Thursday, 4 September 2014
On the door at One Commercial Street.
Yesterday evening I finally managed to make it over to Aldgate for Class War's weekly "poor door" picket of One Commercial Street. It was far from being a massive turn out. It's a shame that challenging this issue has been left to a handful of anarchists but I suppose that the left are far too busy dealing with islamophobia and Ukraine to bother with such trivia. The response from passing members of the public was generally sympathetic and I had an interesting chat with a young woman who worked at a local estate agents, had recently let one of the "posh door" flats, had no idea that there were segregated entrances and seemed genuinely shocked and upset at what she had unwittingly become party to.
I have heard it suggested that without the kind of planing gain social and affordable housing such as that at One Commercial Street there would be an even worse housing crisis than there is now and that segregated apartment blocks are a small price to pay. Perhaps the whole issue of planing gain should be looked at afresh. Perhaps local authorities should grant planing permission to those developments that will have some advantage to the community regardless of bribes in the form of planning gain.
If developments are populated by some tenants with well paid jobs who are renting from wealthy overseas investors, and some other less affluent ones who rent from a housing association, there is no rational reason why the two groups should be kept apart. This is just another example of the increasing polarity of this country in general and London in particular.