As I live in Stokie, I'm well used to seeing copies of "N16" magazine lying around in local restaurants and art galleries.
Although it's not really my sort of thing, N16 publishes the sort of articles that you would expect of a local free journal - what's on in Stokie, music events, local restaurants, shopping, voluntary activities, etc.
So when a friend passed me a copy of the recently-launched "Easteight" magazine, I eagerly anticipated seeing the same sort of thing emerging at last in nearby Dalston E8.
What a shock! Looking glossy and attractive, with plenty of that white space that "The Guardian" used to win awards for, Easteight could easily pass for a local property agent's brochure.
Indeed, I presume the title is a play on the post code E8 and the word "estate".
The first clue to something being a bit wrong came when I glanced at the contents at the foot of the cover and read: "Why is Hackney Council so awful?"
Inside, things went from bad to worse. An article about some chap called Spirit, who seems to think that he has a God-given right to continue selling Caribbean produce from a shop in Broadway Market, when the property development company to whom Hackney Council sold the freehold wants to convert the food shop into something useful such as a high-priced modern art establishment with luxury flats above.
There was the article about Hackney Council, playing up the Channel 4 TV designation of our wonderful Hackney as "the worst borough in the country". I mean, how many times does this piece of nastiness need to be repeated? I still think last year's winner Hull (no overall control) is worse than Labour-run Hackney - and they've got Prezza as one of their MPs.
Worse was to come. In the middle was a 4-page special pullout section on the Dalston developments, putting an entirely one-sided case for preservation of the Dalston Theatre and Four Aces Club which Hackney Council wants to knock down so we can build 19-storey tower blocks full of luxury flats and improve the environment of Dalston by clearing the area of poor people and other assorted undesirables.
The rag is finished off with a piece by Mildred Lambshanks, former Old Labour Hackney Mayor and general wrinkly old tortoise "speaking up for those left behind", adverts for communist singer Billy Bragg's local "anti-fascist campaign", Trotskyist Dario Fo's "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" and a local protest meeting against Council policies.
Bloody hell. I simply cannot understand what drives people to publish this sort of thing.
Clearly this is the work of a very twisted individual who needs to be referred for psychiatric help. Indeed, if we had any functioning psychiatric services in this borough I would refer them.
I've scoured the magazine for a clue as to who is publishing it. The website lists the editor's address as 39 Bocking Street, E8 3GL. I'm getting much better at this internet research business these days, so I put the address into Google, with the following top two results:
- creative juices®
creative juices ltd, 39 bocking street, london e8 3gl - 07778 059 290 registered in the uk - 3231472. Your telephones. Inadequate or difficult to maintain ...
www.creju.com/ - 11k - Cached - Similar pages
Register of Members financial and other interests
File Format: Microsoft Word - View as HTML
39 Bocking Street. London. E8 3GL. 2. The name of the person who employs or has appointed you, the name of any firm in which you are a partner, ...
www.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/reports/yc_Cllrs_ViewDec.asp?MemberID=70 - Similar pages
The former entry sounded interesting enough - perhaps one of those people who squeeze oranges and sell the extract to the yuppies in Broadway Market each Saturday for extortionate prices.
The second entry proved more revealing. Try it yourself. It's the Hackney Council Register of Members' Interests.
I can't bring myself to print the name. It's sickening that this anti-Council, left-wing, rabble-rousing nonsense should be emanating from someone who put themselves forward as a prospective Mayor of Hackney!
The agitator is an enigmatic character rarely seen in public so I can't print a photograph. For an artist's impression, see right.
It's a good job that Julian gave him a good thumping at the polls. Otherwise this sicko who obviously has journalistic ambitions way above his station could be editor of "Hackney Toady" by now. And where would that have led?