Britain last hosted the summer Olympics in 1948, just after World War II when we were broke and our aspirations were low. The Stadium was dominated by a quote from the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin: “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” This time around, Londoners can do more than take part: we can win.
LONDON — Enveloped in a warm, glimmering haze, the Olympic Stadium looks like a vast, silvery spaceship come to unlikely rest in the working-class East End. Our viewing platform is no less unlikely. I’m standing with Lina Jamoul, a community organizer, at the top of a giant new shopping mall. It feels as though someone in Santa Monica should file a claim for grand-theft mall.
Amid the uproar during the past few weeks over the proposed living wage law there’s one important point that you might have missed: the city already has a living-wage law. Its rules cover thousands of workers employed under more than $1 billion worth of contracts with the city. In fact, New York City had one of the first living-wage laws in the country, though the city’s first bill covered just a couple thousand workers.