Andrew Gilligan’s Olympic struggle goes on

Pleased to see that Evening Standard scribe Andrew Gilligan’s latest blog entry column picks up the points I made 10 days ago about the Greenwich Olympics meeting held at the Dome. Perhaps he was too busy last week considering rough sex and TK Maxx to turn his matters to the park.

Anyway, there’s very little there you won’t read there that you wouldn’t have got from me or The Greenwich Phantom 10 days ago – but he does get Greenwich Council to confirm the suspicion that people who live close to Greenwich Park but happen to live in the borough of Lewisham weren’t able to get into the meeting.

Oh, and he also claims US PR firm Vocus has (or had) been hired by Greenwich Council for the meeting. To what extent they are involved is unclear. Like I said before, Greenwich Council will be London 2012’s worst enemy in trying to sell the Games to people around here.

Gilligan ends his piece “the struggle continues…” without actually dealing with what happened at the meeting. Was he there? Did anybody see him there?

I asked 10 days ago where the anti-Games lobby would go, especially after many people’s fears seemed to be allayed by LOCOG’s representatives in the meeting. The answer? It hasn’t gone very far – the Save Greenwich Park blog has gathered dust and NOGOE‘s website hasn’t been updated.

I’m sure I’ve seen more NOGOE posters in shop windows in Blackheath in the past week or so, though, implying the park will be “a NO GO area in 2012 for several months” – flatly denied by LOCOG representatives. At a time when the Olympic plans need to go under close scrutiny, scaremongering is little short of irresponsible. Now the facts have been laid bare, will NOGOE adapt their arguments to suit? We wait and see.

Full report and video from the Greenwich OIympic consultation meeting.


  1. I don’t know if Andrew was at the meeting although I have to say that I have never seen him at any City Hall meetings. Maybe they’re not his thing.

    The opening of his post is classic Gilligan though:

    “GREENWICH Council’s desperation to have the Olympics in Greenwich Park is well known. But has it been playing dirty tricks to fake the appearance of public support for the event? And did it try to rig the recent public consultation meeting on the plans?”

    Well have they? Isn’t that what Gilligan, as a ‘renowned investigative journalist’ should be telling us?

    I have no idea whether Greenwich Council have been ‘playing dirty tricks to fake the appearance of public support’ although it’s something Gilligan hasn’t been averse to in the past himself.

    It seems that his only evidence he has that they have been, is a sentence written on Vocus’s website, who were apparently involved in the registration process for the consultation. Is that enough for him to smear the council with? Apparently it is.

  2. Trouble is, Greenwich Council’s actions are generally PR disasters waiting to happen – people who live close to Greenwich Park but happen to pay their council tax elsewhere were discriminated against in favour of people with little interest in that venue. (Or Woolwich Common, for that matter.) Has anyone called Lewisham Council, or the relevant councillors for its Blackheath ward? Has Mr Gilligan?

    (Maybe Lewisham will fight back and hold a public meeting about the Blackheath Tea Hut, and ban Greenwich residents.)

    I don’t want to pick a fight – his views are as valid as anyone’s. But the whole Greenwich Park Olympics saga demands proper scrutiny, and not cheap pops which aren’t really stood up properly.

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