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Who profits and how
Stuart Hodkinson

6 Follow the money: who profits and how So far, this book has presented compelling new evidence that the promised land of housing regeneration from the outsourcing of repairs and management to private consortia in England under PFI has instead produced a dystopia of unsafe housing and destroyed lives. The countless examples of rising procurement costs and delays, botched work and poor services, and the accountability vacuum facing residents, have debunked PFI’s magic mantra of ‘risk transfer’, ‘payment by results’ and ‘value for money’. But, as I argued in

in Safe as houses
Regeneration meets the Private Finance Initiative
Stuart Hodkinson

as part of the wider corporate takeover and financialisation of public services outlined in chapter 1. The second section unpacks official claims that the inflated cost to the public purse of using private finance over direct government borrowing is justified by the superior ‘value for money’ delivered through PFI’s ‘risk transfer’ and ‘payment by results’ model. I show that such claims amount to an accounting trick that exaggerates public sector inefficiency and private sector risk-taking while ignoring the greater social costs of using PFI. The third section

in Safe as houses
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Steve Hanson

, viewed from this perspective, looks like an alibi. What Marx did was to explore how money becomes ‘more money’ via the exploitation of labour. This exploitation couldn’t be achieved without the abstractions inherent to exchange 84 Movement mechanisms. The point at which workers have reproduced their own upkeep, and the outlay of the capitalist, and are now working for free, tipping ‘surplus’ into the capitalist’s hoard, couldn’t be concealed if the worker were paid the exact, correct amount for her or his work, on the hour, every hour. The exploitation of the

in Manchester
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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.

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Peter Kalu

Manchester: Something rich and strange Car wash – Peter Kalu I drive in softly … and am semaphored to the outer concrete lip of the old petrol station hangar by a gaunt, rough-bearded, midtwenties bloke with a huge smile and an excessively nodding, wellcoiffed head. The hand signal for stop. I drop my window and ask for the five pounds basic wash. He nods, refuses money. I get that double-palm stop sign again. Another car has come in behind me; he returns, bending the fingers of both hands to come hither, come hither, come hither, now stop again. The thumbs up

in Manchester
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Peter Kalu

coins into the money slot, when the metal coin box snub flicked back to release those coins and enrich George Best, instead of falling, my money just hung there on the sellotape and I got to pull it out and spend it on Chewits instead. As sweet as stolen pears. Occasionally, as a lonely student in Edinburgh I visited a municipal laundrette with a bundle of clothes, simply for the company I’d find. They are places where civility – across languages, age groups, cultures, dress styles and different degrees of sobriety – takes place. Where the art of being a citizen can

in Manchester
Open Access (free)
The bridge, the fund and insurance in Dar es Salaam
Irmelin Joelsson

It was spring 2016. Mzunguko wa pesa umekatika , ‘money's stopped circulating’, was an expression on everybody's lips. It put the current hardship of life in Dar es Salaam into words and, reiterated in daily conversations, it took the form of a contemporary proverb. Cash flow was low. Maisha magumu , ‘life's hard’. The austerity narrative had many expressions. Informal greetings would be met with a shrug and a casual tunapambana na hali hii , ‘we're struggling with this situation’. After all, life went on but vyuma vimekaza , ‘it's tight

in African cities and collaborative futures
Marcos P. Dias

uncontrolled manner or in a calm and pragmatic way by following the (non-existent) heist plan (Blast Theory, 2011a ). This is followed by the staged betrayal of one partner by the other after a prompt from the narrative, which left many participants confused as to what exactly was happening. Finally, emotional styles are present when the narrative prompts the participants to redeem themselves from any feelings of guilt triggered by the botched bank heist, ending with the prompt to give money to a stranger (as a symbolic gesture of redemption). The third main theme of A

in The machinic city