Dalston Celebrates Affordable Housing for Ordinary Hardworking Millionaires

Dalston Mayor Miles Toob raised a glass on Tuesday evening to celebrate reaching a major milestone in the borough’s housing plans.

This year 103% of all new housing in the borough will be affordable, according to council sources.

Mayor Toob, speaking at the topping-out ceremony for Camila Batmanghelidjh Mansions, the latest in a series of luxury proletarian housing projects said: “This wonderful building demonstrates our commitment to providing decent affordable homes for the most deserving members of society.”

pic.Dalston's Affordable Camila Batmanghelidjh Mansions
Dalston’s affordable Camila Batmangehelidjh Mansions yesterday

But some Dalston residents were unimpressed. Among a small party of protesters at the event were three hedge fund managers, a former Russian finance minister, the Indian steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, and Myron J. Rockafellella, Head of Global Equities at Morgan Stanley, who is currently living in Belgravia but would like to move to Dalston to be closer to work.

“Mayor Toob is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks these homes are affordable,” bleated Mr Rockafellella, 45. “I bring home a good wage and my wife runs three international fashion brands, but we applied for shared ownership on a two bedroom apartment and no way do we earn enough to qualify. My dad is considering selling the Chrysler corporation to help us get the deposit together, but even then I doubt it will be enough.”

When challenged on his housing policy by protesters Mayor Toob ran away and hid until it was safe to return to the four-bedroomed Dalston home he bought twenty years ago for six conkers and half a Yorkie.

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Dalston Mummies now nearly as Yummy as Stoke Newington Mummies – Official!

Researchers from prestigious Dalston University (previously the East London College for Remedial Learning and Basket Weaving) have revealed the astonishing results of a three-year research programme into local levels of mummy yumminess.

While Stoke Newington mummies – previously undisputed leaders in yumminess – still top the ratings, Dalston mummies have increased their yumminess quotient by a factor of 17.3%, bringing them into second place, a new high for Dalston, and leaving them only 2.12 ‘yums’ behind their Stoke Newington sisters.

Research project head Dr. Irving Letch explained the system he devised to achieve these results: “Basically, the equation is very simple,” he told the Mercury. “We take a random sample of mummies in several locations and record their glossiness of hair on a scale of one-to-12. We then divide this number by the ampleness of bosom over length of skirt, multiplied by the coquettishness of walk and divide by the square root of the number of Bugaboos counted in each location. This gives us the definitive yumminess quotient for any given sample.”

Asked how Dr. Letch and his team go about acquiring this data he told us: “Normally we video women from my car. Sometimes from behind bushes, y’know, if the weather’s nice and there aren’t too many rozzers about.”

Homerton mummies have also made progress in the most recent yumminess ratings, up 3.61 yums on the year, although Haggerston mummies have dropped a point since 2015.

Clapton mummies are still dogs, apparently.

Local MP Diane Abbott ‘Deserves Medal for Services to Education’

A local man has started a petition to see local MP Diane Abbott recognised for her valuable contribution to the British education system.

Viscount Bramley-Apple of Haggerston told the Dalston Mercury: “I think it’s absolutely marvellous what Diane has done for our schools. I went to Eton myself and can appreciate the value of a good public school education, something that is simply not understood by enough hard-left Marxist/Leninist politicians.”

pic.DianeAbbott
Diane Abbott yesterday

Ms. Abbott, a Labour MP and very, very close associate of Jeremy Corbyn, wisely sent her own son to a private school, courageously blocking her ears and going “ner ner, I can’t hear you, ner ner,” above the chorus of narrow minded critics who opposed her educational blue-sky thinking.

Apart from her tireless advocacy of equal rights for all, Ms Abbott is best known for her TV appearances alongside gaudily-clad Iberian train fetishist Michael Portillo and that Andrew Neil from off the telly.

If Viscount Bramley-Apple gets his way Ms Abbott will be able to place her award next to the many other trophies earned during her long years of selfless public service. These awards include the Egregious Socialist Hypocrite of the Year title which she has claimed a record six times. Former winners or this coveted gong include Polly Toynbee (inherited wealth, children at private schools) and Seumas Milne (inherited wealth and children at selective grammar schools). Well done Diane!

My Dalston: Local Voices, Real People

This Week: Lionel Ebb, former firebrand Marxist poet and acclaimed author of Everybody Dies, Especially Your Mummy, widely recognised as the most depressing childrens’ book ever written. Lionel, 68, has lived in Dalston since graduating Oxford University and renouncing his peerage. I – your editor Norton Folgate – am fortunate to live next door to Lionel, and I’m sure readers will enjoy hearing his views on recent local developments as much as I do. Take it away, Lionel.

