Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Summer Edition Takes Out BID

Dearest Hampster,
The new front cover of the magazine is such a closely guarded secret that we won't be publishing it online until publication day. So here's the contents page of the summer edition which will feature a jaw-dropper of a story on the incredible extortion racket that is the Hampstead Village Business Improvement District Ltd.
I've no problem calling it an extortion racket, because that's exactly what it is. And any lawyer who wants to make a case out of that had better look the up word extortion in a dictionary before sending any nasty letters.
Legal or not, we always new the BID was dodgy, and now we've seen it's income and expenditure for 2018/19 and its projected books for 2019/20 we can report exactly how dodgy. And the answer is very dodgy indeed. 
The new Hampstead Village Voice will be out on the 1st of June 2019 and it pulls no punches.

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein,
Editor in law suit (with dictionary).

Thursday, 21 March 2019


by Emmanuel ‘Mustafa’ Goldstein 

On the 14th of March, just three days before the recent Camden/BID v James McGrath court hearing, Camden Council closed down Mr. McGrath’s pub, the King William IV, after a surprise health inspection. The council’s reason? Alleged Mice.
   Locals have confirmed that they've never once seen a mouse there and we concur.
   The timing of the closure – just two weeks after a story broke in the Hampstead Village Voice revealing the council offered the pub a £5k rates credit – £2k of which was to be ‘offset’ against a BID bill in order to vacate the court hearing was, to say the least, curious.
    It was to be a big weekend for the pub. The Six Nations, Cheltenham and, crucially for an 80-year-old Irish landlord, St. Patrick’s Day, all fell immediately after the Council’s enforced closure.
   Is it beyond the realm of possibility someone with a vested interest - pardon the pun - might have ratted to the council about these alleged mice?
   In any case, the pub has been thoroughly sanitised and reopens on Friday 22/03/19 after an enforced 8 day closure. And the Hampstead Village Voice says: Jimmy’s a local hero for fighting off these BID sheisters and standing up to the council.

If you’d like to read the full report and help support the Hampstead Village Voice, please feel free to join www.patreon.com/hampstead from only £2 a month.


11/10/18: Camden | BID v King William Highbury Magistrates, first hearing: adjourned.   
17/11/18: Camden | BID v King William Highbury Magistrates, second hearing: adjourned.
05/02/19: Camden writes to King William IV offering pay pub £5k ‘rates credit’ and offset £2k to pay the BID and vacate court hearing.
06/02/19: King William IV’s counsel writes to Camden declining its generous offer.
01/03/19: Hampstead Village Voice breaks story on Camden’s attempt to pay rates credit and vacate court hearing.
14/03/19: Camden inspectors close the King William IV due to alleged ‘mouse infestation’.
17/03/19: Camden Council | BID v King William IV court hearing takes place. Adjourned.
21/03/19: King William IV reopens after an enforced 8 day closure.
29/04/19: New date for court hearing. 10am. Highbury Magistrates’ Court.
Emmanuel ‘Mustafa’ Goldstein

Tuesday, 19 March 2019


This is the third occasion on which 80-year-old Jimmy McGrath, landlord of the King William IV has been dragged to Highbury Magistrates’ court and it won’t be the last.
   He refuses to pay Hampstead Village BID Ltd's 'levy' on principle and is being seen by many businesses as a local hero - a martyr to the cause. He's certainly taking one for the team.
   But the reason he might well win this case isn’t because the BID extorts money from the 70% of Hampstead businesses, schools and charities who didn’t vote for it; nor that Camden Council acts as debt enforcer for the private limited company – nor even that several businesses have complained of being repeatedly coerced and harassed by the BID’s unapologetic management.
    These certainly are just some of the reasons he and an increasing number of 'hereditaments' – as the BID likes to call them – do not wish to pay it, and why on Monday the 17th of March 2019, he told the court: “I’d rather go to jail than pay the BID”.
   District Judge Julia Newton couldn’t quite believe her ears: ‘I’m sorry Mr. McGrath, I couldn’t quite hear what you said. Could you please repeat it?’ Mr. McGrath did so unashamedly. “I’d rather go to jail than pay the BID.” It was quite a moment.
   More eyebrows were raised too when, after nearly an hour of cross-examination, and already having read various documents, Camden’s tax officer, Charles Quick, admitted he couldn’t read the date on a document in front of him because he’d forgotten to bring his glasses. 
   But Mr. Griffiths was more interested in Camden's three-man legal team forgetting to bring along a crucial piece of evidence than their spectacles. The document in question? A legally binding information ‘insert’ sent out with all 241 BID invoices.
   Before long the QC was to reveal, what might well be, the killer blow for Hampstead Village BID Ltd...

