Thursday, October 15

West Ham: the case for a people's QE

There's been some press outrage this week at the revelation that West Ham will be getting free turnstile operators and cleaners at the Olympic Stadium as well as free heating and lighting. This will be paid for by the London Legacy Development Corporation, with taxpayers' money. Really you've only got to look at The Apprentice to know that Karren Brady will have worked out that the LLDC had an unfit-for-purpose athletics stadium to get rid of, and will have consequently driven a hard bargain. Particularly as the club was selling off its home to enter the rental market. The LLDC was in the situation of those Apprentice candidates trying to flog fish fingers at 1.30pm after the lunchtime trade had passed.

But to look at it another way, West Ham are surely deserving of a little people's quantitative easing. We haven't won a major trophy since 1980 and the fans are fed up with austerity being imposed on our trophy cabinet. A stimulus from the government might result in a possible trophy and instantly improve the well-being of a huge fan base, increasing productivity from Dagenham to Dartford. And there would be a substantial fiscal stimulus to the environs of Stratford from increased sales of craft beer and pizzas sold by hipsters in Hackney Wick after a cockney knees-up. Investing in West Ham might generate economic growth in the whole of East London and the South East. And if any taxpayers in Bermondsey (and inevitably Barry Hearn) remain unhappy we can always negotiate an opt-out.

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