Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/726/14860
As useless as a hole in the ground
Europe's tallest building, the Shard, next to London Bridge station, opened on 5 July at a cost of nearly £1 billion.
The hyperbole surrounding it is in full flow. Its owners, the middle eastern state of Qatar, claim it will enhance London's reputation as a place for future developments like it.
They should know, they have $100 billion in spare cash from Qatar's oil and gas wells to splash about.
It is another indication that the super rich have no idea what to do with all the profits that have been robbed from the labour power of the world's working class.
The Shard stands at over 1,000 feet in height, with 87 floors, the top floors being left deliberately uninhabitable and open to the elements. 72 floors are to be rented out to the obscenely super-rich in £50 million pound apartments and an 18 floor luxury hotel.
Its original owners had rented out part to Transport for London, but the new owners withdrew that contract as it was not what they envisaged for the "right" sort of tenants.
The utter blindness of the bourgeoisie of the Bob Diamond variety is their inability to see how their plans are seen by the rest of society.
The Shard is based in Southwark, where I live, which had the reputation of one of the most impoverished parts of Britain.
Southwark's Labour council leader said that the Shard will bring thousands of jobs to the borough. As if that could justify the obscenity of the whole project.
You might as well advocate that the unemployed should dig holes in the ground to give them something to do, the end product (the Shard) is about as useful to society as a hole in the ground.
The Shard shows the utter irrationality of a society where the rich have so much money that they can build playthings like the Shard, instead of things that meet the needs of the vast majority, like homes, hospitals and schools.
In The Socialist 11 July 2012:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Youth Fight for Jobs and Education feature
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reviews and comments
Socialist Party news and campaigns