It is as depressing as it is predictable. McDonalds have just announced that they are going to construct their largest ever restaurant in the Olympic village, one of four McDonalds outlets serving the Olympic Games underlining their official monopoly on the distribution of fast food at the London Olympics. It will be a two storey, three thousand square metre factory pumping out some 1.75 million burgers throughout the Games. Oh what joy. The subliminal message to the general populous  the obesity epidemic is all a left-wing myth, just stuff down another burger and chips and stop worrying. If you are feeling a tad unhealthy just watch all those super fit athletes and you will feel a whole lot better.

Having all just witnessed what a criminal mess total subservience to the corporate media conglomerates leads to, you might have thought that our political masters might have been just a little more wary of getting into bed with the global fast food corporations. Not a bit of it! With the Murdoch scandal safely tucked away for the summer in a maze of official enquiries, it's business as usual. It's the same old narrative  global corporations coalescing into a sort of shadowy global government, unaccountable, unregulated and totally out of control. And our democratically elected representatives? Complicit, compliant and totally compromised.

McDonalds will exploit their monopoly to the full while at the same time think nothing of bragging about what a great sponsor they really are. After all, they have helped recruit some 70,000 volunteers for the London Games so aren't they ever so community minded. No they are not. In fact they, along with the rest of the fast food chains and soft drinks corporations like Coke, another major sponsor, are part responsible for a dramatic decline in public health standards across the globe, where things have got so bad that this present young generation are likely to be the first generation ever to be outlived by their parents. So much for the Olympics being a role model for the nation of healthy sustainable living.

It need not be like this. London has many positive attributes as a global city, not least its relatively harmonious cosmopolitanism. What the Olympics should be is be a showcase for that internationalism with international food-courts being run by the local communities of East London. As it is, if the locals do try and sell their local stuff they are very likely to be infringing some Olympic by-law and could find themselves in court, fined or even worse, imprisoned. This is exactly what happened in South Africa during the recent FIFA World Cup.

Given the stranglehold that the global corporations have on the Olympics and all the other major sporting events, what is the alternative response? The answer is simple; think globally but act locally, and most importantly, take money right out of the equation. For my part, I intend to give my support to Ping London if it returns to the capital next year, thereby helping promote grass roots sport for the simple pleasures that it can still offer. No corporate sponsorship required, just turn up and try your luck and skill against an unknown adversary. You burn a few calories, make a few new friends and just possibly help save sport, one of the more wholesome slices of human endeavour, from the ubiquitous, rapacious clutches of the faceless global conglomerates.

End JPK Copyright 21/07/11

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 May 2018 17:11 )