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Sunday, 3 June 2018

Creating creativity

The old Colony Room club of fading memory had a fair share of LSAs - less -successful artists, as I termed them, to complement our first division YBAs. For every Damien Hirst there was a Justin Mortimer, for every Tracey Emin an Alyson Hunter. As I combed through a pile of crap from the woefully stupid public sector and cynically manipulative private developers for yet another fully-designed 'creative quarter' to an area of south London, I asked several LSAs what they looked for in workspace. The answer was pretty much a Zone 2 Tube station and £4 a square foot. 

The irony is, of course, is that this combination only exists in the little pockets that have remained untouched by the dead hand of Planned Development - old machine shops and assembly plants deserted by industry, the scruffy bits of graffiti-scarred rough common brick and asbestos-cement roofed clutter at the back of council estates unsuited for residential conversion. A whole roomful of economic development officers, town planners, architects and commercial developers can no more create a creative district than they can populate a bijou shopping parade on demand with an organic fish merchant selling grilled sardines, an independent coffee shop and a hipster designer-porridge outlet. 

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian is smart enough to know this. Writing about social-engineering plans to distribute the New Illiberalism that characterises Channel 4 to an area of Britain other than London he writes
There is nothing more gauche than Whitehall “being nice” to the provinces. Its attempt to force Channel 4 to move north from London has felt akin to the Victorian church sending missionaries overseas to civilise the heathen. As austerity descends over museums and theatres across the land, the culture department wants to dispatch a few television executives to live among the natives, to introduce them to kale, quinoa and turmeric lattes. That should cheer them up. Whitehall also seems to want to have some fun. No one has instructed Channel 4 where to go. Instead, the provincial cities are told they must line up like children in a workhouse and beg. London will decide who gets the smashed avocado. There will be two consolation “creative hubs” for the runners-up, wherever the judges can find something approximating Shoreditch High Street.
Still, we should all support this. If only for the chance to seriously piss-off the sanctimonious bigots at the TV station forced to uproot from Blackheath to Burnley or wherever. The more we can disperse these destructive zealots amongst ordinary folk and dilute their malignant influence, the better.

17 comments:

DeeDee99 said...

Unfortunately, the sanctimonious bigots who front Channel 4 "News" won't have to relocate. Personally, I'd like to send them to Belfast.

right-writes said...

I wonder if government will ever notice that it is the institution of government that is destroying civilisation, rather than creating it?

The dead hand of bureaucracy, the sales oriented approach of party hacks who always represent their party rather than "their boss" (as carswell put it).

Their activities have led to sterilised cities and towns that all look the same, with the same concentrations of tramadol eating NHS "clients" not shopping at Mothercare, Dixons, or Boots.

It is no wonder that government eschews criticism from the real people as populism...

Almost anything is populist when every decision that our establishment makes is so unpopular.

Moving a bunch of bent journalists to Scunthorpe is not going to turn that place (or its ilk) into a "hub", the journo's will probably all stay behind anyway, citing the fact that nothing happens in such places.

Nick Drew said...

A great example is Edmund de Waal's workshop - round the back of the railway bridge at West Norwood, of course ...

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/my-studio-life-edmund-de-waal

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/02/edmund-de-waal-potter-ceramics-essays-as-byatt

john cheshire said...

DeeDee99, I'd like to send them to Mogadishu. Failing that, send them to Dewsbury.

john cheshire said...

Right-writes, a refreshing change would be a candidate who said ' vote for me and I promise to do nothing. I shall oppose every proposal for anything and everything'.

Anonymous said...

Doing nothing is not enough.

We need a party whose main plank is the repeal of as many laws and regulations as possible. And then some.

Don Cox

right-writes said...

One of my favourite pieces of writing is the following by the left leaning historian and BBC favourite, AJP Taylor. In his book ‘English History; 1914-1945′, which I might read one day are some quotes that I have read many times... No doubt his lefty credentials would at some point denigrate what looks like heaven to me, compared to what we got:

‘Until August 1914 a sensible law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country forever without a passport or any sort of official permission. He could exchange his money for any other currency without restriction or limit. He could buy goods from any country in the world on the same terms as he bought goods at home. For that matter, a foreigner could spend his life in this country without permit and without informing the police.’

‘Unlike the countries of the European continent, the state did not require its citizens to perform military service. An Englishman could enlist, if he chose, in the regular army, the navy or the territorials. He could also ignore, if he chose, the demands of national defence. Substantial householders were occasionally called on for jury service. Otherwise, only those helped the state who wished to do so.’

‘The Englishman paid taxes on a modest scale; nearly $400 million in 1913-14, or rather less than 8% of the national income. The state intervened to prevent the citizen from eating adulterated food or contracting certain infectious diseases. It imposed safety rules in factories, and prevented women, and adult males in some industries, from working excessive hours. The state saw to it that children received education up to the age of 13. Since 1 January 1909, it provided a meagre pension for the needy over the age of 70. Since 1911, it helped to insure certain classes of workers against sickness or unemployment.’

‘This tendency towards more state action was increasing. Expenditure on the social services had roughly doubled since the Liberals took office in 1905. Still, broadly speaking, the state acted only to help those who could not help themselves. It left the adult citizen alone.’

Anyway, I merely add it to back up my contention that the best form of government is self government.

okjoe58 said...

My father was born and bred in Shoreditch, God rest his soul, but I didn't know there's a Shoreditch High St. I must Google it immediatley

Mr Ecks said...



Never mind spreading the bastards out.

A 24-hour to extinction closedown of the BBC and C4 is what's needed.

The Ordinary folk --techs, tea ladies--get their redundancy.

The Boss/Manager class and the Luvvies are booted with no compo and any pensions confiscated.

okjoe58 said...

Well, I never .. Shoreditch High St is a continuation of Bishopsgate. AKA the A10.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, the sanctimonious bigots who front Channel 4 "News" won't have to relocate. Personally, I'd like to send them to Belfast."

no, not Belfast although quite a good idea.........

Mogadishu, where they can get up front and personal with plurality African style, Horn diversity and deconstruction live, no need to go on an Africa is wonderful' course, all free and in action. Get them over there, it would particularly suit gurning gurumurphy, 'Fuck the tories' rainbow socks man and Cathy I hate men and particularly clever Canadian men' knowsnothing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

On town planing and building Islington in Accrington I think the terror of multculti is already there. On other things, the area where I now live is undergoing an incredible boom in house building but I see no provision whatsoever for installing sufficient (none actually) infrastructure etc and it makes me muse, if his is C21st proper planning - then I'm Christopher Wren.

terence patrick hewett said...

@right-writes

Your quotes are from the first page of that work and he brilliantly summarises the state of play pre-1914 - it's a pretty good book as well.

Peter MacFarlane said...

With town planning, you get Cumbernauld, Basildon, or Harlow; without it you get Edinburgh New Town, or the Royal Crescent in Bath.

Need more be said?

Budgie said...

Anon, Many of the SJW type may chant "fuck the Tories" here, but when they go abroad they actually fuck the natives. You never know, if the SJWs gave the Tories some food here their luck might change.

Budgie said...

I always regarded planned creativity as an oxymoron.

Span Ows said...

Moving a bunch of bent journalists to Scunthorpe is not going to turn that place (or its ilk) into a "hub"...

No, but the town is perfect to describe most journalists, they're "in" Scunthorpe.

Poisonedchalice said...

Burnley is a good idea; or maybe Blackburn. No wait... Rotherham! Yes, Rotherham; that place that the illiberal journos tried to cover up when the under-age girl rapes were happening. Yes, they can go and live there and bask in the enjoyment of multi-culti.