On the London thing, Local Gov is currently trying it’s hardest to drum up (public) support for the London Olympics 2012 bid and I just want to add my small voice to the campaign. I think the idea of London hosting the Olympics is a great idea, the regeneration of parts of London will be good as will the much needed update to the public transport system. BUT… this will only be any good for London if these things affect the whole of London not just the part of it that hosts the Olympics (East London). I’m all for the building of proper sports facilities and investment in public transport but we need to learn from the Millenium Dome fiasco here. In the late 90s UK Gov invested into a brand new extension to the Jubilee line (on the tube) to provide transport to the Dome, so what we got was one line that had new stock, new track and new stations and all the others continued with the old stiock the old track and the old stations. Similarly a part of Greenwich got a lot of money poured into it and the rest of London had to sit back and suffer.
So listen up Ken and Tony, if you’re going to do this – do it properly. Don’t just build a new line for the Olympics, invest into the whole Tube network. Don’t just build Crossrail and be done with it – invest in the whole overground rail network. Don’t just regenerate one part of London, invest in the whole of London. Give us more than an Olympic Village, give us other facilities to make tourists and (in my biased opinion) more importantly residents a generally better time in London. Little things like cleaning the streets regularly (and not just in the tourist areas), providing bins (which are emptied) would be a great start.
The Olympics would be great for London but we need to make sure London would be great for London as well.