Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

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."
One Hyde Park, an opulent $1.7 billion apartment building in Knightsbridge. It is rare to see anyone coming to or going from the complex.

Monday, April 07, 2008

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 people, to put saving money above meeting people’s needs.

Do you really think who wins an election makes any difference to how you live?

And do politicians actually have much real power anyway?

Can they control world market and financial forces or do they have to adjust and trim their policies to fit in with these?

Reality Check
Do any of the political parties address any of the real issues:
 Why can money always been found to fight a war while hospitals, schools and local services are always strapped for cash?
 Why do some people get stressed working long hours while others get stressed from the boredom of unemployment?
 Why are there homeless people in the streets and empty houses with "for sale" signs?
 Why is there still child poverty even in Britain?
 Why is there no world agreement to limit carbon emissions when scientists say this must be done to avert the threat of global warming?
 Why is there world hunger in a world that can grow enough for all?

So what's the alternative?

This time, in this constituency, you have a real choice. We in THE SOCIALIST PARTY are standing to put forward an alternative to capitalism and the madness of the market – a society of common ownership and democratic control. We call it socialism.

But real socialism. Not the elite-run dictatorships that collapsed some years ago in Russia and East Europe. And not the various schemes for state control put forward by the old Labour Party. For us socialism means something better than that. We're talking about:
A world community without any frontiers where the Earth’s resources would be the common heritage of all.
 Wealth being produced to meet people's needs and not for sale on a market or for profit
 Everyone having access to what they require to satisfy their needs, without the rationing system that is money.
 A society where people freely contribute their skills and experience to produce what is needed, without the compulsion of a wage or salary.

If you agree If you don't like present-day society ... if you are fed up with the way you are forced to live ... if you think the root cause of most social problems is the profit system, then your ideas echo closely with ours.

We are not promising to deliver socialism to you. We are not putting ourselves forward as leaders. This new society can only be achieved if you join together to strive for it. If you want it, then it is something you have to bring about yourselves. Nobody can do it for you.

If you agree with what we say, you can show this by voting for THE SOCIALIST PARTY candidate, DANNY LAMBERT.And if you want to know more about us, call in at our election office at 52 Clapham High Street, SW4 or return the reply coupon on the last page (no stamp required). You can also.phone or email us or visit our website at www.worldsocialism.org/spgb.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

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 will be no car parking available for the general public at the venues .

Dee Doocey, the assembly member who chairs the committee scrutinising the Olympics, said:

“You can’t tell Londoners to travel by public transport, yet at the same time kick them off their roads so that VIPs can be whisked around in chauffeur-driven limousines. This is one rule for the haves, and another for the have-nots.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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 people will starve... "

Shelter, the housing charity, said: "Proposing to stop acts of charity and kindness by a legally enforceable ban is against the principles of tolerance, freedom and understanding which underpin British society...Shelter is calling on London's council bosses to show compassion and moral leadership by deleting this inhumane clause from the Bill."

Westminster City Council's cabinet member for housing, the Conservative councillor Angela Harvey, claimed the distribution of free food was causing a "nuisance"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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 underneath Canary Wharf. "No matter how long sit there, you never see anybody from the Bengali community..."

"These are two worlds that occupy the same space, but never actually intersect."

The very rich and the very poor living together in the centre of the capital. Side by side - yet still in their own very separate worlds. The trickle-down theory is a euphemism for being pissed on by the rich .

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