POWER CORRUPTS - PEOPLE SUFFER Lendlease, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Haringey Council to team up to force the small private companies of the Peacock Estate off the land
Power is abused when Parliament passes laws that give more power to powerful organisations to abuse powerless individuals and families.
I am moved to action by the distress of the individuals and families I meet who are suffering under the cosh of lawful oppression. Their distress is down to deprivation or the threat of deprivation. Psychologists have written about people being overcome by feelings of humiliation or shame, fear or distrust, insecurity or loneliness, or by a sense of being trapped and powerless under the abuses of power by the state. George Lakoff, in a book called The Political Mind, calls on us all to have “empathy, responsibility and courage” in standing upto such abuses.
All of which leads me to highlight a serious abuse of power in Tottenham.
It is the local version of land-grabbing by national and international developers. They have plagued the United Kingdom with oppression similar to the enclosures of the 1750s, when the powerful barons enclosed small farms and common land for their private use. It began with the Thatcher government and has been let rip by all subsequent governments to the present day. The lives of renters and the livelihoods of small businesses have turned sour as a result.
It is an abuse of power for the property developer Lendlease, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Haringey Council to team up to force the small private companies of the Peacock Estate off the land they own and to demolish the Love Lane Estate to provide a smart walkway from the new White Hart Lane station to the otherwise very welcome new arena.
The Peacock Estate comprises more than 30 industrial units and 50 business entities. Those small and micro companies are freeholders and, at the same time, also have an equal share of the estate’s communal land, which is a very large plot of nearly one hectare in a prime location with excellent transport links. Theirs is an active industrial estate where carpentry and joinery workshops, metalworking workshop, upholstery and antique-furniture restorers, MOT stations, a cake factory and a design studio are all operating, employing around 250 highly skilled tradespeople with a combined annual turnover of over £10m.
As for the Love Lane Estate, the lives of families and their children housed by the council in temporary occupation while its demolition is awaited, like those of the Peacock’s business owners, managers and working people, ought not to be subservient to the disruptive wishes of the powerful who want the land they live, love and work on.
It is hard to imagine greater unfairness.
Rev Paul Nicolson
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