If you’d like to read the rest of the report and help support the Hampstead Village Voice, please feel free to join www.patreon.com/hampstead from only £2 a month.

Sorry darlings, no more Mr. Nice Guy. Writers have bills too!

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein
Editor in public gallery.

Thursday, 21 February 2019


Well, we can't always get it right.
Both the printed front page and cover story became something of an 'historical document' before they even reached the shops – and this only a day after I proudly told Robert Elms on BBC London Radio: "we have an advantage over the Ham & High and Camden New Journal because we're quarterly so can take our time over getting story's right..." Well that backfired a bit, didn't it. D'uH!
   What you see above is up-dated online version of the Springo edition's front cover - below the updated cover story. This unavoidable mishap all happened due to Camden and TfL changing their minds on the zebra's fate after we'd gone to press. And, despite repeated requests the previous week, they neglected to tell us about it. 
   In any case, the zebra is saved and the printed version has become a 'must have historical document' before it even hits the shelves. Nonetheless, the whole point being to save the zebra and, having campaigned so hard to do so, the Hampstead Village Voice is more than happy to take this one for the team!

Long live the zebra! Down with the Toucan! Pelican? Traffic lights? Whateva!

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.
Editor in Abbey Road.

Below: the updated on line story. For the 'must have historical document' go to your local newsagent on the 28th of February 2019.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Editor Gets Scrunched by BID Chairman.

The Autumn Edition 2018

Albeit the autumn issue focusses mainly on rubbish of the Veolese variety, there are also two exceptionally feisty reports on the Hampstead Village BID Ltd which, were you to ask local businesses what they thought of it, they'd almost certainly answer 'Rubbish!' 
   Well, at least 70% would. We know this because a) despite grandiose claims from Camden Cllr. Richard Olszewski in the Ham&Eggs that "a majority of businesses" voted for the thing, in reality only 30% of the eligible 243 businesses actually did and b) we conducted a poll of 100 businesses which resulted in over 75% being vehemently against the thing. And when I say vehemently, I mean as in Gauls versus Romans. So we can't wait for the next ballot now everyone knows what it does... or rather doesn't do.
   You see, the main story in the current edition is about how a) the BID's chairman violently scrunched this magazine's editor's hand and phone in Back Lane last June and b) the whole BID thing is an utterly pointless exercise. Unless of course you're the BID's CEO who receives a stipend of up to £40k a year. What the chairman gets out of it other than getting to physically abuse local rag editors or going down in everyone's estimation is anyone's guess. Read on...
Toodle Pip! 
Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.
Editor (bruised).

The follow up story, which is almost certainly twice as good, is in the Hampstead Village Voice, at newsagents and splendid bookshops now for £2.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Awfully Sorry. Forgot All About This Blog.

The Summer Edition is still in the shops...

Howdy Hampsters,

Sorry! I actually forgot all about this blog thing and so neglected to report on arguably our best ever edition of the Hampstead Village Voice, still in newsagents now. 
   What with my band Ridiculous playing its debut gig at the Dublin Castle in June, the completion of my book The Joy of Addiction in July and all the legwork that accompanies said projects – not to mention getting the summer edition out – the blog has slipped down the old priority list somewhat.
   And there was that Giles Coren purple patch in which your man got Rupert Murdoch to pay for our dinners at Café Hampstead and we both gleefully reviewed the restaurant. Giles in the The Times and moi in the Hampstead Village Voice. Happily, I also coaxed the Coren into writing the Forward to my book. Now all I need is a literary agent and a publisher. S'ppose I'll have to make some sort of effort to go and get one.
  Equally happily, Mr. Coren sang the praises of your favourite local satirical rag in his piece so, seeing as it's raining, I'll stick a scanned version up here for the weekend in case you missed it. 
   He called my piece a "jolly read" and as usual his is too.

