Posts Tagged ‘London’

The Guardian view on clean air zones: cities must be bold | Editorial

As evidence about the harmful effects of pollution mounts, mayors need to take action to reduce emissions and improve health

The slogan “Think global, act local”, popular among environmentalists since the 1970s, is apt when applied to the politics of air. While pollution by greenhouse gases, chiefly CO2, requires international action, some emissions can be tackled much closer to home. Evidence about the health impact of the gases and particles produced by road traffic, industry and open fires has developed rapidly since the 1990s. In cities, many of which have experienced rapid growth in traffic, air quality has become a pressing issue.

Across the EU, legal limits are regularly breached, and the UK, France and Germany are among six countries facing large fines. Such pressures may recede after Brexit: the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has proposed a watchdog lacking the power to take the government to court. But it is not clear whether the genie of public anxiety about toxic air can be pushed back into the bottle. This week saw reports about new research into the amount of particulate matter breathed by children at London schools, and pollutants found in mothers’ placentas. Last month it was revealed that Chinese researchers have linked high levels of air pollution to reduced intelligence.

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London is Remain city – and Brexit cannot come soon enough

London is Remain city – and Brexit cannot come soon enough

“This is so biased! It says only 31% would now vote for Remain!”

“That’s correct,” I said. “More people want Brexit now.”

The young bloke looked taken aback. He had asked me for a reputable website to get information from. He had suggested  ‘Independent online’…. I  decided to give him a wake up and guided him towards Guido Fawkes and Breitbart. He did not like their survey on Brexit. It didn’t fit with his perception that everyone wanted to Remain – a typical assertion in London. Then his friend joined in – more aggressively.

“If we leave the EU our island mentality can only get worse,” he said, “and we have already lost millions of pounds from our economy because of it…”. Erm… we haven’t actually left yet! So how can that be? Blank stares.

I had been chatting to a couple of colleagues in their 20’s. Pleasant enough normally, but mention Brexit and a whole wave of arrogance and condescension arises from nowhere.

They were determined and focussed in their belief in Project Fear. Apparently its all true …   “We need another vote! To decide how we feel about the terms!”

“What?” I said. “We have had a vote!”

“Oh, but we can change our mind can’t we?” he went on. “We have general elections and we change our minds, our government. Why not now? That’s not fair!” … and on and on. Never mind that we haven’t even enacted the first vote – to leave – yet! “Oh, but we cannot leave without a deal!” To which I replied incredulously: “We are leaving. It would be nice to have a deal but either way we are leaving.”

Their turn to be incredulous – open mouthed in fact. “But how can that be? We need the EU for … well … everything … don’t we?” Someone pop their EU bubble, its wearing me down…

I had had enough by then but was immediately interrogated as to why I voted Leave. What exactly was wrong with the EU. What laws did I imagine the EU had imposed on us? How would we survive? Who would we trade with? All the banks would leave, we would be isolated, the economy will crash, we didn’t know what we were voting for, it’s going to affect young people.

Their main concern seemed to be money, money, keeping an EU passport, data roaming, and oh yes, money … yawn. Not a shred of patriotism, gratitude, appreciation or love for their country, even though both of them were born and bred British citizens.

Now I’m not saying all young people are like that. Far from it – I know they are not. There are many fabulous young UKIP members and Brexit supporters. And there are plenty of OLD Remainers too – and some of whom ACCEPT the democratic vote. My battle is that in London, Brexit is an uphill struggle.

What took me aback is even though I am older than them they had no respect for anything I said – if I voted Leave I must be spoken down to and be explained to as to how I made the wrong choice. I was an idiot, basically! And they were completely adamant – it was a fact! The atmosphere became so horrible that  I walked away.

