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Greed-based ideology has ripped our country apart

31 October, 2019

• I WRITE to thank Fran Heron, the chair of Camden Town District Management Committee, for her excoriating Forum, (Our area wrecked by a symbol of greed, October 17).

Similar changes damaging the working class community in the south of the borough are also taking place the other side of the Euston Road, and these are also linked to Camden Council’s strategy for managing the devastating cuts to their budget from government.

In the summer we saw the opening of a new hotel, The Standard. Described as the “perfect party pad” the hotel is housed in what was formerly Camden Council’s town hall extension on Euston Road, opposite St Pancras station.

The architects and designers have done a great job on restoring this 1970s brutalist building – it looks magnificent.

The hotel sits on the edge of one of the poorest areas in Camden, but on a prime bit real estate. To take advantage of this the council took the decision a few years back to sell this building, along with others, to raise money to address a 40 per cent funding gap from central government – and bought the corporate monstrosity that is 5 St Pancras Way to house what little is left of our council services.

To retain some sense of the original purpose of the building, the designers have included a small library in the bar/ restaurant that was previously the council library for King’s Cross.

This homage to the past is appreciated but, at the same time, depressing. Losing this facility that was of such benefit to a community that is among the poorest in Camden – with chronic levels of overcrowding and poor health – is symbolic of how the hotel contributes to the further gentrification of King’s Cross.

On December 12 we have the opportunity to reverse the greed-based ideology that has ripped our country apart for the last 40 years, and elect Jeremy Corbyn whose “for the many and not the few” policies will transform our society and put an end to the obscenity of our “cheek by jowl” London.

Unite delegate to Holborn &
St Pancras Labour Party


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