Viva Hampstonia and toodle Pip!

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.
Ed/singer/author/tea person.

Gilesy baby does a little Hampy Voice service and writes a jolly piece.
Zoom in to read...

Note to Rupert Murdoch: to sue for copyright infringement, please send a postcard to: 
Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein, 
1 London Bridge Place London SE1 9GF. 

Monday, 26 February 2018

The Spring Edition Takes No Prisoners

The spring edition has a real humdinger of a cover story that exposes the Hampstead Village BID Ltd for forcing a much loved, state-funded institution into paying its gratuitous levy. Worse still, the BID forces the council to force this state funded institution into paying it. The Spy calls for an end to this nonsense and a change to the legislation that allows it.
   Yet more of a coup, we welcome broadcaster, former MP and top writer Martin Bell as a regular columnist and he'll be sharing with us his most original View From The Burb. 
   And there's a rather special interview with song writing legend Ken Howard who penned songs for Elvis, wrote a BBC play about John Lennon and, rather handilly, lives downstairs from Hampstead Village Voice editor Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein. 
   We've top stories from renowned writers Red Szell and Charles Harris and there's the latest goss on Ye Old White Bear, Burgh House, The Ladies' Pond and Hampstead's splendid new jazz venue, Hampstead Lounge & Jazz Club.
   Mr. Goldstein indulges in a new column called Corporate Watchdog in which he exposes the deserving household names of corporate Britain with an iron fist: AA Home Insurance? You're Better Off With The Burglars pretty much does what it says on the packet.
   With Klaus von Kunst rounding up the Arts scene, Carla Le Pond Antoinette deciphering transgender politik and the Ministry of Silly Names on page something or other... it's the issue that will have you wrapped in an enigma in a riddle in a mystery.
Viva Hampstonia and Toodle pip!
Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Ghastly Hampstead Cosa Nostra?

Click on the story below and zoom in to read it.

I don't usually publish articles in the current edition of the Hampstead Village Voice online. After all, our struggling local newsagents need to make enough dosh to meet their bills. What they don't need is a sordid little mafia bullying them, breathing down their necks and forcing them to pay up wads of money when they don't want to. This is exactly what a company called Hampstead Village BID Ltd is doing. Worse still, this private limited company has somehow managed to use Camden's electoral system to win a rather dubious ballot, then recruit Scamden Council to act as its summons-wielding debt collector. It's all quite unspeakable. 
   There's also another story about all this in the FINANCIAL CRIMES section of the Autumn edition, but you'll have to go to a newsagent and spend a whole £2.50 to read it. Yet, unlike the BID Ltd, we are not forcing you to part with your money against your will. Read on and share so that businesses and general public alike might be made aware of this thoroughly despicable practice.

Toodle Pip and do we not like bullies!

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.
Editor in hot pants.
PS. If you own a Hampstead business, have fallen victim to this reprehensible little mafia and want to be rid of it, you can email: goodbyebid@outlook.com where a band of like-minded businesses are getting together to fight it off.

Monday, 15 May 2017


By Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.

Pollution is the issue of the day, so pages 1 and 7 address it. I've actually taken to escaping London at every opportunity because coughing my lungs out is not what I signed up to when I was accidentally born in Islington then moved to Well Walk, aged one. Having been demoted to Arkwright Rd, the epicentre of that ridiculous school-run, well, it's positively Chokestead around here.
Ah, the Joy of Gridlock! Even the Heath seems to be overrun with parky-tractor-traffic these days. And if we can't even go on the Heath without a diesel exhaust in our faces then, yes, society has completely lost the plot. 
It's one reason I'm encouraging people to vote for Tulip Siddiq (Lab) in this last-minute General Election: her opponent, Claire-Louise Leyland (Con) foolishly voted in favour of the Heath Dams and, in-so-doing, has placed herself firmly in that room, for which there is no key - because surely all true Heath loving Hampsteadites will have chucked it into the Ladies' Pond.

