Glasgow. A lavish party is being held in one of Europe's most economically deprived cities - not that the New Zealand mainstream media has noticed.

I SHARE THE VIEW of former ACT leader Rodney Hide. I too have zero interest in the Commonwealth Games.

It is an increasingly anachronistic and second  tier  sporting event that barely registers with the rest of the world.

But there are other more important and substantial   reasons I am unenthusiastic about the Commonwealth Games - and which Hide hasn't talked about.

Truckloads  of cash have been  spent on an  eleven day event in a city where nearly 40,000 children live under the poverty line.  Indeed statistics from the Scottish Government last year  revealed 710,000 people north of the border - including 150,000 children - were living in poverty in 2012.

The British Government's austerity measures have furthered deepened the level of deprivation in Scotland , as elsewhere in Britain.  A number of  benefit cuts  were introduced by  David Cameron's government  in 2013. The British  Institute for Fiscal Studies has forecast that,as a direct result of the welfare 'reforms' there will be a further increase in the number of  British households, both in work and out of work, experiencing poverty.

None of this got a mention in a sanitised and plain awful  Commonwealth Games ceremony, where they  instead sang about fictitious lake monsters:  'Nessie! Nessie Nessie! We believe in Nessie!'

The Glasgow Commonwealth  Games have now cost well over half a billion pounds to hold. Over 21 million pounds has  been lavished on the opening and closing ceremonies alone.

The fact that a lavish party is being thrown in one of Britain's most deprived cities has escaped the notice of the mainstream New Zealand media

Once again another sporting event has given a whole load of broadcasters and journalists  the excuse  to have a bit of a holiday in Scotland, in between filing hysterical news stories.

Have you been counting the cliches? How often have you heard : 'It's a golden day for New Zealand!' and  It's gold rush for New Zealand'. And  what about  'There's a golden glow around the New Zealand team!' - that one came from Radio Live's Marcus Lush.

Such is  the media's hysteria over a New Zealander winning a  piece of metal  in the egg and spoon race, it has been judged so important it has been the lead story  on both the TVNZ and TV3 six o'clock news bulletins. Apparently  the fact that Israel  is presently bombing Gaza back to the Stone Age isn't quite as important as a New Zealander winning  a medal. It hasn't  got that essential  'feel good factor', you see.

None of New Zealand's many journalist and broadcasters in Glasgow have seen fit  to take a stroll through the city's economically  deprived  East End, despite the fact it is only a stone's throw from the main Commonwealth Games venue.

It was in the East End  that the Accord Centre, a day centre for  the learning  disabled was bulldozed by the  Labour-controlled Glasgow  City Council to make way for a  car park for buses for the  Games. The Accord Centre had been serving the local community  for over twenty years

East End resident Helen McCourt - and  who a child attending the  centre - told the media: “Over 120 people were put out. Glasgow City Council told us we’d be getting a new building but there has been nothing. They said there was £250,000 for it but now it’s gone—what’s happened to it?”

They probably used it to pay for Rod Stewart.

And  the Dalmarnock area  of Glasgow was effectively destroyed to make way for the athletes’ village and other venues.  Hundreds of homes were demolished. Former residents have been promised new homes and other facilities - a promise that has  not been kept.

The only people smiling have been the corporations and the wealthy  property developers.


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