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London 2012

Leyton Marsh: Malice and the prosecution of Mike Wells

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.


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The little guy is back!

So the little guy is back! Whoever thought Leyton Orient were going to give up without a fight has another think coming. Just as West Ham thought they were close to a deal to take over the Olympic stadium Leyton Orient have sought judicial review of the bidding process.


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Heroes or scroungers?

‘I think the Vitality programme is absolutely brilliant – everything I stand for is echoed in the values of Vitality.’ These are the inane words of Olympic heroine Jessica Ennis, now earning a fast buck as a ‘Vitality Ambassadress’ through which she will ‘participate in a number of marketing activities…which add value to the Vitality proposition’. Diplomatically, she continues ‘we all love to be rewarded for our hard work to get healthy…’


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Obesity - an Olympic diet

Obesity in the UK continues to rise. Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre for 2011 show there has been a marked rise in obesity rates over the past eight years, coinciding with the bid and lead up to London 2012. The HSCIC also raises the alarm about children’s body image, particularly among girls, with hospital admissions up 16% in the last year of the survey.


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The sporting legacy - Inspired to watch

As has already been announced the elite annual London Grand Prix Diamond League meeting will be moved from Crystal Palace to the Olympic Stadium. To this was added an elite Paralympic event.


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How topping! Olympic Park fence electrified from mid 2010 to 22nd October 2012

For the Olympics the abnormal becomes normal. One of the most astonishing things to happen at London 2012 was the building of an electrified fence around the Olympic Park. The idea that this was necessary or sensible was seldom questioned. It may well be that most people didn’t even realise it had been done. People were constantly surprised when I pointed it out to them. But even those who did know of it probably thought the electricity was only on during the Games. Not so.

In December I asked the ODA

‘Is the electric fence around the Olympic Park still in use as an electric fence? If not, when was it last operated as an electric fence?’


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More Olympics effects - amnesia, anticipation, non-materialisation

The Olympics amnesia effect kicks in again. The Press reports another Olympic ’success’ story, this time it’s Heathrow, which saw profits rise in the ‘Olympic year’ along with the number of passengers. CEO Brian Matthews declared ‘We gave a warm welcome and a smooth journey to thousands of Olympic and Paralympic athletes’.


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Tube miracle worker off to Sydney

London Tube boss Howard Collins has got a job running railways Down Under. The Standard describes him as the 'Tube boss credited with making the trains run on time during the Olympics'. If they expect Mr Collins to repeat the miracle of making the trains run on time in Sydney then they can look forward to apocalyptic warnings about how the system is about to crack up and they'd all be better off walking, getting on their bikes, staying at home, anything but travelling by train!


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