Talking of the Ladies Pond, one of its regulars Karla Le Pond Antoinette will be joining me on this blog from this day forth. Indeed, all being well, she'll probably completely colonise it. We need doers in this movement (Brian) and let's be honest, I've been neglecting my blogging duties of late. You may know Madame Antoinette from our Pond Life page and it cannot be a bad thing to have a little more feminine energy flowing through the Hampstead Village Voice's veins. 

The new edition is in the shops and, befitting it's 10 year anniversary status, it's bigger and better than ever. But oh no! It now costs £2.50... then again, surely we're allowed to put the price up every ten years.

Viva Hampstonia and Toodle Pip!

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein,
Editor voting for Tulip Siddiq.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017


So much for sensible EU directives

Dearest Hampsters,

If you can see this post through the London pollution then, may I ask, why isn't the Mayor of London doing what they do in Paris and order private citizens to stay out of their cars for a day? And why does the British government not apply EU directive 2008/50 which halts all major construction whilst air pollution is at a very dangerous level? 
   I'll tell you why. Because this country's full of selfish, ignorant, money-grubbing arseholes who put their comfort and industry before the breathing of fresh air, that's why.
   "Children's lungs? Fuck 'em! We've got cash to make and huge SUVs to ponce about in!" 
   We may as well all be living in Trump's Brave New World... Oh shit, we are.

The good news is that the new Hampstead Village Voice is here to save our Hampstead spirits from the filth and corruption of Big Brother Trump and his new Airstrip One poodle Theresa Maybe.
   If it's not too passé by then, we'll get Ken Pyne to sharpen his 'poodle bashing pencil' and furnish our new political correspondent Helmut 'Schmidty' Schmidt with a cartoon for the Spring edition, which will be out in May, Theresa.
   That's if a Trident missile hasn't accidentally bombed Florida and caused all out war between Britain and the United States. Oh wouldn't that be a laugh! Imagine it: our armed forces accidentally bombing the USA. 
   As Mr. Withnail once famously yelped from the front seat of an old Jag, "Go and get your new Hampstead Village Voice now darlings... you haven't got a chance!"


Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.
Enemy of Big Brother.

Thursday, 12 January 2017


HURRAH! The Winter Edition (HVV29) of the Hampstead Village Voice has, after much toil, flu and caffeine, been sent to the printers. Here's its intestines.... It should be out before the 1st of Feb 2017 if Trump's 'TOTALLY BIGLY DÉJÀ VU' (page 34) hasn't nuked us all by then.


Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein,

Enemy of Big Brother - more than ever!

Saturday, 16 January 2016


The Winter 2016 Edition

Not content with spreading the gospel of the Hampstonian People's Un-popular Front to the exotic lands of Belsize Parkistan, Golders Green Already, Whampers and Al Highquaida, the Hampstead Village Voice is now available in, of all places, St. John's Wood A.K.A. The Wood of Singeon: the news-stand outside St. John's Wood tube station and the legendary Peirera News at 35 St. John's Wood High Street, to be precise.
   Yes even the hearts and minds of The Wood are now to be conquered and the Hampstonian People's Un-popular Front will not rest until Big Brother's evil empire is quashed forever and Hampstonia can again be happy, joyous and free as it was during the Cold War. Oh, how we miss the cold war... You knew where you were back then. Duck and Cover and Mutually Assured Destruction all day long. Ay, them were't days!

Viva Hampstonia!

