‘Should Art Be Used to Push London’s Rents Up?’

‘Syd Gale of local blog Southwark Notes told me, “I would think a better symbol of The Elephant is not one up on its hind legs but one shot in the head and it’s ivory tusks ripped out. The Council shot it and the developers poached the valuables. All day-to-day events in the regeneration safari.

Yes, our great man Syd Gale breaks it down quite easily in answer to this question and the rather odd story of the Sam Keil artwork / not artwork proposed to and supported by the Council bigwigs but now denied by all. Luckily, we saved the PDF that no longer appears in public on Sam Keil’s website: not here!

PDF is here: Sam Keil PDF

LL safari-hunter
Full story here at..er..Vice. Glad our researches keep gaining some ground wherever they are published. A truly bizarre story made even more bizarre by Hayden Vernon approaches to Sam and the Council. Nice one.

We like the bit in Vernon’s story when ‘I approached Fiona Colley and she told me that Keil’s comments were unwelcome and laughed off the proposal as silly and self-aggrandising‘. Here is a letter from October 2013 by Jon Abbot, Southwark Council’s Elephant and Castle Project Director to Chris Allen of Oakmayne, the former developer of Tribeca Sq, proposed site of Keil’s bronze elephant:

abbot to keil

We can highlight this bit in that letter to break it down further:
“I managed to meet with both Cllr Fiona Colley and Eleanor Kelly and I wanted to inform you they were both very enthusiastic about the proposed Samatha Keil elephant sculpture and are very supportive. They think it would be well received locally and think it’s a strong idea from a place making point of view”.

Syd is available for further comments should the Council need him to explain what they are doing.

Poor Old Shopping Centre again

photo (5)-1

Following on from our ‘Poor Old Shopping Centre’ post of earlier in the week, we can now report live from the scene of the developer Delancey’s consultation efforts to divine the local community’s responses and desires around the planned demolition of the Centre. Interesting is how much effort and £££ has been put into having one man standing in front of curved poster with their 5 already answered questions (see here). Is the authentic member of the public being engaged in ‘community consultation’ or is he actually looking to buy a new handbag? Hard to tell from this scene.

But who is that man centre screen? Why it’s no less than Kim Humphreys! Who he, you may well ask? Well, no less than the former Conservative ‘Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Housing at Southwark Council’ who resigned his Council post in 2010 to go into business after failing to secure from 20 attempts a prospective MP place for the Tory party. The business at hand Kim went into was the regeneration industry as a consultant when he set up Carvil Ventures.

Kim Humphreys is a Board Level Executive with an in-depth knowledge of the public and private sectors and a track record at motivating people to transform services in complex environments. After a 20 year dual-track career working in both commercial banking, heading Mizuho Corporate Banks European syndicated loan activities and serving as Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Housing at Southwark Council, London’s largest social landlord, Kim founded Carvil Ventures to build on his experience and expertise in order to offer his clients creative entrepreneurial real estate solutions”. 

Most unusual is that Carvil Venture website features an Elephant! Must be hoping for subliminal effect on clients! Not only that but it also presents a Zebra-Elephant! What can this unique creature signify? Answers on a postcard please!

Anyhow, nice to see the former ‘Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Housing at Southwark Council’ meeting the community for once in his new role as consultant guru. Carvil is an ‘independent real estate consultancy with a focus on strategy and public affairs founded by Kim Humphreys, drawing on his in-depth knowledge of the public and private sectors and providing imaginative and entrepreneurial solutions to complex real estate development issues. Our core strength lies in a thorough and c as well as the creative design process and planning system coming from our years of experience in directly relevant sectors. From our experience we know what methods of communication are required to succeed in taking development concepts from initial advice through the planning process to a success outcome‘.

As Carvil’s ‘core strength’ is a ‘comprehensive understanding of…the community’s needs and wants’, we feel that the whole regeneration of the Shopping Centre is in safe hands with Kim. The lad done well!

As did these other former Southwark employees and councillors!

Poor Old Shopping Centre

shop centre consulta

Here follows our quick replies to the above 5 questions asked by the new owners of the Elephant Shopping Centre as part of their community consultation on the Centre’s future. The new owners are Dutch pension fund APG and UK property developer Delancey. Delancey is also the managers behind the large development behind the Centre that borders New Kent Rd, Elephant Rd and Heygate Estate formerly known as ‘Oakmayne Plaza’, then ‘Tribeca Square’ and now the wonderful ‘Elephant One’ (not to be confused with Lend Lease’s nearby 40+ storey tower of luxury flats called ‘One The Elephant’. At Southwark Notes, we are already phoning up global finance houses to back our new exclusive residential development in the northern roundabout – a 100-storey tower called ‘The One Elephant’.