 

In the beginning, Dalston belonged to me.

That is to say, it belonged to me and to my fellow working man; it belonged to the storm-tossed immigrant; to the impoverished student; to every citizen of the world seeking refuge from the market-led calumnies of Thatcher’s Britain. It wasn’t off-your-face Camden Town or yummy mummy Islington or cap-in your-ass Clapton. It was Dalston. It was beautiful, and most people had never heard of it.

But then Sainsbury’s closed and moved across the street to a bigger, newer shopping centre with a Kentucky in it, and the old Sainsbury’s became a Peacock’s. This changed things. The streets were suddenly full of Bangladeshi-tailored t-shirts at two quid apiece from Peacock’s and Sainsbury’s had room, now, to sell pak choi and monk fish alongside the Pop Tarts and mango pizzas. No one wanted to buy the monkfish or the pak choi, but still. Monkfish. In Dalston.

And once-honest local retailers sniffed the air. A café on Ridley Road bought a packet of Darjeeling and some soya milk. Turkish restaurants on the Stoke Newington Road put their prices up a bit. But despite all this exciting ‘progress’ Dalston was still Dalston. Until.

Until Wednesday, March 8th, 2006. March 8th, 2006 sparked the sequence of events that was to reduce Dalston to the hellish midden of despair we all know today. [editor’s note: Lionel and I debated, at some length, the phrase ‘hellish midden of despair’. I, naturally, felt it to be a bit strong, but Lionel is a man of formidable resolve and would not be persuaded to soften his choice of words, bless him.]

What happened on March 8th was this: a travel writer from Azerbaijani Vogue, exhausted after twelve hours in an Aeroflot economy seat and having taken full advantage of the complimentary in-flight vodka, fell asleep on the tube and awoke at the Angel. He was supposed to be in Dalston. He believed himself to be in Dalston. Unable to locate the traditional London street market he had been tasked to write about (the one several stops down the line in Dalston), he simply wrote what he saw: that ‘Dalston’ was full of stylish, affluent people, its shop windows fecund with consumer durables of unimagined diversity and gorgeousness, its streets a carnival of youth, confidence and innovation (which, to be fair, is what most places must look like after a lifetime spent in Azerbaijan).

His piece, though written in error, was published in full the following month. It hailed Dalston as ‘The Coolest Place on Earth’. [editor’s note: This is true. I’ve checked.] A writer from Italian Vogue read this and, being short of both inspiration and three thousand words that week, repeated it verbatim. Other fashion magazines followed suit until eventually a writer from British Vogue, travelling deeper into east London than any other writer for British Vogue had travelled before [editor’s note: This is also true.], went to take a look at Dalston herself.

It just so happened that as her cab pulled up outside the Pound Shop (the one diagonally across the road from McDonalds), Keira Knightly rode past on a Brompton bicycle. Keira Knightly was, in fact, lost. She had never been to the area before and would not return for many years, but her presence was confirmation enough for British Vogue that the place was now ‘edgy’. The resulting article doomed poor Dalston; doomed it to the hipster apocalypse. [editor’s note: ‘hipster apocalypse’ will be viewed by some readers as an unnecessarily pejorative phrase. Again, Lionel was not to be moved.]

Three days later a red, plaid shirt buttoned all the way up to the top was spotted on the Kingsland Road. The day after that a man went into Superdrug to ask whether they stocked moustache wax. And just like that, it was over; the levee had broken and the ‘beautiful people’ flooded in like a foul tide of human putrescence. Damn you Keira Knightly. Damn you Azerbaijani Vogue.

In the year that followed, other events conspired to ensure that Dalston would never return to being simply an obscure, heroically egalitarian corner of east London. No, Keira Knightly’s passing buttocks had just been the beginning. The face of Helen of Troy may have launched a thousand ships, but the buttocks of Keira Knightly released something far, far worse into the world. Because, shortly after those pert orbs churned prettily past on their bicycle seat, Superdrug gave-in to the weight of customer demand and actually started selling moustache wax. Then somebody called Alexa Chung was spotted at Bar d’Artagnan. Bar d’Artagnan was an airless basement with no alcohol licence and no ladies’ toilet. It was, though, equipped with a refrigerator full of duty-free lager and a unisex urinal located behind a shower curtain in the kitchen. This kitchen – inexpertly staffed – produced only cheese toasties served on paper plates, but they were good enough for Alexa, apparently, because next week she was back, this time with Lily Allen and Madonna, whoever they are.

