London is being comprehensively dismantled to make way for Dubai 2.0. This is a city in tatters.
Pubs, music venues, Victorian streets and social housing are being kicked to pieces to make space for this season's must-have investment: a box-shaped posh flat with a box-shaped posh balcony offering a panoramic view of all the other box-shaped balconies in the vicinity. Who'd live in a flat like this? Nobody, of course. The people who invest in them are perfectly comfortable in their much nicer homes in Russia and Egypt. While they sleep the empty chrome, glass and brick boxes swell in value for them. Good old England. Good old London town.
This is how things stand in this, surely, worst ever time for London under the worst kind of bumbling fool Mayor imaginable - and all overseen by the snivelling, dribbling, vile little shits that pass for Government these days. Fuck off, Cameron. Just FUCK OFF.
So London's landmarks are being sucked up the tube into the Hooverbag of 'progress'. But thankfully there's still character galore in the shape of London's fantastically mental street people. I love Gilbert and George, but they're not always easy to find. But there are one or two excellent second division eccentrics.
One of my favourites is the guy who directs traffic on Tower Bridge. Actually, these days, he's more likely to be found on Commercial Road near Spitalfields.
Here is a fantastic fellow. A giant of a man, upright rectangular-shaped with a shock of shocking ginger hair and wild eyes. He's in his late forties, maybe, or fifties. And he likes to spend his days waving through cars and vans and trucks that are merrily going about their business without his help, thankyouverymuch. He directs them anyway.
Yes, there are sandwiches missing from his particular picnic hamper. Marbles are lost. But he's got something to do with his time, and he's not hurting anyone. He's actually pretty big fun. The way he affects a point and a headshake at a phantom flat tyre or some other fictitious hazard which he has imagined up for himself is rather endearing. I like to acknowledge his waving through with my own salute of thanks - and he loves that. His face never drops its serious and professional veneer, of course - he's got an important job to do, right? - but something in his eyes confirms that he really enjoys motorists joining in with his little roleplay.
Mr Traffic Director has worn the same grubby and torn hi-vis jacket for years. Until now. Just the other day I noticed he was wearing a brand new yellow dayglo jacket. This can mean one of two things:
Either he is taking his fantasy vocation ever more seriously and he has invested in new equipment for himself.
Or some kindly soul has gone way beyond duty and handed our friend a brand new jacket.
I would love to believe that this is what has happened. How nice. How heart-warming that, when all around is being smashed to rubble to feed an insatiable, hideously short-sighted development greed, someone would do such a thing for a harmless nut job who, when you get right down to the nuts and bolts of it, is now one of London's last remaining landmarks.
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