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein.
Enemy of Big Brother.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


We've managed to get edition 24 of the Hampstead Village Voice off to the printers. No small feat, I can tell you. The cover of the this autumn's edition features Hampsteadites, Jon Moss (Culture Club) and Robert Powell (actor of numerous roles, not least Jesus of Nasarath) protesting against the ridiculous and un-called for 'parkification' of the Vale of Health on Hampstead Heath: the result of a most dubious dam building project on three [alleged] 'reservoirs' and eight, very small, ornamental ponds. We've seriously ripped into those responsible ie. the Government (DEFRA), City of London Corporation, The High Courts, Camden Council and the Atkins/AECOM consortium in this edition. The truth will out and, as the old saying goes, let's publish and be DAMMED!

There's also mention of the City of London Corporation's (CityCorp) new attempt to commercialise the Heath, namely its new Open Spaces Bill. We're going to have to look into this because, according to the CityCorp's website, this will result in "residential, commercial and other use" of park-keepers' lodges, toilets and other existing Heath buildings. And we can't have that! It's The Heath not a park and if CityCorp can't be trusted to look after it properly, they'd better sod off and hand it over to someone who can. 

Meanwhile, having been a great help in raising awareness of the scandalous events surrounding the tenure of the dam project by civil engineering firm Atkins, our friends over at the Ham&High (as Jeremy Corbyn might put it) have now managed to cut our 6,000 strong petition to Tulip Siddiq MP and Elizabeth Truss in half. This they have achieved by mounting posters everywhere announcing only 3,000 Heath Lovers signed the petition. D'uH! So much for accurate reporting. If they had to get it so very wrong, couldn't they at least have printed 9,000?

Viva Hampstonia and Toodle Pip!

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein

Saturday, 15 August 2015


The Vale of Health: muddy and that's how we like it. Its a Heath not a park.

Too little too late? Possibly. But all the earlier campaigns having been ignored by the authorities, to do nothing now would be worse than the City of London Corporation, Camden Council and a High Court Judge allowing themselves to be hoodwinked by Atkins/AECOM, the consortium that stands to benefit from the dams' construction. 
    According to sources, Atkins is on 15% of the total bill that has recently risen from £17m to £23m. Meanwhile, its strategic partner, AECOM, landed the job of 'independent' advisor to Camden Council landing itself £18k for a 37 page report. A tidy sum considering it misled the authorities, public and press into thinking it was 'independent'. How could it be independent if it formed a consortium with the dams' designers and sales people, Atkins, in 2012? A 'three year strategic partnership' is what it says on an Atkins press release. And the result, exactly 3 years later - a huge contract to destroy the Heath.
    It makes my blood boil that, of all things, Hampstead Heath has fallen pray to these vultures. Companies that have instilled fear of flooding from some fictional storm as a ruse in order to, as director of Atkins, Andrew Hughes, put it, 'put Atkins back into the first division of dam builders'.
   Can we save the Vale of Health and, by the way, deny Atkins and Bam Nutall (the contractors) any payment for a job that simply doesn't need to be done? Can we hold to account the incompetence of Camden Council which failed to properly vet its 'independent' advisors? And can we force action against AECOM for misleading 10 elected councillors into believing they were receiving impartial, independent advice?
   If Elizabeth Truss, the Environment Secretary and, for that matter, Tulip Siddiq MP, pull their fingers out and convince parliament to overrule this miscarraige of justice - both at High Court and Camden hearing level, maybe we can.

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein,
Editor, Hampstead Village Voice.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Run for the hills everybody - the Blue Meanies have taken over Airstrip One and most of Hampstonia too... Nothing's sacred when it comes to power, greed and making loads'a'money in what feels like 1980s Tory Britain all over again. Even Thatcher didn't dig up the Heath. 
    The Labour Party's in tatters and Ultra-capitalism's firmly in control of the Old Stead. Oh woe is me... Where's Michael Foot when you need him?


So what's Hampstead really about these days? 
Hampstead Heath? = £23M contract for dam builders, Atkins/Aecom.
Hampstead Homes? = £3M - £100M.
Hampstead's Saucepans? £499 at the new kitchen shop on the corner of Willoughby Road. No I'm not fucking joking. There's even a bread knife on sale there for £279.

