summer games

summer games

DISASTER CAPITALISM:The cost of hosting the Olympics has skyrocketed 2 year MILITARY RECOVERY

2d ago
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Britain's military chief planner for the Olympics claims it'll take two years for the operation of the armed forces to return to full strength. That's after 18,000 troops had to be diverted to the Olympics to plug a security gap. The government had to draft in soldiers at the last minute, after the private firm charged with the job failed to get enough security staff ready. On top of that, the authorities demanded that ground-based air defense systems be deployed in and around London during the Games to repel terror attacks. Now that the sports fever is over, Britain's got a lot on its hands Olympic Host cities routinely underestimate the costs and overstate the benefits of the Games. London is no exception. The city's bid proclaimed: "Every sector of the economy will benefit from the staging of the Olympic Games." Originally slated to cost about £2.4bn, Olympic costs jumped to £9.3bn by 2007. The National Audit Office noted that public-sector funding has almost tripled, while private-sector contributions dwindled to less than 2%. Recently, the House of Commons' public accounts committee revealed costs were "heading for around £11bn". Meanwhile, Olympics critic Julian Cheyne of Games Monitor calculates costs at £13bn. A Sky Sports investigation included public transport upgrade costs, catapulting the five-ring price tag to £24bn. The public-pays-private-bails theme crystallised in the construction of the Olympic village. Originally envisaged as a £1bn centrepiece of London 2012's urban regeneration plan, the village was to be financed by Australian developer Lend Lease. (The deal reeked of cronyism -- David Higgins, the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority until February 2011, previously headed Lend Lease.) But the 2008 economic collapse and credit crunch led private capital to abandon the project, leaving it to the British government. In spring 2009, Olympics honchos admitted the village would be "fully nationalised" -- that is, paid for by taxpayers. Olympics history is marked by the production of metropolitan jungles teeming with white elephants. London organisers were anxious not to add to the herd, so in August 2011 they sold the village at a taxpayer loss of £275m to the Qatari ruling family's property firm. Quizzically, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt championed the transaction as a "fantastic deal that will give taxpayers a great return and shows how we are securing a legacy from London's Games". Such surreptitious subsidies are standard practice with Olympic-induced urban development. Host governments have the incentive to backstop projects to avoid embarrassment on the global stage, while private firms punt responsibility when the going gets tough. Meanwhile, security officials are exploiting the Olympics as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to multiply and militarise their weapons stocks, laminating another layer on to the surveillance state. The Games justify a security architecture to prevent terrorism, but that architecture can double to suppress or intimidate acts of political dissent. The Olympic Charter actually prohibits political activism, stating, "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas". What "other areas" means is open to broad interpretation. So despite Olympics human-rights rhetoric, the charter dictates -- if indirectly -- that local authorities squelch political activism. On cue, London police recently vowed to scour social media to sniff out any organised protests or disruptions. tags CapitalWatch 2012 capital capitalism capitalist regime government military bankers finance private security contractors police army Olympics London summer games sport play win lose fund fraud investors officials exploiting manipulate figures bank of Britain treasury surveillance police state charter prohibits political activism demonstration religious racial protest Ramadan media money taxes poverty debt defect...