Tag Archives: History

So long, Greenwich. I predict that by 2050 you’ll swallow up Lewisham and Bexley. The Thames Barrier will be a boutique hotel. And everyone will be mad as hell about air pollution

I’m moving out of London later this week, with my partner and our daughter, after 35 years living in the borough of Greenwich – the last 16 of them as a Labour councillor here. There are few things more boring than ex-councillors … Continue reading

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Far from being “dismal”, Euston’s Concourse is one of the best public spaces in London. Let’s hope HS2 doesn’t wreck it

A curious bidding war has been going on in London in the last few years: who can say the rudest thing about Euston Station. Last year, when it emerged that Euston’s 1960s building might be remodelled rather than demolished, Building … Continue reading

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A Garden Bridge? No thank you, Joanna Lumley: London is ‘Bosky’ enough already

What’s not to like about the proposed Garden Bridge across the Thames? It’s designed by Thomas Heatherwick, a walk-on-water design superstar who came up with the Olympic Cauldron as well as the new Routemaster bus. It would, we are told, … Continue reading

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Labour can take pride in its school rebuilding programme. Even if this one was finished nine years behind schedule  

Last Monday (November 3rd) I was at the grand opening of the John Roan School in Blackheath (the school lies in the ward I represented as a councillor until May 2014, and I used to be a governor there). Despite the big … Continue reading

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The new University faculty is the best thing built in Greenwich for decades. Critics should be careful what they wish for

There’s a paradox about development in Greenwich (the town, not the borough) in the last 15 years. Schemes that commanded near-universal support when they were first proposed (the glass bubble around the Cutty Sark, which makes it look like its … Continue reading

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Memo to the Left: 1 Nationalism should always be viewed with suspicion. 2 Press freedom needs to be fought for. 3 And an independence referendum is not a conference workshop

A political leader who has spent much time cosying up to Rupert Murdoch faces difficult questions from a broadcast journalist a few days before a crucial electoral test. The leader accuses the journalist of “heckling” him.  The press conference has … Continue reading

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Parade’s End: how First World War architecture fell out of fashion

With the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War upon us, it’s been impossible to escape. Siegfried Sassoon poems have been reverently recited on Newsnight. On Woolwich Common, near where I live, a replica trench has been built … Continue reading

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Rising to the occasion: the architecture of election counts

What was the most interesting thing about the Newark by-election earlier this month? Not the failure of UKIP to break through (for once I was glad a Conservative candidate won. A UKIP victory would have inflicted psychological damage on the Tories and been seized … Continue reading

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