I explain in this online voice record, the subject matter of the text:
In recent years a great deal of property (mucho inmuebles) has been bought in London by wealthy foreigners who have no intention of living there. As a result, some of London’s neighborhoods are becoming “ghost towns”. Local shops and other businesses are suffering. The situation is particularly acute in Earls Court, where the famous Exhibition Centre was recently demolished to make way for a “residential village” that will have very few residents.
Many people blame the situation on London’s previous mayor, Boris Johnson, who also led the “Leave” campaign. Johnson was seen as being unduly “friendly” to business interests. But the problem is older than Johnson’s mayorship. 50 years ago, a property speculator, Harry Hyams, built the Centre Point office building near Tottenham Court Road and left it unoccupied for many years. It was recently converted into “luxury apartments”.
London is becoming a ghost town for the rich because foreign investors are buying property, but purely as an investment. They leave the houses empty and, if you go to fashionable addresses like Cadogan Square in Knightbridge after dark, you will notice that there are no lights on.
“Well, so we have the tourist hot spots being very crowded, the residential areas being emptied out, it’s a very strange phenomenon, you can go down empty streets and you turn a corner and you’re in a throng, and you’re in a throng of transient people who are all thronging for the same thing, and then you can go into a neighborhood so close by with the most beautiful properties that are shuttered and shut up most of the time.
And there are many examples of empty property in Earls Court, as there are all over London:
Up by the Tesco’s there are these blocks that are maybe 10 years old and they look so tacky because they are mostly empty. There’s a huge lot down there actually, already. They already exist, they already are under-occupied, and yet we have this boom in homelessness at the same time and this boom in people being pushed out for more empty buildings. It’s no logical, it’s no sane, it’s no rational. We could actually house all these refugees, these poor people who are stuck. We could easily offer them homes, but the homes are owned by people, and they’re owned by offshore companies, so there’d be no organization to actually do it, and squatting is now illegal, so we couldn’t bring them in as squatters either, so we’re just going to let them struggle, while we stand by with all these empty properties.
The ‘60s was an era where everyone thought the social divide was breaking down, and now it seems to be we’re in an era with… all around the world, the one per cent is getting richer and the 99 per cent are having less to share out amongst themselves.
- All the best Earls Court events have moved to Olympia London. https://olympia.london/
3. David Bowie . “Heroes” – Live at Earls Court – 1978
4. DUGGIE FIELDS SAYS DON’T DESTROY EARLS COURT. He is an artist who lives in Earls Court, where he led an unsuccessful campaign to save its exhibition centre from demolition. It will replaced by a “Village” for absents residents.
5. wen site Building Center Point https://centrepointlondon.com/