Right of Reply: Jules Stewart
A member of the Notting Hill Action Group responds to Ann Treneman's article on Saturday
Wednesday 30 June 1999
The problem concerns greedy landlords and the degradation of one of the few neighbourhoods in London that has not been bulldozed to make way for the modern British High Street.
There is a reason why that film was called Notting Hill and not Chelsea or Islington. The people who made it saw something special here long since vanished from those other two neighbourhoods.
The landlords have taken it one step further by exploiting Notting Hill's commercial potential to impose extortionate rent increases. Furnishings shop Graham & Green, a 25-year resident, and Elgin Books next door have been served eviction notices. Stories have been emerging of two fold or more rent hikes up and down Portobello Road and adjacent streets. The idea of a bookshop being pushed out to make way for a chain store, caused enough revulsion to local residents to warrant a meeting. From that emerged the Notting Hill Action Group, with a remit to stop the rot.
The point Ann Treneman seems to find difficulty in grasping is why people should oppose the onslaught of these chains. If that is the case one must make a rather uncomplimentary assumption.
She claims there was "huge" applause almost every time a black person spoke at the meeting and wonders: "Was the applause dripping with white guilt or did I just imagine it?" If that was intended as a genuine question the reply is simple: she was imagining it.
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 2 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
Grace of Monaco film panned: Screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman as movie gets US debut
Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life
Suicide Squad: leaked footage shows first look at Batmobile chasing Joker through city streets
Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show's most iconic characters just met
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote