The ‘council house boy’ and his very British ballots

After his election in 2016, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – the ‘council house boy’ – faces growing demands from council estate residents – threatened by ‘regeneration’ schemes – to be granted a real voice and a decisive vote on whether their homes are demolished or not. 

Finally, two years later, Mayor Khan introduces ballots but it’s a concession laden with conditions. Resident campaigners suspect Khan has ensured ‘regeneration’ deceits lurk in the details of these very British ballots.

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High Speed 2: Erasing the Living, Raising the Dead

Britain’s new high speed railway erases settled ways of life for thousands of people, writes Paul Coleman. Grimly, it also raises thousands of dead people out of the ground too. High Speed 2 (HS2) disrupts the lives and menaces the businesses of thousands of people along its London-Birmingham route. The railway even involves the mass exhumation of the bodies and remains of an estimated 61,000 people from their ‘final’ resting place at St James’ Gardens in the north London borough of Camden. But does HS2 serve a national or a global corporate interest?

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Hale the Elephant

Monday (10 December) turns out to be another significant day in London’s housing boom for a few and housing crisis for the many. Politicians operating London’s market state at city-wide and borough levels continue to make it easy for London’s public land to be seized by elements of the global real estate complex. Local residents and traders in Tottenham and at the Elephant and Castle face an uncertain future after two major ‘redevelopment’ schemes receive political backing.

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Another Grenfell could happen…soon

Thousands of tower block residents across Britain remain at risk exactly one year after the catastrophic Grenfell fire in west London. A fire chemistry expert warns of dire consequences if the government continues to fail to tackle combustible materials on tower blocks. “If these issues are not addressed, we are going to see another Grenfell,” says Professor Anna Stec. “And we are going to see it soon.”

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Centre Point: monument to a housing crisis

Some Londoners love Centre Point, writes Paul Coleman. Others loathe it. That makes Centre Point another of London’s ‘Marmite’ skyscrapers.* Completed in 1966, (the last time an England team won the football World Cup), this 34-storey edifice stands as a looming monument to 20th century greed for office space. But will Centre Point become a monument to a 21st century global gluttony for speculative investment in London’s uber high-priced real estate market?

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