Under London, Heaven’s Light, Grow Lives, Not Loot

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In his many novels, published since the early 1980s, Iain Sinclair offers a critical chronicle of the gentrification of London’s East End. This Hackney based writer’s slogan for Spectres of Modernism sets the positive force of life against the avarice of the Corporation of London, for whom, to quote one Bowater House resident, ‘money is their only God’. In a 2004 interview Sinclair expands on this idea of avaricious divinity linking it to Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minster responsible for wrecking the social contract of the post war welfare state and kick starting the culture of greed which four decades down the line, has produced the devastating circumstances against which our protest is directed:

“You can’t understand Thatcher except in terms of bad magic. This wicked witch who focuses all the ill will in society. I can’t understand her except as demonically possessed by the evil forces of world politics. Everything else follows from that: oil revenues blown in dubious arms deals, all real values trashed. She becomes a godhead to those who want to destroy the city’s power. But the godhead is created for a system which destroys her, as always happens. Now she’s been banished to a kingdom of whisky and mockery. But the fact remains that she introduced occultism into British politics and that the role of the writer was to counter that political culture.”

Top banner in photo above Tom McCarthy, beneath Iain Sinclair.

“A spectre is haunting the cynical overdevelopment that characterises London’s buy to leave property boom, the spectre of modernism!” #savegoldenlane

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