A message from the London Beer Dispensary...

Via the Brockley Central Facebook page, the team behind Crofton Park's excellent London Beer Dispensary writes:

Hey folks, Darren & Sam here, former Area Manager of Late Knights and Head Brewer of Late Knights Brewery. We understand that twitter has been going crazy with all sorts of gossip today, so thought we would clear a few things up. 

The London Beer Dispensary, Brighton Beer Dispensary and The Brewery in Penge are no longer under the company of Late Knights for a number of reasons, of which we wont delve into. 

Sam and I have started up a new company, along side Mr. Lawrence, to keep these places trading and push forwards. The brewery itself will be renamed and rebranded, still with the desire to be the heart of the great community that it's in. 

We don't intend to change anything at the LBD, with the same great staff, beer and burgers. We have brought back Sunday Roasts and Lillian is taking care of all the hangovers with the Bloody Mary station on a Sunday. 

 In terms of the brewery, our sole focus is to brew consistently great beer that we can sell in our own bars as well as to free trade, keeping ourselves as local as possible. We will be looking to have this out in 6-8 weeks, with a few brewery names floating around, which we'll hopefully have decided by the end of the week. 

We still see the LBD as the heart of Brockley and have thouroughly enjoyed integrating ourselves into the amazing community that we feel honoured to be a part of. 

Feel free to pop in at any point and chat to Lils, Sam, Edd or Cadi behind the bar and we look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.

Have at Yee!

Hopped up on Rio gold and Super Mario Abenomics, The Times is looking ahead($) to Tokyo 2020 by profiling next generation British athletes who could break into Team GB in four years. Brockley endurance athlete Alex Yee is their back page cover star and they say:

"The winner of the ITU World Junior Duathlon title earlier this summer, Yee has been selected in the junior squad for the World Championships in Mexico next month."

Yee has been putting in breathtaking performances at youth level for some time and his progress has been tracked by BC talent scouts for some time.

Brockley Front Garden Sale, September 10-11

The Fourth Annual Brockley Front Garden Sale takes place on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September, 11am – 4pm.

Last year over 70 addresses took part in a day of coordinated front garden sales. You can choose to participate on one or both days. The format rewards neighbours who get together to organise a cluster or nearby sales.

To take part, email: gardensale@brockleysociety.org.uk with your name + house no. +  street + postcode and email, stating Saturday, Sunday or both.

A list will go on the Brockley Society website www.brockleysociety.org.uk

Salthouse growlers

Salthouse Bottles, the new beer shop replacing Degustation on Coulgate Street, is opening next month and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to provide a growler service. Richard Salthouse writes:

We want to purchase a device known as a Pegas CrafTap, which is able to select and dispense a chosen beer into a glass bottle. At any given time, we plan to offer up to four choices of quality beer for growler-fill.

The growlers will have a 1 litre capacity, are made of amber glass and have an airtight swing-top seal. They are also printed with Salthouse Bottles branding. This is yours to keep, to fill, to use, to refill and to re-use. Once filled and sealed, your beer will stay fresh for weeks.

Rewards for supporters include growlers and T-shirts. To back the Kickstarter, click here.

Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander slams Corbyn leadership as "shoddy"

Once you’ve had a taste of Mayor Bullock’s firm leadership, anyone else is going to seem second rate.

Having helped to kickstart the Parliamentary Labour Party’s revolt against Corbyn’s leadership, Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander is doubling down, with a column in the Guardian criticising Jezza's leadership as "shoddy and unprofessional". 

The former Deputy Mayor of Lewisham writes:

I hated being a member of Jeremy’s shadow cabinet – because it was entirely dysfunctional.

It wasn’t good enough for Corbyn to routinely defer to his shadow chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision

It wasn’t good enough for the leader to routinely defer to his shadow chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision – a shadow chancellor who on three separate occasions undermined my efforts to agree collective positions on health matters. 

It wasn’t good enough for the leader to say one thing to me, only for his political secretary to phone a day later and say: “He may have said that, but I know what he really thinks.” 

It wasn’t good enough for the leader to read his position from a typed up script at shadow cabinet meetings discussing the prospect of military action against Isis in Syria or the EU referendum. 

And it wasn’t good enough that whenever he appeared on TV, his description of a process, or his analysis of a problem, ended in confusion or despair on the party’s position – article 50, counterterrorism, “7.5 out of 10” on Brexit.

You can read the full charge sheet in her article here

Owen Smith's strategy, which this attack is part of, has been to promise to be as left-wing as Corbyn, with but without all the accompanying uselessness. That seems to me to be a strategy doomed to fail.

Firstly, because his chest thumping love of socialism seems deeply inauthentic (and he got caught out by suggesting he might get ISIS round the negotiating table, only to find that was one position Corbyn was happy to take a more moderate line on).

