By Julian Cheyne and Rebecca Kim - Researcher at the Democracy & Social Movement Institute, SungkongHoe University, Seoul
Against the background of the all consuming scandal which has engulfed South Korea's now deposed President Park Pyeongchang2018 looms up as the next fixture in the Olympic murk. The scandal surrounding ex-President Park Guen-hye, her confidante, Choi Soon-sil, and South Korea’s secretive companies, or chaebols, such as Samsung, Hyundai, Lotte or Hanjin, has cast a light on the shadowy interactions between the government, the secret services and the chaebols, the companies which came to dominate the South Korean economy during the dictatorship of Park’s father, Park Jung-Hee.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 27/03/2017 - 13:20.
Article | Coe | Compulsory Purchase | Corruption & Ethics | Displacement | Environment | Human Rights | IOC | Mega Events | Planning & Development | Pyeongchang 2018 | Rio de Janeiro 2016 | Sochi 2014 | Sponsors | Sport | Tokyo2020
Back in July 2016 after I posted an article about job creation in the aftermath of London2012 on Games Monitor BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme contacted me for an interview. They had come across my FoI requests which showed that so far fewer than 1000 jobs had been created on the Olympic Park and LLDC projections for homes within the Park were likely to be lower than 6,650. In fact following further reseach I found that the figure is probably around 4,700 with the possibility of a 'legacy' of almost no genuinely affordable housing when taking into account the demolition of housing at Clays Lane and Park Village for the Olympics.
My interview with You and Yours was pre-recorded making it impossible for me to argue on air. The programme then held a live interview with the London Legacy Development Corporation's Director of Communications, Marketing and Strategy, Ben Fletcher, who proceeded to claim the LLDC would be creating 40,000 jobs and 24,000 homes. He compared this with a town the size of Milton Keynes in its early stages.
The BBC interviewer pointed out that Stratford City, the massive development next to the Olympic Park, would have been built anyway. Fletcher couldn't disagree with this obvious statement but resorted to the usual strategy of casting doubt on whether Stratford City would have been completed given the credit crunch. Fletcher also repeated the canard of the 'catalytic' effect and declared "what we don't know and what we will never know is whether those projects would have survived without the Olympics." Many people, he thought, would say they would not have done so.
Sadly in these circumstances reporters are often not well versed in the specifics of the case. For example, the much touted 'catalytic' effect had been discounted long before in 2003 by the Olympics master planner, Jason Prior. A property journalist had reported:
Prior believes the long-term regeneration elements and development opportunities will happen with or without the Olympics. What may differ is the pace of change. In the event of a successful bid, developers in partnerships might have to play a longer-term game – the land would not be freed for its end use until after the 2012 event.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Wed, 25/01/2017 - 15:31.
Additional information re Athletes Village in section 
One of the major promises of London 2012 was that it would create a large number of affordable homes for East Londoners.
In a recent Freedom of Information response to a question:
How many homes are now expected to be provided on the Olympic Park? What is the breakdown expected to be per neighbourhood?
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Tue, 07/06/2016 - 22:51.
The London Olympics has been the subject of some wildly optimistic job creation predictions, most notably Gordon Brown's claim of 50,000 jobs, which even the London Development Agency (LDA) warned should be 'treated with caution'.
In a recent Freedom of Information response to a question:
how many jobs are now predicted to be created in the Park as a whole, including at Here East, Olympicopolis and further jobs in the administration, security, maintenance, services, etc, in the Park?
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Fri, 03/06/2016 - 17:56.
The Olympic Park is stuffed with public art designed to mystify and mislead the public, like Boris's folly, the Orbit, a helter skelter without a skelter, which was dreamed up when Boris met Lakshmi in the washroom at Davos in 2009 and was built using steel from the site of killings and torture at the Serb concentration camp at Omarska, Bosnia. The skelter is now being added to make it into what it failed to be in a desperate effort to rescue it from oblivion. Another is RUN, which imaginatively consists of three large letters R U N, while elsewhere there are some upturned crayons called 'steles' stuck in the River Lea.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sat, 19/03/2016 - 20:53.
Brazil's Dance with the Devil - The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy by Dave Zirin
Written by Dave Zirin, sports editor of the US newspaper The Nation, published by Haymarket Brazil's Dance with the Devil is a high octane read through the infatuation of Brazil's political elite with mega-events. Written before the 2014 World Cup it is highly relevant to the upcoming Rio Olympic Games. There is plenty of background on the politics of the bid and how it fits into the Lula era. However, its key focus is on the impact on the poorest communities, the favelas. As a sports journalist of unusual stripe Dave Zirin takes a look at significant sports personalities, notably the footballers Socrates and Pele, and how they represent different forces in Brazilian sport and society. Given the political importance of sport and its alleged disconnection from politics it is fascinating to read about Socrates' political classes at Corinthians. Zirin also provides a brief history of recent Olympics and highlights how the Games are about much more than sport, they provide an opportunity to redesign the city, minus the poor.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Tue, 15/03/2016 - 17:28.
How appropriate that Pindar's Olympic Ode is quoted at the opening of the Greater London Authority's Olympic Legacy Supplementary Planning Guidance.
Well! these are tales of mystery!
And many a darkly-woven lie
With men will easy credence gain;
While truth, calm truth, may speak in vain,
For eloquence, whose honey’d sway
Our frailer mortal wits obey,
Can honour give to actions ill,
And faith to deeds incredible;
And bitter blame, and praises high,
Fall truest from posterity.
(Translations Of Pindar: The First Olympic Ode)
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 22/02/2016 - 16:35.
Article | 2012 Media | Clays Lane | Compulsory Purchase | Corruption & Ethics | Displacement | Legacy | London 2012 | Manor Gardens Allotments | Mega Events | Planning & Development | Regeneration | Travellers
There must be something in the water! After years of the old industrial sites in the Lea Valley being written off to justify their compulsory purchase and demolition to make way for the London Olympics the LLDC's Sweetwater web page now advertises the area as:
'One of the most important industrial sites in London, the area around Sweetwater has seen some of the UK’s most important innovations.
In the 19th century, the area was home to the East London Waterworks Company, but it was during the late 19th and early 20th century that it really came into its own with the growth of chemical, confectionery and petroleum industries taking off in the area.
Petrol was first registered for a patent by the company Carless, Capel & Leonard in the area around White Post Lane and a company based on White Post Lane first introduced the French process of dry cleaning to the UK.
A German V1 rocket and heavy bombing damaged many of the buildings in the area during World War Two, but industrial development continued from the 1950s onwards with confectionary, fur trade, engineering and fruit businesses, as well as timber yards and warehouses continued to make the area a real hive of activity and industrial innovation.'
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Wed, 11/03/2015 - 16:11.