Following the ONS' declarations on its inability to quantify the impact of the Olympics further information has been published on LOCOG's expenditure, which only tends to add to the confusion. LOCOG says it has broken even on costs of £2.4 billion. However, with ticket sales of £659 million, sponsorship of £764 million, £609 million from IOC media earnings and £85 million from merchandising making a total of £2,087 million it still had to rely on a government grant of £111 million for half the cost of the Paralympics and £200 million from 'incomes' (whatever that is!) meaning it did not meet its costs without assistance.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sat, 10/11/2012 - 01:50.
Back in the Spring of 2011 Daletech Services sacked Frank Morris after he raised concerns about the dismissal of a fellow worker. The co-worker's name had appeared on a blacklist used by Olympics contractors Skanska and Carillion, who were constructing the Media Centre where the dismissed electrician was working. Recently further accusations of blacklisting at the Olympics have been made against Sir Robert McAlpine, who paid Consulting Association £26,842.20, including a spike of £12,839.20 for 5,836 blacklist checks back in the period July to September 2008 shortly after McAlpine started work on the Olympic Stadium in May 2008.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 05/11/2012 - 17:55.
When telling the story of Barcelona Professor Muñoz also made some interesting comments about the previous occupants of the docklands area which was cleared to make way for the new gentrified suburb. They were, he said, 'mainly women and squatters'. If I recall the number moved was 55,000, a lot of plainly undesirable women and squatters! Of course, as with the Lea Valley the allegedly derelict nature of the area was also rehearsed. It was after all a docklands area, rather like the industrial land cleared for the London 2012 Olympics, land deliberately used by the city for 'dirty' projects and providing services others preferred not to have on their doorstep but then condemned for those very purposes to justify its seizure. Professor Muñoz referred to the process by which the company redeveloping the site moved from being publicly controlled to privately controlled, as if this somehow justified the loss of housing for the poor. The Barcelona Olympics was supposed to deliver public benefits but failed to do so. As a public project it was for the city and national governments to ensure this occurred but they failed to do this.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Fri, 02/11/2012 - 18:19.
Alongside the claim of an Olympics boost to the economy, is the claim of an Olympics jobs boost. It is certainly the case that some temporary jobs will have been created during the summer, but it is entirely unclear how many and these claims have been made without any detailed supporting evidence. The Olympics was supposed to have helped reduce unemployment by some tens of thousands between March and May without any specific information as to what these jobs were long before the Games began and after construction had come to an end. Then again in the third quarter the same claims were made, this time for 100,000 Olympics jobs, once again without any specific evidence. Given that tens of thousands of Olympics jobs had already been claimed for the previous months one has to wonder what all these people were doing. According to the statistics 101,000 more people were in work in London during the summer so it seems all of these are simply credited to the Olympics! The other 'evidence' cited is a claim by the Games' organisers that the Olympics would create around 200,000 jobs, 70,000 of which would be volunteers, so these figures appear to have been swallowed whole as the basis for the jobs boost. Of course all sorts of claims for job creation have been made over the years, some of which have then been disowned by the same organisers who proclaimed them, while in other instances the organisers have been unable to provide any information in support of their projections.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Thu, 25/10/2012 - 14:06.
There is a concerted effort to suggest the Olympics has pulled Britain out of recession. But the BBC has provided an interesting perspective on this. The third quarter is expected to show a 0.7% rise in GDP. The second quarter included an extra bank holiday which knocked the economy by 0.5%, so this deficit was recouped in the third quarter. The remaining 0.2% is accounted for by ticket sales meaning that in reality 'excluding the Olympic and Jubilee effects, growth seems to have been broadly flat'. However, what is curious about this concoction is that, of course, ticket sales actually occurred months ago so could just as easily have been included in those earlier statistics. The fourth quarter is then expected to sink back into deficit.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Wed, 24/10/2012 - 22:31.
By Steve Rushton
Why are corporations that are responsible for disabling people, and even killing people, allowed to brand their products at the Olympics?
This creates a disturbing hypothetical situation: Paralympians competing in London 2012 may have been disabled by the very corporations that their sporting prowess is promoting. More broadly, this draws attention to the number of people across the world that are disabled, killed and suffer due to corporate activities. The World Health Organisation attributes 1 in 5 deaths in the “developing” world to toxic and industrial pollution alone.[i] The most prolific killers include mining operations, the oil industry and metal production, which are all represented at the Games. A report by the Blacksmith Institute found that over 7 million lives were at risk from mining and ore processing, nearly 5 million from metal smelting, almost 3 million from heavy industry (metal casting, rolling, stamping) and just under 2 million from petrochemical industries.[ii] These sponsors of the Games are alongside companies not taking their responsibility for chemical disasters, who are involved in torture, illegal arms and weapons manufacturing .
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Sat, 22/09/2012 - 12:14.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Sun, 26/08/2012 - 14:19.
Members of the group Calais Migrant Solidarity tell Corporate Watch about how the repression of migrants in Calais increased as a direct result of the London Olympics, how corporations have benefited from this and how Olympics sponsors are causing further problems in France. Calais Migrant Solidarity is part of the No Borders network and works with migrants in Calais to gather evidence of police violence and harassment of migrants and to strengthen resistance to the border regime.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Sat, 25/08/2012 - 09:52.
Following the awarding of the Greenwash Gold Medal to Rio Tinto at a ceremony in Trafalgar Square when custard was poured over 'representatives' of the the three nominated companies, Rio Tinto, BP and Dow Chemical, who were then arrested by over-zealous police, War on Want organised the Adidas Exploitation Not Ok Anywhere Price Tags...
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sat, 11/08/2012 - 03:30.
"Mega-events, such as the Olympic Games, have often been described as a preferred tool of place promotion and marketing and a primary connection between the local and the global. The Olympics are a global spectacle literally taking place in a single locale. Olympic Games are tightly interwoven into the urban economy and (re-)development schemes. They are also an increasingly important driver in the creation of new leisure and consumption spaces and the interests of international property firms. Like all mega-events, the Olympics are almost exclusively urban phenomena that require large public and private investments."
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Mon, 06/08/2012 - 09:46.