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  • In few weeks the Olympics will begin. London's Mayor has just coined a new phrase, 'Olympo-funk', referring to how Londoners are moaning that the country couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, let alone pull off a successful, well organised, security-enhanced Olympic Games this summer. What puts me in an 'Olympo-funk' is this:

    My home-town, Walthamstow, lies about 30 mins bus ride from the Olympic Stadium. A huge tv has been purchased and erected in the public square. Olympic security guards have been employed. Table-tennis tables, also newly purchased, are set up when the weather is fine. Olympic 'parties' have been running back to back in the borough. Money put to good use?

    The year-round residents of our public square, a group of homeless men, are still homeless. The security guards move them on, knowing they will return, for where else can they go? Beggars of all ages and backgrounds beseech the shoppers on the market. Teenagers hang out outside the supermarket with nothing to do and nowhere to go. The queues at the job-centre grow ever larger. A man quietly hangs himself from a tree in the square. A shop-keeper is robbed at gun-point.

    Our borough has no money to look after it's own people, yet is suddenly inspired to put on a 'good show' for the Olympics. Inside, in their cosy offices, the Councillors are surely chanting;

    'We must be gay and hide all the rot, let's spend, spend, spend;
    the spotlight is on us, the world is watching -
    we gotta make it all look slick.'

    Outside, in the community, nothing has changed, and the suffering continues unabated.
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