Dalston, by now, had forgotten its honourable proletarian origins. The place had moved on even from Keira Knightly’s bottom. It had left Keira Knightly’s bottom so far behind, in fact, that Marc Quinn felt confident enough to announce an ambitious 30-year project to construct a full sized replica of the Rio Cinema from his own toenail clippings, donated nasal mucus and plaster of paris. The local council gave him a grant.

A mad avant-garde theatre entrepreneur [editor’s note: Eccentric, undoubtedly, but not clinically mad, in my opinion.] moved his company of actors from a nice arts centre in Twickenham to a former septic tank beneath a derelict tannery near Argos. He named his new venue The Dalston People’s Playhouse. [editor’s note: It has a very nice café which is well worth checking out. Excellent locally sourced couscous.]

They threw out the elderly Irish and Caribbean stout-drinkers from the Red Lion, renamed it the Lambent Whelk and built a cycle repairshop / DJ booth in the snug.

For me, this last act was the final straw. I withdrew to my study, there to weep and stroke my rare first editions of Marx, de Beauvoir and my good friend Ian Sinclair. Dalston, the place I had loved, that once shining beacon of progressive socialism, was lost to me; all that was fine and good here crushed beneath the pitiless jackboot of capital, a jackboot worn by men with trust funds and jobs in IT and trousers three inches too short. It is all too much to bear. All is lost. All is gone, all truth and beauty cast to the winds. Desolation, a choking pall. It. Is. Over. [editor’s note: Lionel was at a particularly low ebb during the composition of this final paragraph. Strong drink may have been taken.]

So, there you have it. Strong stuff from a great man. Lionel has not yet been won round to the glories of the new, improved Dalston, but I have no doubt he will warm to his new neighbours as time goes on. Even as I write I can hear him through our shared wall, swearing at Newsnight. He really is a character!

Dalston! Can You Help?

Part of the Dalston Mercury’s community outreach program to help local people find local dogs and then give the local dogs back to their local owners unless the local dogs have been run over in which case it’s probably best just to stay schtum, all things considered.

This week: Toby.

pic.CanYouHelp001

If found, please email the Mercury. Please note: we don’t have the kale.

EU Vote: Dalston Decides! Again

Dalston Families ‘£10,000 per Minute Worse Off Out of Europe’

Economists at prestigious Dalston University’s Department of Hard Sums and Shifty Bankers have revealed figures that will shock local people in the run-up to the EU Referendum.

Department Head, Professor Dyslexia Numerale said: “We were as surprised as anyone when George Osborne announced that British families would be £4,300 per year worse off out of Europe. So we borrowed George’s own official Treasury Department pocket calculator to verify the figures and, horrifyingly, we found that the Chancellor had got it wrong. Actually, hard working Dalston families will be £10,000 per minute out of pocket if we vote to leave the nurturing bosom of the European Union.”

Asked whether there might, perhaps, be something wrong with George Osborne’s calculator, Professor Numeral sort of snorted and said: “No, obviously not. It’s got a little H.M Treasury sticker on it and everything.”

Further research using the Treasury calculator also revealed that an Arsenal season ticket is a snip at £2,013 and that the £9,000 annual tuition fee at the prestigious Dalston Univerity is an unmissable once-in-a-lifetime bargain.

Mayoral Elections: Dalston Decides!

Zac to give Dalston an Airmiles Boost

pic.Zac Goldsmith
Zac Goldsmith yesterday

Conservative Mayoral hopeful Zac Goldsmith has revealed his preferred alternative to the expansion of Heathrow Airport, according to some bloke who claims to know him.

“Zac feels the new runway needs to be positioned close to existing major transport hubs, for ecological reasons,” said the source who asked not to be named or photographed. “Obviously Liverpool Street Station is a first-rate transport facility and Dalston Kingsland is pretty good too, what with the 38 bus and everything,” he said.

“So Zac thinks it makes perfect sense to locate the new runway between those two transport super-eco-hubs, as he likes to call them.”

Goldsmith’s plans would involve planes landing along the already heavily tarmacked Kingsland Road. The necessary remodelling of the area would provide jobs for local people and will benefit both the British dynamite and bulldozer industries.

According to our source, the new terminal building would be situated “on the largely unused brownfield site known locally as London Fields,” or, failing that, “anywhere, really, that does not inconvenience the millionaire voters of Richmond-Upon-Thames, whose lives are already blighted by an idyllic riverside setting and uncounted acres of pristine parkland.”

When asked why expansion should not take place at Heathrow on the grounds that there is a bloody big airport there already, Goldsmith’s alleged spokesman went quiet, mumbling something about “the environment” and Feltham town centre being a World Heritage Site before putting the phone down.