Olympic Games bid.
In his contribution Mr Black wrote of the Olympic Park:
It also had its issues including heavily contaminated ground, buildings that were no longer fit for purpose, electricity pylons crossing the whole site and Europe's largest redundant fridge mountain. This was an opportunity to revitalise an area of London that had suffered from a lack of investment for a number of decades and the Games was the opportunity to rectify this and bring it back to becoming a core part of London again.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Wed, 01/08/2012 - 14:53.
5th April 2012
Re: The Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) recent works on Leyton Marshes, close to London’s Olympic enclosure.
Dear Mr Hone, CEO of the ODA
I am writing to you in response to your recent letter addressed to “Dear Resident” in which you attempt to persuade local people that the ODA’s plan to construct a building on Leyton Marshes (classified as Metropolitan Open Space) is justifiable.
Submitted by Mike Wells on Thu, 05/04/2012 - 18:18.
Open Letter to Meredith Alexander former Commissioner on the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012
30th January 2012
Dear Ms Alexander
I wholeheartedly congratulate you on your decision to resign from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012. As far as I am aware you are only the second person involved with London 2012 who has had the integrity, courage and conviction to take such a morally justifiable action.
Submitted by Mike Wells on Mon, 30/01/2012 - 11:57.
A recent sponsorship deal has seen the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games accept money from Dow Chemical. Dow will provide a fabric "wrap" which will be placed around London's Olympic stadium.
According to Britain's Guardian newspaper the wrap's purpose is to reduce wind inside the stadium. But, as the metaphor says ...
Submitted by Mike Wells on Mon, 19/12/2011 - 15:10.
In The Gold Machine Iain Sinclair blogs on his evening out on Nina Pope's Floating Cinema and (with pictures) the essential pre-history - his famous Kayak trip with Stephen Gill.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Thu, 25/08/2011 - 19:16.