The London 2012 Olympics is due to start in less than three weeks. Preparations are almost complete and the huge cost of the Olympics has yet to be revealed. In the 21st Century one extreme cost will be the price of security. However it seems that for London 2012 there could be a human and personal cost too.
Residents in a tower block of flats in London learned that the UK military were planning to site surface to air missiles on top of the flats for the duration of the Olympics. Imagine. A letter drops through your door to tell that you are going to be a sitting target during the Olympics. Perhaps some tenants of the Fred Wigg council flats found out at the last minute. Who knows?
There will be six locations used by the military during the Olympics. Notably none are on the roofs of homes of politicians, Parliament or the aristocracy. Who would believe we were living in the 21st Century? In so many ways the UK is beginning to go backward.
Obviously the tenants were far from happy at the news that they and their homes had no value. Pretty it up however you like but that is the fact plain and simple. Yesterday it was revealed that they were to try and launch a judicial review.
Today July 10, 2012, the latest news is that has been refused. What a surprise, we don't think.
The MoD claim that positioning the missiles on the 17 store flats would be appropriate and proportionate. The residents insist they would make the flats a potential terrorist target. Justice Haddon-Cave took the side of the MoD. He said the tenants did not have a reason for a legal challenge and that they were under a misapprehension as to the sort of missiles to be used.
There has been talk that perhaps the flats will be a decoy with missiles stationed elsewhere or just a ploy with no missiles used. In any case the tenants could be under threat. Perhaps Justice Haddon-Cave would like to move into the Tower block for the duration of the Olympics in order to put his money where his mouth is. Philip Hammond, UK Defence Secretary, and MoD officials could join him.
The location of the six sites is public knowledge as the image below shows. The Judge congratulated the MoD on the way it had behaved when consulting the tenants of Fred Wigg House. Ah where but the UK?
According to the BBC, the decision was signed off by the prime minister, deputy prime minister, home secretary and defence secretary in "defence of the realm". The tenants maintain that siting the missiles on their homes, breaches Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Of course in the UK the authorities only seem able to uphold the rights of foreign nationals and not its own UK citizens.
Suggestion: Perhaps the missiles are needed. So let the government draw up a contract with those involved. One that pays for other accommodation for them during the Olympics. One that pays an additional sum of money for the inconvenience of leaving their home. One that guarantees to pay for any damage or loss of goods and home should an attack happen.
Then, and only then should they ask the residents if they will agree. The UK a free country? Is it?