It's all over for us mere paupers - even the criminals have nowhere to go: Hampstead Police Station? An empty shell of a building until someone comes up with £XBillion squid. It' millionaires only around here.

But at least there's the Hampstead Village Voice available while shops last for only £1 from Monday 20th of July 2015.

Hurrah! Viva Hampstonia, land of the increasingly less free!

Toodle Pip!

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein x
Editor in debtor's prison.

Saturday, 7 February 2015


Scamden Front, January, 2015. 

Hampstonian forces successfully invaded the USSR (Union of Soviet Scamden Republics) this week with a tactical 'hearts and minds' offensive entrenching the Hampstead Village Voice into various Scamdenite outlets. Our brave forces have also seized control of Highgate's Ministry of Propaganda AKA. Brooksby the Newsagents, 70 Highgate High St. which is believed to be, not in Scamden, but in Haringey - a nation where one can still park for free.
    In a sweeping and lethal pincer movement involving both General Simon 'The Space Correspondent' and Wing Commander Dave 'The Beard', Hampstonia's latest manoeuvre has struck love deep into enemy territory and the USSR can now consider itself 'liberated.'
    Golders Green too has been freed from ignorance as has Mill Lane in deepest Barnet... or is it Brent? Well, either way it's in the former Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead so go and buy a copy and show your defiance to Big Brother and his evil,  corrupt Airstrip One stooges.

Viva Hampstonia!

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


The HVV doesn't mock religious prophets, just Tesco's profits.

When it comes to religion, the Hampstead Village Voice respects, rather than mocks or ridicules. The murders are unforgivable and as a fellow satirist I feel gutted for those who died and their families and the murderers, for that is what they are, must be found and brought to justice. 
    Yet freedom of speech ceases to be legitimate when one knowingly offends people's religions, races and cultures. Charlie H crossed that line. So, no. I'm not really "Charlie." 
    I respect all religions as I do a free press. But I wouldn't mock Islam, Judaism, Christianity or any other religion. It's just disrespectful. The Hampstead Village Voice saves its ridicule for Tesco's profits, not religious prophets. Viva Hampstonia! All You Need Is Love. 

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein.

Friday, 28 November 2014


Oh no! High Court Judge decides in favour of dams on the Heath. Is the Heath, to become a blasted building site for years? It's just un-fucking-thinkable! What fuck-wit of a judge would allow such a thing? Who are these utter cunts coming into Hampstead and fucking destroying it? Livid is too short a word. The world has gone mad. The last sacred thing left in Hampstead and they're going to fuck it up. I hope the ponds swallow up their fucking bulldozers and drown them! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30251356

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein.

Infamy, Infamy... They've All Got It In For Me!

We all need a little love. Even Traffic Wardens and editors of local satirical magazines. But, as Hymen Roth once said to Michael Corleone, "it's the business we're in."
I've experienced a spot of cut'n'thrust over the last 24 hours. Firstly, a Camden New Journalist was overly offended that I tweeted about his somewhat fantastic story claiming Arsenal could still come third in Group D, then some busy-body woman accosting me in Ellerdale Rd because I took a picture of some heavily trimmed trees, followed up by a string of rather rude and obnoxious emails from a fellow calling Hampstead Village Voice stories,'ignorant and unfounded,' yet refusing to say which stories.
Is it me or are the citizens of old Blighty getting a bit stressed out? Bitter and twisted, even? Please don't write in and say, 'it's you!' I might just have to run off to that hammock in the sun. 

If I don't, the next Hampstead Village Voice will be out on Thursday 15th of January 2015.


E. M. Goldstein.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Andrews of Hampstead Sold to...

The first cover of the Hampstead Village Voice featured Andrews of Hampstead

From its website and having spoken to a rather pleasant, American spokeswoman, the new owners of Andrews of Hampstead, Lords of Notting Hill, looks more of a homeware than hardware store. Not a bad thing in itself, but we can expect it to be a rather high end version of a John Lewis-cum-Robert Dyas.    

