Take yourself back to the summer of 2008. Apart from pretty decent weather and the fact I got to go on a summer holiday there was another, pretty momentous, reason for it to be remembered. The Beijing Olympics. But the problem is, I’m not only remembering it for the fantastic ceremonies and most importantly world class sport. I’m remembering the controversy surrounding the building of their Olympic stadiums.
Looks pretty fucking snazzy right? I bet to you it does. But imagine being one of the thousands of people forced out of their homes and off their land to make way for 16 days of WOW factor. I bet you wouldn’t even be able to stand the sight of the thing. That is, if you ever get the chance to see it in person. What with being cleared up off the streets and all.
Now I bet you’re wondering why I’m writing a post about something that happened two years ago and well to be honest is pretty much seen as ‘old news’? Well fast forward to Glasgow 2014. I can’t tell you what the weather’s going to be like and who knows if I’ll go on a summer holiday, but one thing that’s for certain is Glasgow is going to be the next host for the Commonwealth Games. But what’s this got to do with the Beijing Olympics? Well, other than the fact they’re both massive sporting events. Eviction.
Yep. Our country is in fact quite the fucking hypocrite. You couldn’t stop explaining your anguish and shock at the poor people being unwillingly forced out of their homes and away from friends and family, to make way for a structure only a certain kind of person would ever be able to make use of. However, guess what. Now you’re doing the exact same thing. Don’t bothering trying to defend yourself by saying that it’s not on the same scale and you’re not trying to evoke a ‘big city clean up’. I couldn’t give a fuck. Eviction is eviction on no matter what scale.
So here’s the story: Margaret Jaconelli, alongside her husband, was evicted from her home of 34 years to make way for what? A fucking athletes village. Not only was she evicted from her home, but rather than showing even the tiniest bit of respect by giving her maybe a new, all be it, shitter, probably in the middle of nowhere, flat the council offered her £30,000 to fuck off and find one herself. Now I’m not being funny here but where can you find a home for £30,000? After taking them to court and unfortunately losing, the council did however offer her another £60,000. So now she’s not their business. She’s got enough money to find somewhere, anywhere to live. She’ll have a home. Next story please. But naw. Hold the phone. Just because you have a box to rest your head at night doesn’t make it home. What makes a place home is 34 years worth of memories. Memories the council have destroyed without a second thought. And what for? A place for a few athletes to rest their heads for 14 days. That’s what for.