CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

In defence of the streatery

10 September, 2021

Belsize streatery

• I HAVE read in disbelief some of the recent Letters contributions regarding the Belsize streatery.

It is about time local people and newspapers called out some of the vicious attacks for what they are – fantastical accounts of history and delusional comparisons with crazy world dictators.

Your correspondent Tim Salmon recently compared the Belsize streatery and Camden’s recent consultation with Alexander Lukashenko’s Belarus, (The ‘streatery’ licence ought simply to cease, August 12).

This comparison is beyond the pale and an insult to the brave protesters of Belarus.

From my vantage point, overlooking the streatery, I am yet to see the Belsize Village Business Association imprison, beat, and shoot those who disagree with the streatery.

George Sanders writes to paint an image of a deserted streatery, (The streatery lies as dead as a dodo, August 19).

Unless my eyes have been lying to me for several months, the square and the pavements outside the restaurants are nearly always busy throughout the day.

Linda Grove, (Protect the open spaces, August 26) continues to attack the so-called commercial takeover of communal space.

She is presumably referring to the restaurant and shop owners in the village. The young chef who has set up the fantastic restaurant, Cinder. The new owners of Belsize Organic. Family-run businesses like Hazara, Calici, and Retsina.

Does Ms Grove think it is shocking that these owners are trying to make money to feed their families and employ people?

The minority of loud individuals do not need the space of Belsize village to make a living. They criticise things that have clearly beautified the village, such as flowers in the planters.

They lambast community volunteers for trying to make the village better. They complain that the angle of the benches has changed.

These individuals are always entitled to their opinion, to write to councillors, to argue constructively for change. But they should reflect on the arguments they are using and the comparisons they are making.

Otherwise, their evident dislike for reality has rather more in common with their self-confessed arch nemesis, Mr Trump, than they might think.

DAVID ROSE

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