Lighting, vacuum cleaners and espresso machines rather than nails and screw drivers will be the order of the day. Yet there may be a DIY section with paint, locks and other twiddly bits if the website's anything to go by.

What's In A Name?

The bad news is, the company plans to call the shop, Lords of Notting Hill. Naturally Hampsteadites will not be too thrilled about that. 
Being Hampstead's answer to John Mcenroe, the words, "you cannot be serious!" were the first to leave my lips.
After all, this is Hampstead and calling a shop Such and Such of Somewhere Else is hardly paying tribute to what's left of the old Stead.
Although we, the people of the Unpopular People's Front of Hampstonia are an understanding lot, we'd still respectfully ask Lords of Notting Hill to reconsider this somewhat ill-placed name change. Why not just Lords or Lords Homeware or even Lords Formerly of Notting Hill But Now Very Much of Hampstead (Ed. A bit of a mouthful that last idea).
Regular readers of the Hampstead Village Voice will be aware that Hampstead's identity is being unceremoneously eroded by various outside factors - Scamden Council, Tesco-Stressco and various unruly developers to name but a few - and yes, we locals do feel quite strongly about this. It's a bit of a dramatic cultural leap from 'Andrews of Hampstead.'
We wish the new shop well. Notting Hill isn't a dirty word per sé but for locals, it is probably the wrong one for a Hampstead shop and will make Heath Street feel just that little bit less Hampstead. 
The reality is, the company is unlikely to change its brand name to suit little old Hampsers and so let's be thankful for small mercies. At least it won't be called Lords of Chelsea - now that would certainly have rubbed this traditionally Arsenal or Tottenham supporting area up the wrong way.

Viva Hampstonia, land of the not so free!

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein
Editor in hot-pants.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Restructuring of the Hampstead Village Voice

Mr. & Mrs. Patel of Fleet News

Dearest Hampstonian,
   You may have noticed the Hampstead Village Voice has been conspicuous by its absence this summer. This is in some small part down to the imminent restructuring of the magazine to become bigger, better, cheaper and more available to all, in the somewhat distant future.
   Naturally, various principles will have to be compromised in this ghastly restructuring, including the back page being sold to Tesco-Stressco for £1m an issue and lots of praise being heaped upon Scamden Council, the British Government, ghastly property developers, estate agents and the Corporation of London. The encouragement of lots and lots of generic supermarkets, mobile phone shops and leaf blowers too, especially on the Heath, will also come in handy -Ed. Don't forget, louder evermore screechy ambulance sirens!
Indeed, the Hampstead Village Voice will not rest until Pat of Polly's in South End Road is wearing a Sainsbury's uniform and the Patel's of Fleet Road (pic. above) are asking you if you have a Tesco Club Card.

10,000 copies!

But seriously folks, once the restructuring is complete, some 10,000 copies of Edition 21 ought to be out by late Autumn. Oh, alright then, Winter! Yes, 10,000 is to be our new circulation (Ed. He's actually serious), so be afraid Stressco, Painsbury, Scamden, Thieving Mobile, Über-developers and basement junkies et al, Be very afraid! -Ed. Don't forget the Himm&Heil!

In the meantime you can still purchase edition 20 of the Hampstead Village Voice from the lovely Mr & Mrs Patel of Fleet Road or any other half-proper Hampstead newsagent, Thornton's Budgens and Waterstones.

Love, peace and serene walks on the heath,

Emmanuel "Mustafa" Goldstein III

Friday, 27 June 2014


Pat outside Polly's, which is under threat from Sainsbury's

According to a pretty damned reliable source, Sainsbury's is to threaten South End Green's Polly's, Belsize Stationers and Sweet Pea with closure.
   This is truly shocking news. Polly's has been a favourite with locals for years and an integral part of the community.
   I would like to think Polly's regulars like Hunter Davies and Bill Oddie will fight tooth and nail to stave off the supermarket giant.