Universities, schools and most institutions including the church now preach a left wing mantra and  claim we cannot survive outside the EU. They tell us Brexit is wrong, something to be ‘dealt with’.  (I sometimes feel I have snatched a child’s toys when a staunch Remainer finds out I voted to leave. They seem hurt – I’m not as nice as I seemed!). This is taught as if it is correct, a bit like man-made climate change is taught as correct and if you don’t agree you are a ‘climate change denier’.  State brainwashing is rife.

It began back in the 70’s or maybe before, and those who went into teaching, politics, any sort of institution took it with them and influenced the next generation. So hats off to those who managed to see through it and make up their own minds. Tony Blair introduced the idea that everyone should go to university. Sounds noble enough, but of course many didn’t need to and are now in huge debt they cannot pay off. And many have studied pointless subjects that will never benefit anyone – and now have a sense of entitlement that hinders their ability to get a decent job.

Whilst doing this they have been brainwashed into the left wing ideals that many teachers (not all) hold. When you think what previous generations went through to keep this country free, regardless of personal risk, it shocks me that so many think that passport free travel and free data roaming is a reason to give away your country’s sovereignty. I find it hard to discuss without having an argument.

But who do we really blame for this constant badgering and edging for a second vote and a revisiting of the whole referendum? Well, on top of the institutions that encouraged the idea that if you don’t like something you are entitled to just not do it, I do of course blame the government for dragging us two years down the line and still not having left! The longer it goes on the more some Remainers think they can change it – especially in London.  I’ve never heard of re-voting and changing your mind before the first vote has been enacted – except when it comes to leaving the EU of course! The longer this goes on the more they have hope of changing it, and the more scheming and arguing we will have to put up with.

The only vote we need is for a new leader with a clear vision on Brexit. Strong leadership stops all kinds of shenanigans. Brexit cannot come soon enough – say it, mean, it, do it. Then we can get on with clearing up the mess, just like our ancestors after WW2.

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The people must have another vote – to take back control of Brexit

Theresa May’s abject failure in negotiating a deal with the EU means that the public must have a fresh say

It’s now been two years and nearly three months since the EU referendum. I’m sure I speak for most of the country when I say it feels like we’ve been talking about Brexit for far longer.

It’s no secret I campaigned for the UK to remain and I’ve said all along that any form of Brexit – no matter how hard or soft – would result in fewer jobs, less prosperity and a reduced role for Britain on the world stage. The evidence for this is irrefutable.

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London’s Street Markets – a Disappearing Tradition

London’s Street Markets – a Disappearing Tradition



I found myself wandering around Portobello Market on Sunday, through antiques, vintage clothing, old books and records.  Much bigger on Fridays and Saturdays – winding through the long road – it is unique and one of London’s oldest markets, full of character. Sometimes when looking around at all the building, modern high streets, the gentrification, skyscrapers and blotting out of our skyline it’s easy to forget about  London’s many traditions. Street markets are a huge part of London’s history. Portobello has some lovely old shop fronts too – probably from the 1950’s, that are intact, and still some unique shops, not the usual boring chains. Once being a poor area, uniting Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill, but now very expensive, the  market has managed to stay and maintain its uniqueness. But for how much longer?

I love the hustle and bustle of a street market. The excitement of what you might find, different stalls, 2nd hand bargains, vintage clothing, antiques, cheap fruit,  crazy copy perfumes (it’s exactly the same I swear!), knick knacks you won’t find anywhere else and food smells. 

In my youth we loved going to markets,  every Sunday rushing to Wembley Market – full of fruit and veg and cockney boys selling crockery and linen, our friends blasting out music on radios, and a huge array of trendy clothing and shoes – all much cheaper –  and that’s what drew us in. Petticoat Lane and Leather Lane were similar – in fact it was the same in markets all over London. Wembley market is long concreted over – making room for the ever expanding Wembley Stadium and Arena. Shepherds Bush –  another famous market – has just had a mammoth fight to resist being replaced by a development of flats which local people couldn’t afford anyway.

