WE ARE all being urged to celebrate the coming of the Olympic flame to Eastbourne.
What, actually, will we be celebrating, however? In ancient Greece, the Olympic Games promoted peace and provided a chance for leaders to meet in a non-hostile environment.
When they were reinstated, it was intended they should, again, promote peaceful coexistence and should be strictly for amateurs. It’s often been noted that amateurism has gone out of the window, but there’s more to it than that.
The modern games induce governments to spend huge amounts of taxpayer’s money, on trying to outdo each other and starve state services as a result.
In the case of London, we have also seen human rights trampled on, as people are forcibly relocated, communities are torn apart and a large block of east London is turned into something resembling a war zone.
A 5,000 volt electric fence surrounds the area, which will be occupied by tens of thousands of police, soldiers, guards and FBI agents and ground-to-air missiles sit on top of residential tower-blocks.
The missile batteries may not make those tower-blocks targets, but who would feel comfortable with high explosives stacked up over their home? Why not use the even higher banking buildings?
They, at least, belong to organisations profiting from the games. Apparently, it doesn’t matter if a hijacked aircraft is brought down over a residential area.
As for promoting fitness and health; people will be banned from bringing their own food and drink in and be obliged to buy from sponsors McDonalds and Coca-cola, those well-known purveyors of health foods.
Those two are going to make a killing anyway, but, not content with that, they and other sponsors will enjoy corporate tax exemptions, while taxpayer’s money is used to provide them with this over-sized corporate trough.
As for stimulating the local economy, Newham, the borough hosting the games actually saw household income fall, relative to the rest of London, between 2006 and 2011 and unemployment went up by 44 per cent.
Perhaps the “social cleansing” had something to do with that?
The motto of the Olympics is citius, altius, fortius : faster, higher, stronger. Well, the social cleansing has certainly been fast, high-handed and has used strong-arm tactics!
It’s time to blow the whistle on the profiteers who have corrupted what was a laudable ideal. Why not give the games a permanent home in their original home of Greece, with all participating nations contributing to the cost?
That would stop the prestige competition and most of the profiteering too. It would also help the Greek economy, whose fragility is causing so much anxiety.
DAVID J ELLIS
Hawks Road, Hailsham