Download A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys through Urban Britain by Owen Hatherley PDF

By Owen Hatherley

ISBN-10: 1844678571

ISBN-13: 9781844678570

An anatomy of failed-state Britain, by way of the writer of A advisor to the recent Ruins of serious Britain.

In A advisor to the hot Ruins of serious Britain, Owen Hatherley skewered New Labour’s architectural legacy in all its witless swagger. Now, within the 12 months of the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, he units out to explain what the Coalition’s altogether varied method of monetary mismanagement and civic irresponsibility is doing to the areas the place the British reside.

In a trip that starts off and leads to the capital, Hatherley takes us from Plymouth and Brighton to Belfast and Aberdeen, when it comes to the eerie urbanism of the Welsh valleys and the much-mocked splendour of modernist Coventry. all over the place open air the substitute Southeast, the construction has stopped in cities and towns, which languish as they look forward to the following bout of self-defeating austerity.

Hatherley writes with unrivalled aggression in regards to the disarray of recent Britain, and but this continues to be a booklet approximately percentages remembered, approximately not going successes in the course of possible inexorable failure. For in addition to trash, old and glossy, Hatherley reveals indicators of the hopeful kingdom Britain as soon as was once and tricks of what it will probably become.
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It would have been wrong to cheer on rioters against corner shopkeepers trying to defend their already small livelihoods; but it is equally wrong to pretend that this had nothing to do with the demonization of the young and poor, nothing to do with our brutally unequal society and our pathetic trickle-down attempts at palliation. Then we line up with those who think that looting Foot Locker is worse than the looting of an entire economy. Something snapped in August 2011, and it was a long time coming.

Chatham Dockyard isn’t like that – its industrial past feels much closer, it still feels in some odd way itself. Partly that’s because of the way that many of the factories have become exhibits of themselves – one enormous shed houses various big lumps of metal as permanent, open ornaments, though it’s the thuggishly powerful steel frame that catches the eye. Industrial wreckage – cranes, presses, guns, scattered about at random – is more a feature of the space than sententious public art, which is right and good.

It is one of several in the Bloomsbury/King’s Cross area, near to the termini serving the North and the Midlands, traditionally the unions’ strongholds. Even now, the NUJ, Unite and others are nearby. Also in the area is the original headquarters of the National Union of Mineworkers, a stripped classical building now occupied by University College. The NUM moved out of here even before their fateful defeat in the Miners’ Strike of 1984–5, to a purpose-built headquarters designed by Malcolm Lister – relocated to Sheffield, as a gesture of distrust to Union leadership’s tendency to get cosy with the Great Wen.

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