Yikes. So in the middle of all the pomp and pageantry of the Queen’s diamond jubilee, a story like this surfaces. To quote from the BoingBoing article:
Long-term unemployed workers say they were bussed to London to act as stewards for the Queen’s Jubilee, told they would be paid for the work and cared for while in town. When they arrived, they were told they wouldn’t get paid (this was “work experience” not a job), and were made to strip down and change into uniforms in public, pitch tents in the rain, sleep under a bridge, and left without toilet facilities for 24 hours. They were told that if they didn’t accept this “training,” they wouldn’t be considered for work during the Olympics.
You can also get more details from a Guardian piece
I hope this is just a single bad apple among the bunch, but it makes you wonder. At a time when the UK is suffering economically, is spending a fortune on the Jubilee and the Olympics the best way to fix these problems? I know some of this money enters the economy where it will have some benefit to society as a whole, and I seem to be railing against hiring some instead of others, but what really gets me is this is abuse of citizens while praising a monarch. It’s enough to make me want to tip some tea into a harbor.
And I’m fairly sure this will not be the last we hear of abuse like this before the Olympics are over. Big events like the Olympics tend to produce abuse and corruption. Perhaps instead of all focusing on what Kate Middleton is wearing or which British pop star is singing for the Queen’s Jubilee, we should give some thought to those people under the London Bridge? And maybe we should focus not on who’s carrying the torch to the opening of the Olympics but on the people in the crowds behind the torchbearer?