Tuesday, June 17, 2008


A couple of guys came to the back door and said, “You’d better get out. Now.” Two days later the houses burned down.’ Nothing slows the momentum, the Olympic imperative. ‘The authorities want a big new station on the theatre site, a huge concrete slab over the railway cutting. That slab cost £39 million. How is it going to be paid for? By planning permission to build a 20-storey tower block right there. Hackney will give the developers half the value of the site, along with planning permission. You build high to achieve a small footprint. Most of the development will be buy-to-let investments, offshore finance. Huge amounts of Russian money. Tenants will move in and out constantly. There will be no community at all.’

I almost feel a bit precious for expending seven posts worth of energy on the greasy regeneration of King's Cross, when developers are shooting their collective load all over East London in preparation for the non-event to end all events. When each new development equals a further advance in the neoliberal class war, it's easy to hanker nostalgically for anything old. DV and I watched The London Nobody Knows, archly and awkwardly narrated by James Mason, on Saturday. Perhaps it reminds us that London is always disappearing, and twas ever thus.


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