And secondly, because no-one voting Corbyn really wants effective leadership. That all sounds a bit right wing and Tony Bliar to a Corbynite. You establishment types can keep your "organisational effectiveness" for your establishment types, a movement doesn't need effectiveness, it will carry all before it in a tide of virtue.

The problem with London guilt - why metropolitan hand-wringing about the state of the nation make matters worse

I now have a place on Medium, where I post most of my non-Brockley-related writing, to spare you all. However, since my latest article is about London and a phenomenon I think Brockley suffers from, I thought I would post it here too:

Not the problem the nation faces - Londoners hanging out, self-actualising
“They lined up all the toffs and boffins, the chief executives, tycoons and clever-clogs in the (south of the) land, and asked the nation to pat them on the back. The invitation to a punch in the face was too good to miss.”
- Simon Jenkins

Like many Londoners, I suffer from Londoner’s guilt.

I’ll smile, tight-lipped, when some out-of-towner declares London a disgusting hole. I’ll politely change the conversation when someone tries to tell me that bringing up my children in the capital is tantamount to child abuse. I’ll be overly generous about the virtues of Liverpool’s nightlife or Birmingham’s civic buildings. I will be quick to offer a defence of any provincial dive on the basis of how lovely the nearby countryside is. I support the desire to ‘rebalance’ the economy and tut mournfully about how out of touch the metropolitan elite is with the plight of those in other parts of the country.

I do all of that because I know how lucky I am to live in London and there’s no need to rub it in to anyone who doesn’t.

But the Brexit vote has shown that this is a bad strategy. Londoners’ guilt was a luxury we thought we could afford because we were living through a golden age, but it was storing up problems.

The Leave win wasn’t just a vote to choke immigration, it was an act of nihilism. Voters chose to harm London — to cut down a Gherkin-sized poppy.

It is time Londoners’ stop accepting the blame for every problem the UK faces. London’s ascent is the inevitable result of two long-term economic forces that none of us is responsible for.

The first is agglomeration economics.

Growth is increasingly driven by the convergence of different industries and technologies — and the transfer of knowledge between them. Cities create a network effect, producing serendipitous encounters and making collaboration and exchange much easier. As cities grow, the network effect becomes more powerful.

Elite athletes benefit from training alongside each other, learning from each other and raising the bar each day. So too, companies improve from working side by side. Large cities find it easier to sustain centres of excellence than smaller ones. The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ strategy was based on this phenomenon. The sum of Manchester’s growing clusters of excellence in industries like the media, materials science and sport will be greater than its parts.

Big cities also create a larger potential market for investors and entrepreneurs — they are typically the first places to attract new services and usually the only places that can support major attractions. For example, a restaurant like Bluebird on the Kings Road needs to serve around 100,000 covers a year— which makes it hard for anywhere outside London to support more than a handful of places like this. But business tends to congregate where there are fancy restaurants, hotels and a plethora of support facilities and specialist services.

The second is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

At a recent conference on Sustainable Cities, Director of Global Research for JLL, Rosemary Feenan, argued that as we have become richer, the role that cities play in our lives has fundamentally changed in-line with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

When we were poor, cities were primarily places to look after our basic physiological needs — we fled the countryside in search of the higher incomes offered by industry. A small town could do that job pretty well. As we became richer, we created cities that offered us a sense of belonging, giving birth to an explosion of clubs and civic institutions. But larger towns were typically needed to sustain these.

Today, in an age of relative abundance, we are increasingly driven by the desire for self-actualisation. To be all that we can be. Spending on ‘experiences’ is rising much faster than spending on ‘stuff’.

It is the great cities that offer the richest opportunities to be, to do and to meet — to become. And people are willing to trade square footage for unique and wonderful moments. Not all people of course, but typically the most ambitious, creative and adventurous ones.

Look at them all. Go to Hyde Park or Brick Lane on a sunny day. Get up at 6am and go for a run on the South Bank. Stay out after midnight in Hoxton. The city is teeming with beautiful, talented people doing stuff all the time. Now take a train from Kings Cross (where you’ll trip over people from Google or St Martins making things and making money) to almost any provincial town or city you can think of — the difference is stark. There are fine places. Ever so clean. If you are lucky, in the middle of the day, outside the main train stations of even our biggest cities, there might be a couple of pensioners waiting for a bus. And that’s your lot. Durham is nice, but the opportunities to self-actualise are minimal.

This urge to become (turbo-charged by Instagram and Twitter, which award social cache to those with the most overtly fabulous lives) means that talent will increasingly cluster in the biggest world cities. As Michael Bloomberg observed, the best and brightest want to be where the action is...

For the rest of the article (yes, there's more!), click here.

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