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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008
    An opportunity or a dwelling?

    Interesting reading some of the reactions to Chris Allen's book as recorded on his website, accusations of him 'developing a conspiracy theory which involves "ordinary working class people" being disadvantaged by "institutionalised profit making",' accusations of him being on a "crusade". His response seems reasonable to me: 'So if you are evangelical about housing market renewal and vigorously support it then that it an entirely rational position to hold. Yet if you oppose it, you are on a crusade.'

    There's a massive weight of writing supporting the regeneration policies which are currently ripping apart some of the best-established residential areas of most of our major cities [see here]. So it's refreshing - it's essential - to have a weighty, thoroughly researched piece of work providing, as the author puts it, 'an in-depth and lengthy discussion of the politics of how thousands of people are losing their homes. Hardly a trivial matter.'

    It was compelling reading in News From Nowhere for ten minutes this afternoon, but I'm afraid that at thirty quid I'll have to be content to be looking out Chris Allen's book in a library sometime soon*. I hope it's very influential.

    [* Footnote 12/7/08: thanks Pete for buying me a copy - noting too that Chris Allen is donating all royalties from the book to the Fight for Our Homes campaign]
    [* Footnote 23/7/08: thanks also to the generous person who posted me a copy anonymously. It was sent to the old vicarage address, now a private dwelling, so I only received it today.
    As I now have two copies of the book I shall look to pass one on to someone who can make good use of it, including anyone who may like to email me about it]