Monday, March 06, 2006

Compare and contrast


Looks *nice* doesn't it? A clean, biblical totem to the God of commerce. And the equally important God of luxury flats, one whom we've been very keen to appease in the London area lately...

It's certainly an improvement on this trampy affair full of vibrant colour, variety, diversity, and, um, y'know, non-white people. The top image is an 'artist's impression' (as I believe the saying goes) of what will happen to Queen's Market in Stratford, East London, when Asda (aka Walmart presents Asda) and the developers are done with it.

The fact that, ooh, only 12,000 local residents oppose the idea shouldn't get in the way. Nor should the fact that there hasn't been a proper consultation process. Nor should the fact that every single political party from the Greens to the Tories to the Christian People's Alliance oppose the 'development'; every single one except my beloved Labour party of course. (The fact that Labour rule Newham Council with an iron fist has nothing to do with it of course, and anyone who says otherwise is clearly a Trot or a Fascist or possibly both.)

I'm only just dipping my toe in the water of this one, so watch this space...

17 Comments:

Anonymous Danny Walfeld said...

Are the people in the 'artists impression' "White"?

or just "white" because they havenmt been coloured in?

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Cal El Cahones said...

Weeeeeeeeeeell...

-There will be the same number of market stands there currently are

-This will create many local jobs in one of the most deprived areas in the COUNTRY

-The market has declined in recent years in terms of the environment and anti social behaviour

-Market traders will now be able to hold a lease on their stall rather than being subject to the vagaries of licences, offering stability.

That said, the picture you have reproduced here doesnt give a very clear idea of how the site will look in the end - it would be interesting to see a little more.

12:34 PM  
Blogger dan hancox said...

I didn't say they were 'white' necessarily, but the point is the image doesn't attest to Newham's (and especially the market's) multiculturalism, which may - or may not - be a signifier of the extent to which the architects and developers have bothered to engage with both the needs, the cultural make-up, and the ambience of the local area.

I absolutely love the fact that the best defence of this lamentable project Newham Council can throw at me is "the people in the artist's impression aren't necessarily white". Way to go chaps.

12:34 PM  
Blogger dan hancox said...

haha spoke too soon. nice of you to give me some actual defences of the scheme cahones though, ta.

i do not have the stats or the research at this stage to disagree with you cohones (and, to be fair, you haven't backed yourself up with anything approaching evidence either), but what i would say is:

why is it that so many traders and locals want the market to stay, and oppose the development, if what you say is true?

or is this just false consciousness, in some perverse post-marxist sense? *removes tongue from cheek*

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Cal El Cahones said...

How can a shopping centre reflect multiculturalism? Its just a supermarket and a shell hanger building full of franchise stores.

Point is, what about the jobs? I dont need to provide evidence that increased local employment is a good thing do I?

3:55 PM  
Anonymous danny walfleld OBE said...

If it is true that most traders dont want the change, then it is because they are afraid they will lose business due to proximity of the market to the planned Asda.

Ok, but if supermarkets should be stopped because they offer a blanded down version of everything, then the market stalls should compete against them just fine, because they have the very character you celebrate - which I would presume translates into selling a diversity of produce which cannot be matched by ASDA.

If 'character' doesnt mean they sell stuff you can get at a supermarket (cheaper)then what is it?

4:04 PM  
Blogger dan hancox said...

"How can a shopping centre reflect multiculturalism?"

-well exactly!! he said with just a modicum of fascetiousness.

you don't need to provide evidence that increasing employment is a good thing, but who says it will, in the long term? a few years of labouring work for some, followed by the eventual demise of queen's market to be replaced by asda/walmart and it's oh-so-brilliant record on labour relations. how can a party with 'labour' in its name (a) support the increasing casualisation of labour, and (b) be actively supporting an organisation like wal-mart against the wishes of ordinary citizens (many of whom are its voters)?

and as for you, danny walfeld or whatever the hell your name is, don't front that 'capitalism is fair because free trade is fair trade' shit with me. if asda/walmart ever played by the rules they puport to support (namely 'the rules' of global capitalism), we'd be living in a much fairer, much more egalitarian society.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Danny Walfeld CBE said...

Quite apart from the skilled labour involved in building the new structures, the number of market stalls will remain constant, and the supermarket will employ approximately 500 new workers.

Working on a market stall with no contract or guarunteed wage is not more secure than working under contract for a supermarket with a fixed wage protected by workplace legislation is anyones guess.

But as the market is staying anyway, the comparison isnt useful.

The ethics of Walmart/Asda in terms of their purchasing and labour relations in th US is another matter, but for the sake of balance you must see that local councillors know that these 500+ jobs will mean a lot to the people that get them - to a single mum currently on benefits, a five hour shift at ASDA while her kids are at school means £200 per week.

To win this argument I dont need to compare ASDA favourably to a small market, because no one has ever said the market will go or even be reduced in size!

5:12 PM  
Blogger manara said...

time to call the newham generals

3:06 PM  
Blogger dan hancox said...

do you think the gens would do a benefit gig for the market?!?!?! that would be amazing!!! maybe i'll e-mail dirtee skank and suggest it.

just to deal with one of walfeld's final arguments, btw, the deal is, he's right, that newham council say the market is not going anywhere. but it's pretty meaningless because them saying the market is not going anywhere does not mean the market is not going anywhere. newham council can say what the fuck they like really cos 59 of their 60 councillors are labour and it's a de facto - albeit elected - dictatorship.

4:26 PM  
Blogger alex bkbk said...

great, captain corporate swoops in and gives jobs to all the stupid poor people. kind of a shitty short term solution no? i hope i never get so cynical about people

1:50 PM  
Blogger alex bkbk said...

has someone already pointed out that if the market is staying then Asda will be treading on the toes of many of the vendors and will undoubtedly see them as petty local competition to be stamped out

1:53 PM  
Blogger dan hancox said...

"Asda will be treading on the toes of many of the vendors and will undoubtedly see them as petty local competition to be stamped out"

yup, a harmonious co-existence seems unlikely really doesn't it? take a look at what happened to balham market after they refitted sainsbury's... there used to be like fifteen stalls there a few years back, now there are two.

interestingly the daily-mail owned evening standard have launched a 'save our small shops' campaign. funny when u find yrself agreeing with tories...

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Danny Walfeld said...

"captain corporate swoops in and gives jobs to all the stupid poor people."

Errrrrrrrr...poor people + jobs equals = slightly better off people?

But you're right - Im sure we are just one meeting away from setting up an anarcho syndicalist grocery co-operative which will feed and employ all the poor people in Newham through the wonder of a bit of elbow grease and some good ole' hippy magic.

12:35 PM  
Blogger dan hancox said...

don't be such a prick.

devil's advocacy has its limits.

12:40 AM  
Blogger Jake O'Leary said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Danny Walfeld said...

*Guiltily removes red cape and comedy devils moustache*

*Reluctantly throws down tripod fork and goes to Blackheath for a chile*

9:54 AM  

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