Residents of RBKC have always been a breed apart so whats different now

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Ed Mead


Why is everyone suddenly so concerned about who lives in central London. It’s a tiny number anyway and it hasn’t suddenly got expensive or derelict at night. Bear in mind that the current “smart” bits of London weren’t always smart, pre-war the area from docks to Mayfair was where it was at, trade was everything and wealth came through the Docks. The meteoric rise of the SW postcodes is a relatively recent phenomenon, from the 60s on really.

First non-resident rich occupants were titled aristocrats who would be up for the season and the odd sporting or court fixture and depending on who’s had the money it’s been the same ever since. Bankers and Hedgies were the source of ire in the 80s and 90s and foreigners taking advantage of a weak currency most recently. Normal people moaned about them then and they moan about them now, it just so happens a few more of them are foreigners these days. These foreigners aren’t new arrivals, OPEC in the mid -70s started the attraction and the Iranian Revolution saw the flow become more noticeable. Most stayed and we now see the second generations walking about many of whom know the place like locals given they grew up here. Do they really impinge on normal people’s lives, would they even notice or care if the papers didn’t propagate stories about crashed Lambos, racing outside Harrods or the sale of a £100m pile.

Nothing’s really changed, and being cheeky for a moment the few people who have seen their local neighbourhoods change more dramatically than others and can’t bear it can probably set themselves up for life giving someone else a chance to buy their dream.

So perhaps it’s time to put this whole debate into context and remember that nothing has really changed, and the effect of this tiny area and its inhabitants on the vast majority of people in the UK is infinitesimal.