Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label London

Ghost Town

37% of people buying property in the most expensive neighbourhoods of central London did not intend them to be primary residences.
"Belgravia is becoming a village with fewer people in it," said Alistair Boscawen, a local real estate agent. He works in "the nuts area" of London, as he put it, "where the house prices are bonkers" — anywhere from $7.5 million to $75 million. The buyers are super-wealthy foreigners. London is not the only city where the world's richest people leave their expensive properties vacant while they stay in their expensive properties someplace else; the same is true in parts of Manhattan.
Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour opposition in Westminster Council, said the situation had reached a tipping point. "They may live here for a fortnight in the summer, but for the rest of the year they're contributing nothing to the local economy. The spectre of new buildings where there are no lights on is a real problem.&qu…

election address

What’s the alternative to the profit system?

That's the issue in this election, says THE SOCIALIST PARTY candidate in Lambeth and Southwark Danny Lambert.

On 1 May, you will have your occasional ration of democracy with the opportunity to vote for the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly.

It's all very well having a vote but are you normally given any real choice? Let's face it, if it wasn't mentioned on the front of the election leaflet, could you tell which party was which?

It's tempting – in the absence of any real alternative – to get drawn into the phoney war that is political debate today. Whether Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Greens or the others, they all spout empty promises. And it all amounts to the same thing – vote, vote for us and we’ll do this, this or this for you. As if they could.

None of them offer any alternative to the present way of running society. That’s why they always fail to deliver. The profit system requires them to put profits before pe…

London Olympic Games

The Times reports that the International Olympic Committee’s demand for more than 3,000 chauffeur-driven cars for dignitaries, officials and corporate sponsors. The requirement for a fleet of VIP cars is part of the IOC’s contract with London. The contract is being kept secret at the insistence of the IOC.

These cars will have access to a network of dedicated lanes, which will be closed to other traffic for up to two months. Up to 3,000 sets of traffic lights will also be adjusted to ensure that the IOC’s fleet has fast access to all venues.

The IOC insists it need these cars, and in addition the 110 IOC members, 400 presidents and secretary-generals from the Olympic committees of the 200 competing nations and 450 senior executives from corporate sponsors will also receive free access to public transport .
None of the 10,500 athletes will have access to the 3,145 cars and will instead travel on a dedicated fleet of coaches. Apart from a small number of disabled parking spaces there wil…

When helping can be a crime

Councillors in London are embroiled in a growing row over whether to ban the distribution of free food on public land, which could signal the end of soup runs for the capital's homeless.The idea – contained in the London Local Authorities Bill to be presented to Parliament in a fortnight – has been put forward by Westminster City Council, which claims the much-needed charitable services cause "public order issues". If the ban is approved, all those distributing free food to London's hungry will be breaking the law. The move would not include corporations wishing to promote their products by giving out free refreshments.

Luke Evans, a policy officer at Housing Justice, the charity which oversees soup runs in the capital said: "These people could be left on the streets to die. But, more than anything, it is a philosophical principle that you should be able to care for your fellow human beings. They are penalising people who are trying to help.There is a danger that…

The trickle-down theory

The Crystal nightclub in London's West End made the news recently when one businessmen spent £105,000 in one night. The club's general manager says it is becoming more common for bills to reach these eye-watering figures. Many of Crystal's party-goers can be found in their suits and at their desks inside the glass skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. But is it actually good for London? "Yes,"says Howard Wheeldon, a city analyst with BGC Partners based in Canary Wharf, "there's a massive trickle-down effect."


In the shadow of Canary Wharf's towers, a charity called Toynbee Hall is holding an open day for under-privileged East End kids. The children here - often from Somali or Bengali families - are among the poorest in the country.

Toynbee Hall's director, believes there is not much evidence of the "trickle-down effect" for them. I ask him if the rich and poor in the area ever mix. He tells me to go and sit in the designer shopping mall under…