Just Where Do We Stand?
I’ve just had a comment in my last post that I felt needed addressing as a separate post, as I suspect everyone on here will have a view and it may well not be my own. That’s okay. That’s what debate is for.
Park Keeper said:
“I don’t mind the park being closed…..” (quoting TGP)
“…..view of a park-loving local?”
Make up your phantom mind!
Just what do you care about and what would you protect? Fenced in Disneyland or open to all park and precious but fragile World Heritage Site?
Like many others can’t wait to see the back of Coe and all this half arsed chaos.”
Park keeper – like many people I have watched what has been going on, listened to what everyone – on all sides – has to say and gradually adjusted my feelings about this event as facts change, concessions are made, goalposts are moved and realities faced.
Seven years ago, when the park was first mooted as a venue I was apoplectic because I genuinely thought that LOCOG could not be trusted to keep the park in the kind of condition that Greenwich deserves. I still don’t think that without being forced, it could have been.
I was absolutely sure that holding the event there wasn’t the right thing to do and, yes, I backed the people trying to stop it.
I feel that something really good came out of that campaign, even if it was not what many of those people actually wanted.
What they – and various amenity groups, friends, Parks officials, council etc. – got was far more positive than just cancelling the equestrian events.
What has happened, through negotiation, compromise and actually listening to people, is that we get a games that will look fantastic, be good in the long-term, if not in the short, for Greenwich, hasn’t lost any ancient trees, has avoided the really delicate areas and that has a genuine commitment to put the park right afterwards.
Of course I am concerned to see that this commitment is honoured and I am not entirely without worries on that account. It’s up to all of us to ensure that LOCOG and their legacy-based successor (the name escapes me) does do the right thing.
And yes, there is a tonne of stuff that I’m not wild about to do with the games coming here. I don’t like the fortress the town has turned into. I don’t like the petty power-mongers in hi-viz vests who are ordering people around. I don’t like that the heath is going to be a right old mess. I don’t like…well, I could write another thousand things I don’t care for about the games being here.
But there comes a point where we have to be realistic about something that will happen anyway whether we like it or not and there is much that I DO like about the games being on my doorstep, not least the thing that yes, I pooh-poohed seven years ago – the way the thing looks on TV.
The brave thing is to get behind it, enjoy the bits that are enjoyable, highlight the bits that need scrutiny and judge everything on its own merits rather than taking one hard line or other and sticking to it despite whatever other evidence might be presented.
None of anything I’ve just said even here is set in stone. It’s entirely possible that my opinions will change again. I don’t see why I should ‘make my mind up’ for once and all on a subject that changes with the wind.
What do I care about? Greenwich, of course, but not at the expense of sanity.