Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 July 2012

TV review: "What have the Olympics done for me?"

Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser

BBC Three's Free Speech series recently held a discussion on the Olympic Games. The main topic was on the question "what have the Olympics done for me?"

A poll of 500 young people carried out by the programme found that the Games made 71% of people proud to be British. But the most telling figure is that 62% said the money would be better used elsewhere.

The fact that vicious cuts are being made while an estimated 11 billion is being spent on the Olympics was a major theme of the discussion. In response to an audience member pointing out that the Olympics haven't provided jobs for local people, Tasha Danvers, a bronze medallist at the 2008 Olympics, said "in reality that was never going to happen."

The most incisive contribution came from Symeon Brown, from the group Haringey Young People Empowered. He pointed to the fact that for many the Games were "an expression of inequality" and to "the contradiction between austerity and lavish games".

He pointed out that most Londoners feel like "the Olympics are a corporate charity and we pay for them". Many members of the audience took issue with the fact that the Games were supposed to promote health and fitness yet companies like McDonalds and Coca-Cola were official sponsors.

The response to all this from John Hayes, a minister in the Department for Education, was utterly pitiful, saying "how much does national pride cost!?"

Even Tasha Danvers took issue with this line of argument when she responded "yes I was proud when I crossed the line, but at the end of the day I've still got to eat, I've still got to pay the rent. Pride doesn't fill my belly, pride doesn't pay my rent". A lesson the politicians, who coincidently don't have worry about those things, would do well to learn.

Housing was also found to be a massive concern among young people in the audience. Symeon pointed out that according to a UN study the Olympics are the biggest cause of displacement in the world, due to sky-rocketing rents in the host cities. This was made much worse in London this year by the Tories' attacks on housing benefit for under-35s.

The attitude of most of the audience and most ordinary working class people in general was summed up by the response of one young woman to Hayes' point about how sponsorship led to more investment in sport. She said: "I don't really care that much, I care about keeping hospitals open, having provisions for young people".

The programme was a small taste of how people really feel about the Olympics. Clearly, at a time when austerity is being imposed on working class people, when lives are being destroyed as a result of attacks on our jobs and services, the Games are going to seem like a big extravagance.

As Symeon said towards the end of the programme "these should be a public games" rather than the "corporate hospitality" event that we have now.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 25 July 2012:

Socialist Party news and analysis

On your marks.... Get set.... Fight back!

Outsourcing fails again. For publicly owned and run services!

13 trillion hidden from tax by super-rich

Not-guilty verdict in Ian Tomlinson case

Olympic Watch

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan - Workers struggle against bloody, corrupt regime

Spain's austerity government is facing revolt from below

Miners light up Madrid and show the way to struggle!

Socialist history

1972: dockers face down the Tory government

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Austerity Games highlights plight of young people

Save our jobs: We need a 24-hour general strike

Newcastle pride

Pre-emptive arrests: "straight out of 1984"

Stop NHS cuts & privatisation

Kick private profiteers out of the NHS

Virgin vultures swoop on vulnerable people's services

Leicester: Not one cut in the NHS

Kirkby campaigners get support

Olympic protest as South London Healthcare trust forced into administration

Socialist Party workplace news

Olympic victory for London bus workers

Solidarity with PCS members fighting to defend services

RMT demo in Portsmouth against Condor's 'sweatships'

Remploy strike a big success

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party review

TV review: "What have the Olympics done for me?"

Socialist Party appeal & news

Save our server!

Summer printing schedule

Socialist Party Summer Camp


Home   |   The Socialist 25 July 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleInvest in grassroots sports needs

triangleWould you call G4S for help over discrimination?

triangleBarcelona 1936: the people's Olympics

triangleFilm review: Eddie the Eagle

triangleAthletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

Young people:

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

triangleWalk out against tuition fees on Budget Day!

triangleWe can win the vote at 16!


triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm


trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleRBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



The Socialist Inbox



Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane


Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed



Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike


Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears



The Socialist inbox


The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox



TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act


Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict



The Socialist inbox



Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017



Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict



The Socialist inbox



The Socialist inbox


Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice