Thursday, 26 November 2020



The rock bottom of Frognal — It doesn't get any lower...

I've spent the last few days to-ing and fro-ing between submitting my heartwarming new addiction memoir The Joy of Addiction to literary agents and reporting that mound of umskah at the bottom Frognal via The Twitter. 

To be honest, I don't know which has been the more painful experience. Both have involved the hitting brick walls. At least the odd literary agent replies with a friendly rejection. Camden and its councillors, meanwhile, have sent me to Twitter Coventry — it seems they only answer to nice, fluffy tweets.  

I'm generally a Labour voting kind of guy, but this dreadful Labour council has now blocked a desperately needed review into the systemic failures of our waste management infrastructure. I've put the word in italics because the throwing of plastic bags onto the pavement does not vaguely constitute a refuse infrastructure. 

Still, according to Cllr. Adam Harrison, Veolia are doing a top job and are well worth their £338m contract. Fuck me, which Camden is he living in? Not the Frognal bit obviously. Nor Flask Walk, Rosslyn Hill, Lithos Road, Finchley Road, West End Lane, Blackburn Road, Kingsgate Place, Delancey St... all with regular mounds of rubbish similar to the one pictured above. The borough clearly needs a top to bottom review of its entire refuse infrastructure. Seriously, I'm thinking of moving to Napoli. Apparently they've discovered dustbins.

In any case, The Joy of Addiction does at some point bang on about causing harm to myself and others as a squandering teenaged wastrel in the 1980s. By the end of the book — just in case Netflix want a happy ending — I admit I am in denial and powerless over my addiction; that my life has become unmanageable. A few Camden Councillors and Veolia board members might do the same.

Basti Wocker
London 26/11/2020
PS. The winter edition of the Hampstead Village Voice is due out 15th January 2021.

Monday, 22 June 2020


No, it's not photoshop. They actually did this!
On the 30th of March, a fellow calling himself the Diamond Cockney Geezer sent us a picture of this simply magnificent Transport for London botch job. At first we thought it might just be a premature April fools jape. Yet, after making enquiries with both Camden and TfL, it became clear this was indeed a genuine cock up. 
Yes, they actually did write 'HEMPSTEAD'. They even appeared to have got the 'S' the wrong way around so, whatever it was they were smoking, must have been pretty potent stuff!
In any case it was simply too hilarious a gaffe not to have on the front cover and we all need some cheering up, so here it is in all it's Hæmpstead glory!
Better still, the summer edition is on it's way and will be available at a limited number of local shops this Thursday 25th of June then free online from the 1st of July 2020.
Viva Hæmpstonia!
Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein. 
Editor in dishwasher. 

Saturday, 20 June 2020


Read full text below.


By Sebastian Wocker

Local shops are fuming at the Hampstead Village BID Ltd (BID) after it continued to invoice businesses and charities in full during the coronavirus lockdown.
   Despite receiving extra government funding in response to COVID-19 and claiming it reduced staff costs by 60%, the BID still saw fit to invoice paralysed Hampstead businesses for its controversial levy from the 1st of April 2020.
   Renate Jon who runs the hair salon in Heath Street said “What are they thinking? Nobody’s earning and still they send us bills for services we never even asked for?”
   Richard Weaver who manages the Hampstead Community Centre told us, “The BID had the cheek to send us a letter explaining it received government financial help for 3 months, but still charges us for the full year without even providing any services.”
   Rino Mollura who runs the Coffee Cup, Villa Bianca, Piccola and Fish Cafe said: ‘‘Hampstead’s businesses are practically on their knees and now this stupid, pointless bill arrives. Are they crazy?”
   “If they really are working for the community, they’d just refund struggling businesses what we paid them last year and cancel these new invoices.”
   The BID had sent out a letter in May 2020 stating that: “As the BID levy is a mandatory requirement, Camden Council [The BID’s debt enforcers] are required by law to invoice in full. However, the BID recognises some businesses may have cashflow issues and may need to discuss their own payment arrangements. Please do get in touch with Marcos Gold our BID Manager who will be able to discuss individual plans.”
   But Dame Hilary Blume who runs the Charities Advisory Trust said: “I phoned twice, as suggested, but there was no reply. What possible argument can there be to charge charities, state schools and an NHS surgery to improve Hampstead High Street?”
Mr Gold told us: “I was unaware she had reached out as I have no voicemail or email from Dame Hilary. She has contacted me before. I am more than happy to discuss with each individual business their levy bills.” 
   But there appears to be little appetite for cosy chats with the BID managers among the downtrodden ‘hereditaments’ of Hampstead. 
   Countless shops, restaurants, charities and pubs have told us, in no uncertain terms, they will definitely not be paying the BID levy this year or, as one shop owner put it: “...any other year either!”  
   And why should they? 70% of the 243 businesses, charities and schools who’ve been forced to pay it over the last four years, never wanted the thing in the first place and consider it rotten value. 
   I spoke to Council Leader Georgia Gould and suggested it was questionable that a limited company could force money out of charities, state schools and struggling businesses by making a council act as its debt enforcer — even during normal times, never mind at the height of a pandemic. I also asked her whether the council would still be summonsing businesses, charities, schools or NHS surgeries that refused to pay the levy in lockdown? 
   Cllr. Gould, who told me she’d have to check up on it, was unable to comment immediately, but agreed to get back to us. Ten days later we received a reply from Camden Council’s Business Engagement Manager who confirmed invoices had already been sent out but, crucially, that: “enforcement action will not be taking place for the time being and that this will be reviewed over time.” 
   Probably wise. There is now less than a year to go until the second BID ballot in Hampstead’s history. Unlike the first, there will, this time, be two campaigns and a more aware and determined opposition. 