“1) Do you think the transport interchanges need to be improved?”
Are Delancey going to stump up hard cash for any Northern Line rejigging and other works such as the crowded bus stops outside the Shopping Centre? This has always been a bone of expensive contention between Southwark, Transport for London, The Greater London Authority and any developer of the Shopping Centre. The GLA has already agreed to substantially fund the approx £100m cost of remodelling the northern roundabout and rebuilding the Northern line tube station with escalators to replace the current lifts.

2)What do you love most about the E&C Shopping Centre?
Presumably those who use the Centre would answer that it fulfills basic needs via supermarkets and small services and wide range of cheap shops plus socialising spaces like cafes, restaurants and benches. If the shops and services moved into a higher price range then we are guessing that this would move it out of what most people like or ‘love’ about it although this might be what new residents to the area might want. They may not indeed want Greggs, Sundial Cafe, Jenny’s Burgers, H&T Pawnbrokers, 99p Stores or Quicksilver Amusements.

Now and as it has always been, with the regeneration of the area being ongoing for the last 15 years or so, no guarantees have been forthcoming from the Council and owners to protect the existing businesses in the Centre and around it – such as the small shops on New Kent Rd (dentist, newsagents) and The Coronet (who are extremely worried about their future). The provision of affordable retail spaces in new developments included as alternative sites for displaced Elephant traders has been pitiful. There is still an empty unit built with this in mind at the Pavillion building (part of the Strata development). Not much bigger than a shoebox and with zero thought put into delivery, storage, vents and so on, it’s a wasted tokenism.

3) Do you think that the whole of the shopping centre site should be redeveloped than refurbished?
They are answering their own question as this is there already announced intention. So they are only really looking for YES in answer to this question: “The first thing is that we are looking to demolish the centre and redevelop it” said Delancey’s Stafford Lancaster in February 2014.

4) Would you like the development to include homes for people who love and live in London?
This is also their stated intention anyhow as private homes will be where the profits are to be had and less in building a new shopping town centre. It’s a debatable point whether the Council will to act to limit the number of new homes here and hence the problems of density, massing and heights and light, effects of local services, questions of car parking provision, etc. Delancey have already more or less said they want to build up to 1000 homes on site. What actual space will they use to build the shops and what spaces would they use to build the homes? An article from Property Week (‘Delancey and APG buy £80m Elephant & Castle shopping centre‘, Dec 2nd 2013) says that the new joint venture is planning 500,000 sq ft on the shopping centre site. This is an increase from 327,000 sq ft at present. We wonder where all these shops and homes will fit.

And if we are talking about ‘homes’, then we would need to break that down into what kind of homes are they planning? Delancey has already stated that they are planning for 1,000 or more new homes, which will be private flats for rent so they retain ownership and act as overall landlord, give or take the odd contracted in management company. The gradual erosion of any local policy that is enforced on getting some ‘affordable’ housing back out of developer’s profits means we can probably expect a minimal of affordable rent properties (with starting prices already too high for local people). Will there be any social rented properties at rent levels equivalent to council rents – i.e necessary and genuinely affordable.

Would there also be any guarantees that the higher end private flats they build will be rented by people who actually live in them as opposed to those who ‘Buy to Let’? With already so many overseas sales as investments and not actual homes as standard for new developments in Southwark, this is a real key question for any community consultation. Who are these homes meant for?

We are sure that as there are currently almost zero homes currently on site, the argument will be put that local people’s concerns on true affordability can be put aside as no residents are really being displaced. However, if more and more developments go up at the Elephant that contain no real affordable housing then they are creating another wealth ghetto as a supposed solution to breaking up the mythical poverty ghetto at Elephant.

5) Would you prefer the redevelopment to be more like a town centre than a shopping mall?
This is directly related to the above but as Delancey have already stated this is what they want to do, it’s a bit phony to ask the question. Delancey’s Stafford Lancaster again: ‘”The second thing is that we are looking to deliver a new town centre for the area: not a shopping centre or a mini-Westfield [but] a retail centre that’s relevant to this area.”

