London’s militarised Olympics and security lockdown

From the City journal website:

The imminent Olympics takesplace in an Olympic city still recovering from riots, which the Guardian–LSE (2011) ‘Reading the Riots’ project showed were partly fuelled by resentment at their lavish cost. On 9 March 2012, the UK spending watchdog warned that the overall costs of the Games were set to be at least £11 billion—£2 billion over even recently inflated budgets (Syal and Gibson, 2012). When major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, speeded up for the Games, are factored in, Sky News, in an admittedly rather cursory investigation, put that figure as high as £24 billion (2012). The estimated cost put forward only seven years ago when the Games were won was £2.37 billion.



The security boom is unaffected, or perhaps even fuelled, by the global crash, as wealthy and powerful elites across the world seek ever-more fortified lifestyles. Essentially, it is about defence and security corporations building huge new income streams by systematically exploiting three linked trends: the lucrative possibilities created by post-9/11 fears; widening privatisation and out-sourcing in the context of deep austerity programmes; and the desire of big city and national governments to brand themselves as secure destinations for major ‘global’ events.



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