THE PUNISHMENT OF LUXURY

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Word up culture fans, I was sad to hear that the BBC were getting rid of its iconic building at Television Centre, a few years back. I remember growing up in the 1970s and 1980s and watching week in and week out programmes  that were made made there. I even went there myself to film an episode of Eastenders, I was on screen for 2 seconds. I did have some consolation though ,that the BBC would still have a base there. However this was not to be.

bbctvcentre1I saw in an article in the Evening Standard, that they plan to turn it into luxury flats. This seems to be the case in London over the last ten years or so. When a music venue, pub, or art gallery closes, the arseholes move in and, two weeks later its luxury flats. Then some sleazoid from Foxton’s, the capitals biggest employer of arseholes and twats will sell you one, for a Kings Ransom .

bbctelevisioncentreThe developers at the BBC site will sell you a cheap flat for half a million or a penthouse for 7 million. They have asked people to register their interest , but at the price not many Londoner’s will have the dosh, so they will be sold to the light’s out brigade. I hope the ghost of Jimmy Savile haunts them, and bums them, when they bend down to fasten the shoelaces on their Jimmy Choo’s.

This narrative fits in with the government’s plans to sell off taxpayers assets and launder the money through the City of London. This has seen the largest migration of taxpayers money into private hands in the last ten years. The BBC for having criticised the government will pay the price of privatisation in the near future. And so it comes to pass that another London landmark suffers the Punishment of Luxury. When you walk through the streets of London look around and remember what you see. We will miss it when it’s gone.

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Social cleansing continues in Brixton

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The residents of Cressingham Gardens are locked in a battle with Labour-controlled Lambeth council over the future of their estate. Signs of the dispute are everywhere in Brixton. On Monday evening, protesters with placards and loudspeakers spilled on to the road outside the town hall as councillors met. In nearby Brockwell Park, a model village has had miniature Foxtons “For Sale” signs placed outside each diminutive house in protest at the rapid gentrification .

The dispute stems from the council’s decision to carry out repairs to some of the 306 properties – despite residents pointing out they’ve had no issues with leaks and do not believe the properties are structurally unsound. The council has put aside £1.4m for the repairs, which it says is immediately required to weatherproof the estate irrespective of the regeneration, but is asking leaseholders to pay up to £14,000 towards the cost of repairs, money that most simply don’t have.

That hardship would be bad news, regardless. But in the same week leaseholders on the estate were also told the council plans to demolish the entire estate. The residents now expect to lose their homes shortly after being forced to pay thousands of pounds to ensure they are in good enough condition to be knocked down by bulldozers and wrecking balls.

I am suprised a Labour council has jumped on the gentrification bandwagon, and is trying to demolish a council estate and further destroy the community. It would not suprise me that the Tory party would, do this as after all Thatcher said there was no such thing as society .

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London Gentrification Map of Doom

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Hello there culture fans, I have been conducting some research and can now share with you my findings .The London Gentrification map of doom. Simply find where you live and check the urban change of your area.

LONDON GENTRIFICATION MAP

LONDON GENTRIFICATION MAP

If you live in a red area you might want to move soon, before you get priced out. Here are some notable places in London that we lost.
BRIXTON

Viewed from space this was the part of London that was always on fire. Brixton like an apocalyptic vision of urban decay, in post industrial economic decline. The bleak dystopian landscape was like a vista from Mad Max. The shrill sound of car alarms was occasionally interrupted by gunshots ,screams and Police sirens. The smoke from the burning buildings and cars moved across the landscape like, a cancer ridden curtain of doom. This was in the late 80s, of course it’s all changed now, as the cancer of gentrification spreads its evil tendrils throughout the capital. Now it’s all flat whites and quinoa.

HITHER GREEN

Hither Green is a no mans land between Catford and somewhere else. It has all the charm of a portaloo at Glastonbury festival. The only thing it used to have going for it was, it wasn’t Brockley . Brockley used to be as rough as a badgers arse however, rising house prices have forced the exodus out into cheaper areas like Peckham.

PECKHAM

It looks good from outer space just like it’s next door neighbour New Cross. However south London with it’s shite transport links still lags behind the gentrification race.

Why don’t Hipsters understand irony ?

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PretamangerShoreditchLast week there was a bit of a hoo haa in Shoreditch, when a branch of the generic food chain Pret A Manger opened in Shoreditch. Pret for those of you that have been living in a cave for the last 20 years, is a generic food chain selling coffee that tastes like paraffin,overpriced sandwiches and assorted shite. The Hipsters complained that it had no soul , which is ironic as Shoreditch and Brick lane used to have lots of soul when I first moved to London in 1991. The soul left the area when the real residents were replaced by the artists who were displaced by the Hipsters who inhabit the place now. The Hipsters will be forced out next as the gentrification of London continues. Irony seems to be lost on hipsters for some reason though , any middle class arsehole who seeks to subvert working class culture in an ironic way, should be able to see this. I am working class, and now feel that if I go to a greasy spoon for  a bacon sandwich, I can’t eat it in peace , without feeling I am being ironic, or post modern. It could even be worse ,people might think I am a hipster. I can’t see what’s wrong with Pret anyway, I would have thought hipsters would be happy with it, after all they like Starbucks. Starbucks is the epitome of the generic hipster wank chamber. Here is a graph to help you understand the Hipster fashion wheel of irony.