Unforgivably Agressive

For Sainsbury's to convert up to four local shops into a generic, orange supermarket directly next to the existing provisions store, London (formerly Londis), would be an unforgivably aggressive move and completely out of place in this conservation area.
    It would be completely inappropriate for such a chain store to open on the corner of Keats' Grove with Hampstead Heath directly in front of it and Keats' House just around the corner.    
   Again, this is a conservation area and the thought of bloody great trucks parking up there every day is quite unthinkable. John Keats and George Orwell would roll in their graves if the peeping sound of self check-outs and the grumbling of HGV's took over from that of the robin red-breasts and magpies currently poncing about around the area.
    The Hampstead Village Voice would certainly feel the need to encourage a boycott of Sainsbury's were it to actually move in and threaten the livelihoods of various local shopkeepers, not to mention the unique local atmosphere Hampstead's glorious satellite of Saff End Green has enjoyed for years.
   One might have expected this sort of locally insensitive move from either Tesco or Starbucks (which opened directly next door to the Hampstead Tea Rooms in 2009ish) - but not from dear old Sainsbury's.
     The supermarket chain has had plenty of chances to open in Hampstead over the years: 
Kingswell (now Wagamama), the former Hampstead Classic or Express Dairy were all options and Sainsbury's missed out. With an M&S, Al's green grocer's, London (AKA Londis) and several other small shops already in Saff End Green, this would be an act of war against the community.
    If this goes ahead, Sainsburys can certainly consider itself at war with the Hampstead Village Voice and, make no mistake, we will fight them on the beaches and take no prisoners. 
    This would be an act of corporate terrorism upon Hampstead's community worse even than the opening of Stressco. So, please, for your own sake, find a more appropriate venue, Mr. Sainsbury - or we will have to fight you and use Luis Suarez's gnashers if needs be.

Viva Hampstonia! Down with Big Brother! Etcetera... Etcetera...

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein x
Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein. 27.06.2014

Friday, 25 April 2014

They're Squatting The Cop Shop....

Typical Hampstead Studio Flat only £1500 per month inc Loo. 

I recently received an email from someone, who shall remain nameless, scare-mongering about Hampstead Police Station being squatted and how "residents are worrying about a rise in crime".

Firstly, were the police station still a police station this wouldn't have happened. If you ask me, it was criminal of the MET/MOPAC to close it down.
Secondly, these squatters are clearly not criminals - they are merely a bit homeless and anyone fearing a rise in crime is probably reading too much into Daily Mail fear-mongering. Having seen the picture in the Ham & High, they look like a pretty innocent bunch to me.

Until recently, squatting was not a criminal offence and to my mind - whilst properties stand empty for months and months - I say good luck to anyone who needs a temporary roof over their head in a climate where a poxy studio flat costs a ridiculous £1,300 p/m or more

Maybe MOPAC ought to have kicked a little arse rather than let the building stand empty for so long to 'realise the full potential of their assets'. They are the police, not property developers and have been caught with their pants down. 

Moreover, was there more affordable housing in Hampstead (and London in general) - as there was in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, those on low incomes wouldn't have to resort to squatting. But Camden's sold off much of its council housing so where are people meant to sleep?

The manner in which Hampstead's buildings have become pawns on a property developers' Monopoly board (and that includes MOPAC or any other property owner who leaves a building standing empty for months) combined with Britain's dismantling of its public infrastructure (ie. police stations/nurses homes/housing etc) will result in more of this sort of thing happening. It's inevitable. We've entered another Thatcher era.

There is a solution - Government needs to take responsibility for the current polarisation between rich and poor. Rising house prices might be good for owners, but for those on low incomes it means ridiculously unattainable rents, never mind getting a mortgage. Don't be surprised that those on low or no wages take action if the Government does not up its game.

Raising people's wages and/or lowering rents to an attainable level is the only way to prevent this sort of 'alternative action'. It's a national problem and whilst 10% of the population owns 90% of the wealth - or whatever it is (1% owns 99%?), this ain't going away. But again, as far as I can see, these squatters aren't even vaguely criminals.

Toodle Pip and Viva Hampstonia, Land of the not so free!

E.M. Goldylocks

Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein III.