Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Aaro the estate agent?

Just a quick hit and run, I will only get time to read the full piece this afternoon so if anyone else fancies a go, go for it, but I simply cannot let this one lie:

THE APOTHEOSIS of Nimbyism appeared in our local paper in the autumn. Some residents of Primrose Hill in London objected to the building of a new Jewish community centre and synagogue on a patch of disused land by the side of the railway. Their objections failing, they deployed the ultimate argument. Pointing out that nuclear waste is occasionally transported by rail, the residents speculated that terrorists might find the momentary proximity of nukes to Jews irresistible, and that the entire area risked being destroyed by way of collateral damage.

"bruschettaboy, your chosen specialist subject is planning applications in the London Borough of Camden, your questions start now".

Primrose Hill? Makes a better story, because there is a "Primrose Hill set" (in fact there are two; the one centred around one of the Millibands and the one centred around Kate Moss. I don't think that there is much interbreeding between the two) and waving the whiff of anti-Semitism next to it certainly pricked my ears up. Just to make it clear I am not accusing Aaro of throwing around anti-Semitic accusations as it was actually a synagogue rather than a Sainsbury's, but I bet a lot of his readers take it that way.

On the other hand, the actual location for the planned synagogue was Adelaide Road. As you can see from these listings, there is one estate agent who is bold or desperate enough to call this location "Primrose Hill" but it is actually Swiss Cottage; the minutes of the planning committee show that the actual proposed location of the synagogue is on the border of Belsize and Haverstock wards, not the "Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward" (you can see from this site that nowhere on Adelaide Road is in Primrose Hill for local government purposes). Oddly enough, North London's most exclusive and fashionable neighbourhood does not have a lot of "waste ground next to the railway tracks" in it.

On the actual question of someone having chucked in an objection to the synagogue on the basis of it being a magnet for nuclear terrorism, I'm afraid they did (I note that the Ham&High, which is Dave's local paper, actually referred to the location as Chalk Farm, which I think is a bit too downmarket for where it is, but it ain't Primrose Hill). But I seem to remember that the real motivation for the objections was parking. Most things in North London are about parking; I only realised that the War on Terror was being pursued seriously when two residents' parking spaces were removed outside the Jewish Museum on Albert Street to guard against suicide bombers (presumably suicide bombers with residents' permits but you can't be too careful).

All in all I take from this the lesson that the combination of the Jewish religion, parking disputes and nuclear terrorism is an explosive one and best avoided, even by estate agents. I think that the intifada may have started as a parking dispute that got totally out of hand. I also suspect that even now there is an estate agent somewhere trying to suggest that a flat in Gaza is "basically West Tel Aviv".

Update: gosh what a disappointment. The opening bit is really interesting and snappily written but the rest of it is partly a rambling response to a pamphlet nobody will ever read and partly a piece of boilerplate Aaro "pipe down and listen to your betters, they're much more dynamic and young than you and the status quo is no longer an option" toytown authoritarianism. I half suspect that there was some accident and Dave sent the wrong piece to the Times this week as the article is basically a blog post.


Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Has anyone noticed the remarkable resemblance between Lib Dem leadership contender Tom Conti and ageing actor Chris Huhne? Are they by any chance related?

2/28/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Is that your Cohen forecast for his column in the Standard, or the 'joke' 3rd item in next week's Observer?

2/28/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschetta Boy said...

two other errors by the way; nuclear waste is transported on that line rather more "systematically" than "occasionally", and the local residents did not resort to the "nuclear option" once all their arguments had failed; the nuclear terrorism thing went into the normal package of objections along with the more serious issue of parking, and planning permission was given in December. Subject to various conditions, most of which related to parking.

2/28/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous evil bruschettaboy who also did this bit said...

presumably the Tom Conti parking item is a dig at Nick and his Kate Winslet thing? Like I say, best to stay out of arguments about parking, they get really nasty.

2/28/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Does Tom Conti get a lot of airtime in North London then? First I'd heard of him doing that was a BBC article last week, but maybe that was based on something he'd done.

Having said that, if you look at the 'board' of his organisation, it is a rather rum lot, including a Tory hereditary peer and that guy who wrote that article in the Spectator about his unbelievable treatment after being arrested by the Police.


2/28/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

But you're right it must be a dig at Nick - Tom Conti might have a bit of a Mr Man name but I'm not sure he's written two columns in the national press on 'why it's ok to hate traffic wardens'.

2/28/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

He has a Mr Man name, but I see from my link about the yellow lines outside the Jewish Museum that the chairman of the North London community liaison body that meets with the police on terrorism/parking issues is called "Mike Whine". The coppers must have hand-picked him for a laugh.

2/28/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Oh dear the Decents, including Aaro presumably for his JC article, are in big trouble:


3/01/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Aaro clearly took that slur directly from HP, as there's no other mention of it on the internet. The question is then why did HP make it? A cursory check would have found out it was a different person, thus "David T" or Aaro couldn't have made any checks at all. But surely you would check, it's hardly an minor allegation? I suspect it's more Decency fervour getting in the way of facts than anything deliberate, but it's very odd.

3/01/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous evil bruschettaboy said...

Great spot Matthew ...

3/01/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschetta Boy said...

I've posted a comment on Aaroblog giving him the heads up that it's all gone wrong in case he doesn't know already (and a comment here too natch)

3/01/2006 03:50:00 PM  

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