Ah, dear reader, you have found my little blog posting about the 2012 Olympics in the town of Stratford, in the London Borough of Newham, United Kingdom.
Here are some interesting allegations which I have heard:
1. Of the 60 councillors in Newham, about 56 are New Labour, the party of Tony Blair, Prime Minister of England.
2. Stratford has a history of heavy industry going back over 200 years. It wasn’t always high rise developments and social housing.
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3. The water table is reportedly quite high; the river Lea runs underneath it, and it is quite low lying.
4. It is geologically unstable.
5. It was heavily bombed during the war, and it also has old wells, thus leaving big, undiscovered holes in the ground.
6. One street, Lavender Street, featured in the news because the back gardens of some residents disappeared into a big hole. This was due to tunnelling work, for a railway, underground.
7. Heavy industry has left toxic heavy metals like arsenic in the soil.
8. Another allegation is that the last few stops in the Jubilee tube line to Stratford were completed overground, due to workers tunnelling underground contracting anthrax poisoning.
9. The Channel Tunnel rail link will not stop at Stratford, but at Lewisham instead. Sports fans will have to get off and take a different train to Stratford.
10. The train service from Stratford to The Millenium Dome in Dec. 1999 broke down, leaving VIPs stranded at Stratford.
11. Straford Station was shut down during the 7/7 bombings. A resident alleges that this is because if a large bomb went off there, clouds of toxic dust could be thrown up in the air, with unpleasant consequences for the locals.
13. The same resident alleges that aforesaid industries needed special licences to operate.
14. Most Olympics cost more money than they generate. Indeed, they can leave the parties responsible heavily in debt, with the exception of construction companies, and local politicians. The latter tend to do quite well.
15. Council Tax in Britain routinely increases well beyond the rate of inflation.
16. A local Council in the UK can compulsorily purchase homes, for much less than their market value, under the Blight Act, if it can claim that they are a hazard, or in a hazardous area.
All of the above was heard in a casual conversation in the street in Stratford, Newham, on a lovely sunny day, in early Summer 2006. It is reported from memory, so may be inaccurate. Is it true? Perhaps the Parisians, who lost their bid to host the 2012 Olympics after intense lobbying by Tony Blair, may have the last laugh after all.