Category: London

Did an immigrant ever close a mine, a hospital, a steelworks or a shipyard?

You fucking arseholes, just gave the Cuntservatives a way to Cut the Minimum Wage, attack our pensions, the NHS, rights for lgbt and women in the workplace and have undermined the pound…

Who is going to do the shit jobs you are too fucking lazy to get up to do… You stupid fucker..

The billionaire property investors David and Simon Reuben have been linked to £46,000 in donations received by Zac Goldsmith. The developers last week secured approval for a controversial proposal to turn a London landmark into hundreds of luxury flats from the incumbent mayor, Boris Johnson.

The bulk of these donations, received by the MP and Conservative London mayoral candidate since the general election, either came from the children of the Reuben brothers or from entities overseen by them but none of them was listed as being made from a person with the Reuben name.

The Reuben brothers, who were born in India, first rose to prominence doing business in post-Soviet Russia before buying up several London landmarks, including John Lewis’s headquarters on Oxford Street. According to the Sunday Times they are now Britain’s richest family with a combined fortune of £13.1bn.

Last Thursday Boris Johnson’s team approved the brothers’ plans for 207 luxury flats and a 150-room boutique hotel at Millbank Tower, near the palace of Westminster, despite the scheme proposing the demolition of a Grade II listed building – considered a gem of modernist architecture.

The scheme was contested in part because it envisaged more expensive accommodation in a city with the second-highest house prices in the world. Lambeth council opposed the scheme pointing out that there was no affordable housing provision, and city planners had suggested that a £57m “financial contribution in mitigation is an appropriate alternative”.

However, in one of its last acts before this Thursday’s election, the mayor’s office accepted the “maximum reasonable amount of affordable housing in this instance is zero”, did not request any compensation and gave the go-ahead for the demolition of one of the oldest office towers in London.

Sadiq Khan has said that half of any new housing development will have to be “affordable”. A spokesman for Labour’s mayoral candidate described the Reubens’ scheme as “unacceptable … there’s no affordable homes at all in this scheme and Zac Goldsmith in City Hall would only mean more of the same”.

Source: Zac Goldsmith received £46,000 linked to luxury flat developers | Politics | The Guardian

The decision to ban sketching at the V&A’s ‘Undressed: a brief history of underwear’ exhibition is sheer pantaloonacy. It might even be more provocative than some of the garments on display.

The museum has justified the ban partly by suggesting that sketchers create unnecessary congestion, apparently upsetting the metronomic pace the V&A has set for the masses. But, surely, if you’re going to make a point of exposing something which would otherwise be private, intimate, and ever so slightly naughty, it seems contrary to enforce an all too brief encounter.

But what really gets my knickers in a twist is that the V&A’s sign, ‘No photography or sketching’, tars photos and drawings with the same brush. Both, of course, can be forms of art, but in a museum context, one feels more obtrusive than the other.  Aside from the clicks and flashes of cameras, there is always the temptation to hide behind a lens, to capture something passively without really engaging with it. But to draw something, you have to open your eyes. Sketches are sexy. They leave something to the imagination, showing more and less at the same time. A sketch is never an exact copy, but an interpretation.

By banning people from sketching, the V&A risks trivialising its own exhibition. Of course, you might argue that an exhibition whose highlights include photos of a scantily clad David Beckham for an H&M campaign or Kate Moss’ famously see-through slip dress might not purport to be anything but trivial. But, even if this is true (and I’m not convinced that it is), why shouldn’t it be celebrated, or even transformed, by art? Andy Warhol found his inspiration in a tin of Campbell’s tomato soup. Who’s to stop someone finding theirs in Jaeger woollen underwear or in the pants of Queen Victoria’s mother? In fact, Warhol was once so enamoured by Jockey briefs that he used a pair as a canvas for one of his dollar-sign paintings. Whether it heralds the everyday, the saucy, or the soupy, art’s very foundations lie in a freedom of interpretation which would be dangerous to jeopardise.

The museum was quick to point out that the ban would only apply to certain temporary exhibitions, and that sketching in the permanent collections was still welcomed. But could the move be suggestive of a wider hostility towards drawing in art galleries? While at the ‘Rembrandt: the late works’ exhibition at the National Gallery last year, I was told to stop sketching because I was being inconsiderate towards the other visitors. I was surprised; I’ve sketched in a lot of galleries and people are generally more interested than annoyed. Personally, I love having a peek at other people’s sketches; in the case of Rembrandt’s self-portraits, they allow you to see what others make of Rembrandt as well as what the artist made of himself. The creation of multiple dialogues can only be a good thing, and in suppressing them, galleries are at risk of alienating the very people they should be encouraging. As one disgruntled art-lover tweeted in response to the V&A ban, “No memorising anything you see. Approved memories can be purchased in the gift shop”.

Source: Put your pens away: the V&A bans sketching | Varsity Online


Self-confessed hippy Lee Harris, 79, joined the race for City Hall to campaign for the legalisation of the drug as party CISTA’s (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol) candidate.

The grandfather-of-three, who is just three months shy of his 80th birthday, owns a “head shop” on Portobello Road called Alchemy, and attended the first rally to legalise cannabis in Hyde Park almost 50 years ago.

And ahead of next week’s mayoral election, Mr Harris told the Standard: “London would be a happier place if cannabis was legalised. If people smoke cannabis, they will drink less.

“Drinking is a terrible problem in this country and there is so much violence attached to it.

“We want to legalise, regulate and tax cannabis so that people don’t have to go to the black market. But like tobacco and alcohol, there should be an age limit.

Source: ‘London would be happier if cannabis was legal’, Mayoral hopeful says | Politics | News | London Evening Standard

The so-called Croydon Cat Killer could go on to target humans if they become bored of slaughtering animals, an expert warned today.

Criminal psychologist Dr David Holmes said the killer is a sadist who “enjoys” the act of murder – and could yet escalate their violence.

Up to 50 pets across London are believed to have fallen victim to the killer, with the RSPCA today confirming 20 have “undoubtedly” been slaughtered by a human.

Cases have so far been reported in areas including Croydon, Richmond, Kingston, Streatham and Tottenham Hale during the past three years.

In almost all of the cases, the cats have been left decapitated, without a tail or have other knife wound injuries.

Source: Croydon Cat Killer ‘could soon start targeting humans’, criminal psychologist warns | London | News | London Evening Standard

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