Dalston is facing an ‘existential’ jobs crisis that threatens to leave the borough ‘a wasteland’, ‘a hellish midden of despair’, or even ‘an irradiated bomb site in which no living thing will ever prosper’, depending on who you talk to.
Professor Tim Duck of prestigious Dalston University (formerly the East London College of Remedial Learning and Mailbag Stitching) told the Mercury: ‘The employment problems faced by the borough have become so acute that there is literally no hope for any of us unless the council immediately takes me on as a consultant at a salary of not less than 100k per annum. I can manage two half-days a week. Fair enough?’
The problem, according to Professor Duck, is that Dalston lacks any workers with skills in engineering, construction, teaching, medicine, administration, security, retailing, public health, finance, publishing, transport, catering and law.
The borough is, however, more than averagely endowed with specialists in circus skills, IT, DJ-ing, irony and graphic novel illustration. And ironic DJ-ing. Oh, and pop-up restaurants, which is nearly ‘catering’, we suppose.
‘An illustration of how bad things have become’, said Professor Duck, continuing his job pitch, ‘came last Friday at Bar d’Artagnan, when 16 paying customers were outnumbered twenty-to-one by DJs. The DJs were queuing around the block to get in. There was no-one serving behind the bar – couldn’t get the staff, you see? Result: one bankrupt club owner and 300 sober Djs listening to each other mash-up classic ’90s techno with Polynesian nose flute music. It can’t go on like this. Show me the money.’
Plans exist to resettle some proper people in the area, perhaps from as far afield as Islington and Tower Hamlets, but Professor Duck believes a more radical approach to the problem may be required.
‘I believe a more radical approach to the problem may be required,’ he told us, but didn’t want to say any more unless it banjaxed his chances of a big payday with the council.
We asked the council for a quote but they were all busy learning to juggle while standing on a big ball.