Editor's tuppence worth. The Hampstead Business Improvement District Ltd (BID) showed it's true colours during the coronavirus lockdown when it decided to bill struggling Hampstead shops, charities, restaurants, schools and pubs for services it was not providing and which most of the shops didn't even ask for. It even billed charities, New End state school and the NHS surgery, Keats Practice, in Downshire Hill. The BID is a blot on Hampstead's land scape and has to go. 
Emmanuel Mustafa Goldstein.


Wednesday, 3 June 2020

We have just received this update from Hampstead SNT.

I thought you might be interested to see our sergeant’s update on the disturbance on Hampstead Heath yesterday evening. This was a much nastier incident than I’d understood initially and I didn’t appreciate the extent of the disorder until I read John’s update.  John was one of the first officer’s on scene with other SNT officers. When the crowd turned on them they had to call for back up, involving around 30 officers, some of whom were called in from other areas.  I understand it took about an hour and a half to restore order. John himself was injured but thankfully not badly and he is back on duty today, having been on shift until 4.00 this morning. 

Sergeant's report.

We are aware that there has been a lot of media attention relating to an incident that occurred yesterday evening on Hampstead Heath. We would like to provide further details relating to this incident and the subsequent five arrests made. 
Police were made aware at 1800pm of a large group of approximately 150 young people gathered on Parliament Hill Fields. Our initial concerns were non-adherence to social distancing guidelines. A number of individuals within the group were consuming alcohol. A small group of officers attended to engage with the group. During this initial attendance, a robbery was reported and an allegation made that individuals within the larger group had stolen an electric scooter.  A suspect was detained but officers asked for further police support due to the number of young people present and the increasingly hostile and obstructive behaviour displayed by some members of the larger group.
Officers arrived to assist and while monitoring the crowd at a short distance, a fight broke out among a small group of young females. Several individuals were seen throwing punches, kicking parties on the ground, and pulling hair aggressively. Officers intervened immediately, but became surrounded and faced a difficult challenge in calming the crowd. A number of other fights erupted within the large crowd despite police intervention. Officers requested further support. 
While the aggressive and violent behaviour began amongst themselves, many members of the group became hostile and aggressive to officers that were trying to prevent further violence. Five police officers were assaulted including being slapped, punched, pushed and spat on. Officers on scene who arrived to help used reasonable and proportionate force to try and prevent crowding and a further breach of the peace. 
In total, five young people were arrested for the following offences – four for assaulting an emergency worker and one for failing to leave a dispersal zone.  
Three females and one male were charged. They will appear in court for assaulting police & common assault at a later date.  A young male was released under investigation. 
We would urge young people and their parents or guardians to remember there is still a requirement to adhere to social distancing, not to gather in a group of more than 6 people not from your household.
Hampstead Heath is a welcoming open space for local residents and visitors. This will not change. 
For those engaging in anti-social and violent behaviour in our community, it will not be tolerated. Do not engage in violent behaviour towards one another. Do not engage in violent behaviour towards emergency workers, it is not acceptable.

Hampstead, 3rd June 2020.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020


Safety First! We're not touching letter boxes and for good reason...

Nearly all the shops are closed, so getting the magazine out safely has proved a logistical challenge. Emmanuel Goldstein explains how much care needs to be taken in what used to be a run of the mill exercise.

There is a reason why the Hampstead Village Voice is not putting the new spring edition directly into letter boxes but, instead, only dropping them in front of covered doorways.
   Firstly, the coronavirus can be transmitted via hard surfaces like metal, so touching hundreds of letter boxes would be foolish. Especially as I've noticed the new Evening Standard distributors have been stuffing doors with their sordid little rag and, frankly, I don't know where they've been. Even if they are wearing gloves, the virus might accumulate after they've touched all those letter boxes and I'll leave the rest to your imaginations.
   Secondly, Britain is famed for this rather annoying stuff called rain, so we can't very well throw the mag on the door mat unless it's properly covered.
   So I've made it my policy to thoroughly wash my hands before going out, only do a very small delivery at a time and not to touch anything other than the mags to ensure they arrive COVID-free at your door. I also wash frequently with 99.9% anti-bacterial hand wash en-route.
   The only time I do wear the surgical gloves is when I pick up the mags, which involves opening two doors in Well Walk. As soon as I am out, I immediately dispense with the gloves in a bin, whack on the anti-bacterial hand wash and off I go — clean as a whistle!
   A bit extreme? Possibly. But I ain't taking chances. This is the Hampstead Village Voice and we do stuff properly!
   If you haven't got a covered front door mat but would like to read the mag, it is now viewable free online at:
   And, if you can donate £2 or even more to help keep the Hampstead Village Voice going, that'd be grand! Just email: for details.

Or you could brave Mag One in Rosslyn Hill or 3 shops in South End Green (M&M, Heath News, London) and 1 in Belsize Village (Late Late Store).

Stay safe everyone and remember... #2mMatters!

Now go and wash your hands!

Lots of love,

Emmanuel 'Mustafa' Goldstein

Watcha Hampsters, Hampsteadites and Hampstonians! After weeks banging away at publishing my new book The Joy of Addiction , I've also ma...