Hipster

The question we should ask ourselves is, Is Pret shit ? and What is the point of Hipsters. The esoteric questions will remain unanswered. In the words of Alanis Morrisette , It’s ironic.

CAMDEN GENTRIFICATION DEMO TURNS UGLY

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Camden3 A protest against the ‘gentrification’ of London ended in violence.

The BBC reports that a man was hospitalised with a head injury and two police officers injured after around 20 people threw bottles and wood.

Police say that five people have been arrested on suspicion of disorder-related offence.

I have noticed in the  last few months that Camden is changing with shops being closed and parts being demolished. This is the symptom of systematic London wide gentrification and social cleansing. The Black Cap a local London Landmark was closed a few months ago (see my article about Dennis Nilsen)

and I have noticed small pockets of London are starting to change. Heres more from the article abou the demo on the Independant website.

The protest began in Camden last night. On the Facebook event for the protest, organisers wrote: “The heart of Camden is being ripped out, pubs are being converted to luxury flats no one can afford, venues are under threat, the market is flogged off to be a casino (and yet more unaffordable flats). Rents are rising… fast.

“Soon this community will be unrecognisable, bland, yuppie infested wasteland… Camden is a unique place and worth defending against the onslaught of dog-eat-dog economics.”

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Serial Killers Bar To Be Turned Into Trendy Restaurant

The Black Cap in Camden has been the center of the gay community for 50 years. It closed its doors without warning a few months ago,amid controversy. The pub was the favorite haunt of Dennis Nilsen .Britain’s most notorious serial killer and necrophiliac, was responsible for the deaths of at least 12 young men. He used to drink here from 1978 till he was caught in 1983. Where Nilsen once stalked the streets there is something more deadly. The insidious spectre of gentrification. The Breakfast club , a trendy chain is set to take over the venue in the coming months. The local community have protested, and thousands have signed a petition to keep it open. The problem is a wider one though, as London is being gentrified the communities get torn apart, and generic soulless chains replace the local businesses. The Black cap is now the victim.

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New Comedy for Soho

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Hello there culture fans. I thought I would take the opputunity to make a comedy web series set in the West End and Soho while it is still here. I am using an actor called Aedan Kane and it’s called Harrington Ruse ,Tales of an actor. I thought it would be a nice way to remember Soho and the West End before it changes forever. We also ran into someone else doing a similar thing. The singing psychic is a show that was on at the Tristran Bates Theatre and will be back as part of the Camden fringe later this year. I will keep you informed when it is all finished here is a clip.

Sexless Soho

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IMG_7591I remember a story a friend told me, about when he and his cousin first visited London and ended up in Soho. They were both 17, and were approached by a prostitute she asked “Have you got business” they both looked at each other puzzled, and being naïve my friend said, “My Dad has a carpet factory in Sunderland. Soho has changed since the 1980s, with the councils attempts to clean it up. I remember coming to London in 1987, for a job interview with a film company and, walking up Wardour Street looking at all the iconic buildings, most of them were production companies and facilities houses , and I remember feeling excited at the thought of working there. I walked up Wardour Street last week, and most of the companies seem to have moved on, Stanley’s has gone no doubt to be replaced by a poncey café. I was sad to hear Madame Jo Jo’s shut its doors, after an incident with the door staff. The go ahead for it’s demolition has been given, according to the Guardian quote:

“The closure of Madame Jojo’s plays to the weird gentrification that’s happened in Soho over the past 10 years. For 400 years its been the gloriously seedy underbelly of London, where some of the most interesting subculture has thrived, and yet in the last 10 years Westminster council seem hellbent to destroy that, to gut its character completely and turn everything into high end retail.”

 

 

The Raymond Revue Bar  next door, will probably follow, as small pockets of Soho disappear. The prostitutes have been slowly moved from the area ,as well as the magazine shops who have been squeezed out. I have also noticed over the years, all the greasy spoon cafes in the side streets leading from Soho are disappearing slowly. The hike in rents and business rates killing off them one by one .

I do realise that my moaning about changing London will not change things ,especially market conditions. I know that the bookshops on Charing Cross road had to go, as people started buying Kindles and stuff was available online, and who needs to pay for porn when you have the internet, but I liked it when Soho was sleazy and a bit scuzzy. I don’t know why there have to be so many coffee shops, I like a good cup of coffee, but there isn’t a need for one every 10 feet. I think in 10 years time all the sex shops will be gone they have already been replaced by the sanitised sex shops of Anne Summers ,the Starbucks of the sex shop world, and Lovejoy’s another Soho landmark was replaced by Harmony a low rent Anne Summers.

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