Wednesday 30 September 2015

Class war target hipsters?

The protest at Cereal Killers has got people talking about gentrification so in a sense I suppose it has already done it's job.

My first reaction when I saw the shop that charges about four quid for a bowl of cereal being trashed was good riddance. Then my second reaction when I saw a piece beyond parody  in the Guardian from the hipster brothers who own the shop explaining that they didn't just sell cereal for but also provided an  experience that restored people's childhood memories was again, good riddance.

Initially the story  touched a nerve I guess because my own area is starting a process of gentrification - and hipsters are providing the advance party of the bourgeois. 

But really, men with silly beards are not the problem: Property developers who are speculating in properties in working class communities are the problem. Local councils (many of them Labour) who are selling off social housing and collaborating with austerity and socially-cleansing inner city city areas are the problem.

Poor areas have always attracted the bohemian elements of the middle class. I imagine the Victorian workers  were bemused and irritated by artists with silly beards slumming it in the East End drinking absinthe and smoking opium. But they weren't the class enemy - slum landlords charging rack rents for some of the worst living conditions in Europe were. 

The modern day equivalents of all these groups are still with us. Let's not get distracted. 

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