The building of more and more ridiculously expensive properties on land that was once cheap housing, cinemas, markets, hospitals and anything a community needs to survive, is common, but what occurred to me at Portobello was how precarious things look for our traditional markets.  What some councils hate is they attract poorer shoppers who don’t fit in with the gentrification and expensive redevelopment that councils plan. Wealthier tastes prefer upmarket ‘farmers markets’ etc selling expensive cheese and bespoke goods, not the 2nd hand clothing or bric-a-brac we all like to rummage through. Plus many markets are on vast pieces of land that could become a huge money spinning entertainment venue, another tiresome shopping village or  ‘fake market’ with fake buskers (Covent Garden).

The complete eviction of poorer people from London is coming ever faster!

It’s not just shoppers that lose out. Stalls are often family run,  passing down generations. Every time I hear of a market under threat I also hear stallholders not just bemoaning the loss of livelihoods but how sad they are at the way London is changing so fast, with many new stallholders not even bothering to speak English. Doing a few car boots myself I know what hard work it is, early rising,  carrying heavy stuff, setting up, dealing with hagglers (and the odd thief) while smiling and chatting, and the same to go home! Imagine doing it full time! Queuing so early was horrid but the laughs and banter were priceless, the excitement of waiting for the dealers, the calm before the storm when ‘normal’ bargain hunters crowd in,  searching for anything they fancy, maybe a chance to buy something wonderful 2nd hand. Hard work, but extremely social for everyone.

Across London markets provide a huge service, some even specialising in things like carpets and wigs (!), anything in fact, and are communities in themselves – stallholders and regular customers all know each other. And are often in fresh air! They are important for those on lower incomes. If we lose them we lose another chunk of what used to be thriving and working class communities. My grandmother went to Burnt Oak market on Saturdays to look for buttons, thread, curtain hooks, linen, socks, everything! And she knew everyone too.  

Areas have to be regenerated and improved, no one wants to live in  substandard accommodation. But we are in danger of wiping out the very heart of London life in so many ways and  old markets are another casualty, having grown wherever there were people, under arches and bridges, by railways, along  streets, alleyways, underground, by rivers and industrial areas, like wild flowers springing up wherever there was a gap to squeeze into, providing a livelihood, a lifeline and sociability for working class communities. Must all of London be slabbed over for investment properties or unbelievably boring high streets full of repetitive chain stores? Who doesn’t love a rummage at a market, so many a part of the history of the area.

Interestingly, as markets are changing,  car-boot sales are increasing, often more like the old markets in what they sell. Surely selling 2nd hand goods is the very best recycling? I am so sick of our throwaway society, I don’t blame people for wanting good quality 2nd hand compared to cheap new versions! Rummaging, bartering, searching, having a laugh and banter, and paying in cash – another thing that the state wants to abolish. Councils are increasing market rents, refusing licences, controlling what is sold and how, and making it difficult for old markets to survive. Why? To build over or replace them with  upmarket versions that exclude poorer people and stallholders to enable the area’s redevelopment. The market name may remain, but it will be very different in character.

I hate what is happening to London and the threat to our markets is symbolic of our struggle to maintain any part of our traditions and way of life for ordinary people. How long before it is all gone?   

A street of slick global high street brands and an overpriced sickly coffee? No thanks. Give me an old market on a sunny day (or a rainy one) and some cheeky banter anytime! I like my London with a heart and a soul.  

[Photo credits: Janice North]


The post London’s Street Markets – a Disappearing Tradition appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.

Nearly 19,000 UK earners now on more than £1m a year

Number rises by 3,700 but many are foreign or non-doms who could leave after Brexit

The number of people in the UK earning more than £1m a year has jumped to over 18,700, with more than one in 10 of them living in Kensington and Chelsea, according to figures released by HM Revenue & Customs.

The total increased by 3,700 in the latest available tax year, but there are concerns that many of the “highly mobile” high-earners could quit the UK in the wake of a messy Brexit.

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