People in London Are “Mad as Hell”
If you don’t read Dave Zirin over at TheNation.com, I recommend adding him to your list. His official beat is sports, which I don’t care a whole lot about, unless we’re talking the Tour de France, but I like him because he writes about issues that arise out of sports and sporting events. Like this summer’s London Olympics and the side of the games the corporate media won’t talk about:
Upon returning to the United States after two weeks amidst London’s pre-Olympic terrain, I have some final thoughts that I hope the International Olympic Committee and the UK’s Tory Prime Minister David Cameron take to heart. … Your games are in trouble because the people who actually have to live in London alongside the Olympiad are mad as hell. And it’s only May.
There is scant discussion that these London games could come in at ten times their proposed 2005 budgetas well, causing another “debt crisis” that will be taken from the hides—not to mention the pensions—of the UK’s workers. At several events involving trade union workers and bureaucrats, the message was repeated to me over and over: when the Olympics are over, the gloves will come off.
In other words, faced with the pressures of austerity and recession, Cameron and company are cooling their jets until the Olympics are over and then they will try to do their level best to disembowel the unions and further cut taxes for the wealthy. Why wait until after the Olympics? Because Cameron needs the unions’ cooperation to make sure that the games come off on time and on schedule. They need to make sure the unions don’t take strike action or join the demonstrations planned for July 28, the first Saturday of the games. This is why they agreed to sizable bonuses for London’s subway workers. Anything to make sure that the Olympics show London, and more critically David Cameron, in the best possible light.
Alexander Wolff, the great journalist from Sports Illustrated, is stationed in London and wrote this week, “Every time I come to England I’m struck by how the lowbrow mingles with the high.” But in London the “lowbrow” are angry and the “highbrow” are scared. They mingle only in the shared sense that a storm is coming to the British Isles. The summer will be filled with games. But an epic fall awaits.
The whole article is so good I’m having difficulty distilling it down to a few cut and pasted paragraphs. It isn’t all that long. I recommend reading the whole thing, here.
Entry filed under: Musings.