Price of Progress

I’m sitting on the 171 bus, on the way to the library. With me is a laptop and a box of 200 ear plugs. Somewhat an impulse purchase. I’ve twisted a couple into my ears to see if they work, and so far no joy. They’re fluorescent yellow and pink. The lady opposite me is looking at me like I’m a guy who talks to himself.

The sun was striking all the new metal in Elephant and Castle this morning, and I realised that yeah: the whole “regeneration” lark was going to come off, despite all the fluff ups and delays. Partially because there are enough nice places – leafy streets, old stock – in the surrounding areas anyway and partially because it’s just too damn Central not to. Even in just the two and a half years I’ve been here, I’ve noticed the shift in population. More urbane, affluent, dripping in, vanguard to the flood.

Of course, when I say “come off”, I don’t mean “the place getting tidied up, with a decent deal for the displaced social tenants.” I mean it’ll be super shiny, exclusive in both senses and the Colombians will get priced out of the shopping centre.

Thankfully, we’ll have an overpriced sports centre to make up for it all.

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