Friday, 11 June 2010

What Is "Gentrification"? Ask Diane Abbott, MP

It's heartening to know that propective Labour leader, hard left loon Diane Abbott, believed as early as 1987, when she was the newly elected MP for Hackney, that the Tories were responsible for what she curiously branded the "gentrification" of London.

Now, we all know that what she really means by "gentrification" is the migration of wealth from traditionally affluent areas of the capital, like Chelsea and Westminster, to what were then traditional Labour slag heaps often resembing demilitarised zones, like Battersea and Docklands. It's no accident, for instance, that Kubrick, for his classic war movie Full Metal Jacket, deemed the latter wasteland as the perfect filming location for that movie's desolate battle scenes throughout 1986 - just before the evil Tories began to, er, "gentrify" it, I guess.

It's also no accident, at least to me, that Abbott's constituency, which she has now been protecting vigilantly from gentrification for 23 years, is still an absolute sh*thole where no one in their right mind would dare, never mind want, to live. And that's just the way she likes it. But why? It's pretty obvious really.

People like her, namely corrupt, hypocritical chardonnay socialists (and I do not care one jot what she pretends her background was, that's what she became a long, long time ago) always preach one thing and practise another. In her case, no matter what she might say to the contrary, she's perfectly comfortable with the misery and poverty her brand of political ideology not only fails to alleviate, (regardless of what they laughably say about wanting to do just that), it actually entrenches it and makes it worse. Look around you. Look at the vast, socialist-built housing estates and tower blocks in virtually every inner city in the land, most of which have been under Labour control for decades, and you will see deprivation unchallenged, crime unpunished, immigration uncontrolled, children uneducated and mothers unmarried. Everywhere.

So for Diane Abbott to talk, as she does in this early interview, about schools being "damaged" across London by the then Conservative government's attempts to break what was already back then a desperate cycle of despair and ignorance begun in the post-war world by socialists just like her, is simply an insult to reason and an affront to common decency. She sends her child to a private school for God's sake. However she might try to hide behind her gender, pathetically, as she did in a radio interview yesterday afternoon, that is a fact and it smacks of the rankest of a rank hypocrisy, something which is, sadly, indicative of her type.

I do remember how she attempted to justify this on This Week some years ago, moaning when challenged that the local schools in her constituency, (with a Labour dominated LEA in a socialist-dominated sector, naturally), weren't "good enough" for her son. I also remember how Starkey, that annoying historian, memorably slapped her down by saying that if it wasn't good enough for her child, it wasn't good enough for anyone's. Hear hear.

But I digress. The simple point is that putting the hypocrite Abbott's strange complaint, born as it is of nugatory, familiar, fake class warrior mendacity, to one side for a moment, this Tory government needs to press on with urgent zeal and reboot this "gentrification" of not just London's remaining Labour fortresses of futility, but the whole of the United Kingdom's - everywhere (and I don't mean with a Brown-style catastrophic property boom and bust). It means fighting entrenched Labour corruption and double standards, which Abbott perfectly personifies, everywhere and ruthlessly. This time, the Tories should be playing for keeps.

That there's an outside chance Abbott will be leader of a dying Labour party when that process is well and truly underway fills me with glee. The elegant irony of the arrangement would be priceless.

Oh, and in case any socialists out there are still confused enough not to understand what I'm saying, I'll spell it out for you: for "gentrification" read success, growth, social regeneration, aspiration and, of course, liberty - something that everyone deserves to be part of, and which is at least possible under a Conservative government, but completely impossible under a socialist one, as the last thirteen years have just proved with such terrible, terrible consequences. Get it now?

Enough said.

(Isn't John Stapleton good, by the way?)


  1. And, of course, she's never put self interest and her own pocket before the community, the duplicitous bitch!

    Interesting reminder of how the BBC used to be, D, and we thought they were biased then! How far they have fallen in the last 23 years.

  2. But the problem with the gentrification of the docklands projects is that it didn't do anything to solve the problem of poverty it just moved it on, and created worse problems elsewhere.

    Tiger Bay was a cohesive poor society, the gentrification of Tiger Bay has pushed the self supporting society out of the bay and into sink estates like Saint Melons where there is no communal spirit.

    The Gentrification of Liverpools' Docklands has been a disaster for Rhyl.

    The Thatcher programme of gentrification was an exercise in brushing the dirt into the corners rather than one of dealing with the problems of dockland poverty!

  3. I did enjoy you piece, especially the bit about hackney not being gentrified. I lived near there for a while and believe me they did try. I don’t know if their failure was down to Ms Abbot and her clear dislike of the process from an early date.
    The London Docklands Development Corporation was a quango that acted as the planning authority for the area and was exempt from property taxes. So was a bit of a law unto itself really. It was only in the last few years that Tower Hamlets has started being able to collect local business taxes. So for a long time all that fabulous wealth was not going to help the local population at all. Also the rule of planning law was more or less suspended and out with the control of any elected body so hardly a good democratic model.
    The LDDC was accused of favouring elitist luxury developments rather than affordable housing, and it was unpopular with the local communities, who felt that their needs were not being addressed. So it is perhaps a bit disingenuous of you to hold that up as a model of betterment for the existing population of that area.

  4. First of all I think that was a brilliant piece, beautifully written and full of humour and good plain common sense. One of the best things you have ever written and you’ve written some corkers!

    But I have to say that I agree too with Alwyn ap Huw. There has been ‘gentrification’ of areas, all over the UK, like docklands, with fantastic views over water, be it London, Leith, Cardiff, or any of the smaller cities. They are wonderful real estate. Buildings there have brought in billions in profit... but the lower orders have been moved on.

    In short the area has improved, but it has not been to the benefit of the traditional residents.

    In my own town whenever areas have been upgraded and gentrified either none, or more recently (under Labour, I have to admit) a small proportion of the original population, has been re-housed (and at that in rather shabby apartments at the back... )

    In the case of the docklands, where vast sums (by local standards) are charged for the apartments, there are no low cost housing units. And that in a town where a large proportion of the population work at minimum wage or just above.)

    Now all that said, I agree with a great deal of what you said, and certainly your points on Abbot and her hypocrisy, which is something that seems to permeate Labour from top to bottom.

    It will be interesting to see if Tories in England can make a difference and start to ensure that where areas are improved it is to the benefit of locals and not incomers. Planning being a matter which is dealt with in Scotland by our own government (and of course local councils), I can’t imagine any great change here. I don’t know what the situation is in Wales.

  5. Lovely comments, folks. Really good. Haven't got time to answer them individually just now, unfortunately, but would ask that you bear in mind that I did intend be a little provocative here in my semi-serious defence, essentially, of Yuppies!

    The main theme of this piece is really Abbott's hypocrisy and the wider hypocrisy of her fellow travellers in the outgoing Labour administration.

    In addition, I happen to believe quite strongly that affluence is no bad thing in that, for one thing, in a healthy liberal democracy, it tends to, or should, breed more affluence.

    If you think there is something wrong with that belief, or that - and this is a separate point - past governments that preached it singularly failed to deliver, then so be it. With the former, it means we fundamentally disagree; with the latter, you would be self-evidently correct.

  6. Great piece, I don't find Starkey annoying though...he just has no interior monologue and likes to say exactly what he's thinking...far more on the ball than the pathetic, handwringing wet, Schama. Starkey's occasional appearances are one of the few things that keep me watching question time.

  7. Lol. All completely true. He's still annoying though.

  8. Wow, that rosette that Anne is wearing is amazing! Makes today's turquoise ones look VERY sad.


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