Threat to National Psyche: How London Reacts

The author Will Self suggests this idea of “the threat to national psyche”, talking about what happened in the City Hall of London where campaigners gathered to protest against privatisation of public spaces not only in London but throughout UK.


Will Self focused his attention on this first public reaction and analyzes the consequences. The fact that public spaces in Britain’s cities fall into private hands was having a deleterious impact on the capital’s citizens. It is impossible to forget the psychological dimension : what can you do in that place or how much time you want spend in that place, everything seems to disappear – it needs to be stopped.Will Self is one of the first voice of this opposing campaign, he tries to preserve UK cities for their residents.Protesters on Saturday cited London’s Canary Wharf, Olympic Park and the Broadgate development in the City as public places now governed by the rules of the corporations that own them.

Currently there are a lot of private spaces in Britain for example Birmingham’s Brindleyplace, an important canalside development. In Exeter, there is Princesshay, described as a “shopping destination featuring over 60 shops set in a series of interconnecting open streets and squares”.

The property group Land Securities along with the monarch’s property portfolio, the Crown Estate owned this spaces. In particular, Land Securities owns a large waterside complex of restaurants, shops and bar in Portsmouth.

And what about Garden Bridge,a breathtaking new public garden that will stretch across the River Thames? The Garden Bridge will offer a new kind of green space in the heart of the city, cementing London’s status as the greenest capital in Europe. Self’s position is clear enough : “ it could be great – it will be shit.” Lots of daily actions will be not allowed by corporate restrictions, such as playing musical instruments, making a speech, releasing balloons and many other pursuits.

The choice of location is not accidental: on a patch of grass near City Hall on the banks of the Thames; it gives visitors the illusion of being a public space but is in fact controlled by private security, with its own set of regulations.The challenge of this opposing campaign is to resist cause day bay day, residents have been deprived of the capacity to make free choices of their own, looking at the architecture the change is evident.

Sian Berry, Green party candidate for mayor of London, wards citizens’s requests saying that her modification of the London Plan,would prevent controversial projects such as the Garden Bridge excluding the public at the request of its owners and also provides to introduce rules to ensure that new publicly accessible spaces in the capital were governed by the law of the land.


In Inghilterra ma a Londra in particolare si avverte il senso di smarrimento provato dai cittadini, i cui beni comuni progressivamente finiscono nelle mani delle società private.

“Quello che la gente non capisce è che influisce sulla stessa psichicamente. Ti costringe nel modo di pensare a cosa si può fare in uno spazio, e costringe la vostra immaginazione. E ‘come una condensazione di tempo e denaro e di spazio – ha bisogno di essere resistito”. Solo difendendo questi spazi difendiamo noi stessi.