The battle underway in the capital should trouble us all. The proponents call it innovation, but I say it's an assault on the poor.
battle broke out on Tuesday in one of the scruffier parts of
north London. It didn’t look much: a few dozen placard
wavers outside Haringey civic centre, and a restive public
heckling councillors as they debated big plans for their future.
But this is a battle that concerns all of us. At its heart is a
programme that is among the most audacious I’ve ever seen.
Haringey wants to privatise huge swaths of public property:
family homes, school buildings, its biggest library. All of it will
It comes with huge risks. It will demolish precious social
housing, turf out families and rip apart communities. It will
hand democratic control to a massive private entity. The
20-year plan is “unprecedented”, agreed backbench
councillors. They voted to slam on the brakes. But if they’re
ignored and the plan goes through, it will form a blueprint for
an altered capital. London will lurch closer towards becoming
a playground for speculators, a dormitory for professionals,
and off-limits both to the working class and to public dissent.
This may be the first you’ve heard of it – the Haringey
development vehicle has scored barely a mention outside the
local and trade press. Odd, given how large it is, and how vital
to council leader Claire Kober, who is also chair of the London
this excerpt is from External Articles : 'Lives torn apart and
assets lost' ; note that it was written on 19th January 2017, by
Aditya Chakrabortty. This article therefore predates the follow
up article 'How power operates in Britain . .' ]