The whole Delancey double whammy development site of both the Shopping Centre and the Elephant One (photo above) behind has been place-named ‘South Village’ by these bright sparks. Such a joined up more upscale development also puts mucho pressure on the existing Latino businesses on Elephant Rd. Some of those businesses may do well from any regeneration here. However, knowing Network Rail’s recent history of turfing out long term local businesses as they uplift their arches, the majority of small Latino businesses face a grim prospect of closure. Worth adding in that 1000’s of square feet of new shops and cafes at The Elephant could destroy the Walworth Rd as an existing town centre. We wonder if any of this is taken into consideration by the Council and whether they will make any argument or opposition to Delancey’s desire for 1000 of homes and tons of new and mostly probably chain stores coming in? The Council has said that it was more interested by 500 new homes but Delancey are sure to cry ‘Viability’ (like Lend Lease) and ‘Can’t afford it without 1000 new homes!’  and get what they want (like Lend Lease again!!)

Question is then, is this ‘redevelopment’ actually going to harm the area more than it benefits it. That depends on who you ask though doesn’t it. Here follows more of them asking us simple people some simple questions:

shop centre consulta2

Should you have other answers to the ones we thought up, don’t bother attempting to put them into the Official Shopping Centre The Future website as you can only answer ‘YES’, ‘NO’ or ‘MAYBE’ to the same questions. About as subtle as the usual consultation game brick to the head.

Regeneration Rip Off @ The Elephant Sat 19th July: Walk, Sound, Films

SNAG walk JULY 2014 NEW

SATURDAY 19th JULY: All day Regeneration Rip-Off at The Elephant

ANTI-GENTRIFICATION WALK: 1pm at 56a Infoshop,
56 Crampton St, Walworth SE17. Leaves 1.30pm

• This will be another one of our local walks round the area looking at different sites, developments and characters around the local ‘regeneration’ of the area. We decided not to go over old ground too much (Strata, Heygate etc) but to focus the walk on the new sites – Shopping Centre, One The Elephant, Artworks Box Park, The Signal Building, Eileen House, Newington Causeway Peabody sites and many many more.

In this walk we will ask ‘who benefits?’. With this in mind, we will talk about that very issue – if the local community is not benefiting as promised, which companies and which individuals are benefiting. We will also be looking at how regeneration attempts to place itself on top of people’s local life and history and pretend it was never there.

Intended as a community conversation rather than just us lot going on about it all, please bring your stories, experiences, knowledge, gossip etc and share as we walk, stop and talk.

‘ELEPHANT ENDANGERED': Outside 56a Infoshop,
56 Crampton St, Walworth SE17 from 4 -6pm

• “Elephant Endangered is a sonic investigation into community and gentrification in the London neighbourhood of Walworth.  The area has been subject to several contentious ‘regeneration’ schemes that have already caused the loss of 1100 socially rented homes of the Heygate Estate.  Elephant Endangered is made up of the many  sounds of the area which are overlaid with conversations had with neighbours, friends, and longstanding residents.  The work is set to continue with new sounds and voices being added through continued dialogues, events, and activities in the community”.

56a Infoshop, 56 Crampton St, Walworth SE17 from 7pm

• We are pleased to be showing locally a stones throw from Heygate site, the excellent new film ‘Concrete Heart Land:
“Concrete Heart Land exposes the social cleansing of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, South London. It marks the moment that the estate was finally lost as social housing to make way for an unjust ‘regeneration’ scheme. Assembled from 12 years of archive materials the film charts the struggles of the local community to keep their homes, stay living in the area, and maintain communal benefits in the face of the advance of this now notorious ‘urban redevelopment programme’. Throughout the film we hear the community engaging in some of the crucial battles with elected officials, planners, and barristers in municipal planning meetings, public enquiries, and interviews”.

We will also be showing the new film about residents struggles to save their homes at Cressingham Gardens, “Homes under the Sledgehammer:
“The film is directed by Sanda Kolar and includes several of the estate’s residents speaking about their experiences of life on the estate. The overwhelming  feeling the film projects is that of community spirit amongst the residents. Nicholas Greaves, Cressingham Gardens Residents’ Chair, said: “It seemed like a jewel in Lambeth’s crown of estates, so it seemed crazy to me that you would want to demolish it.”

Also up is ‘9 Stories In Brixton‘:
“9 Stories in Brixton is a tale about nine residents who live in and around The Guinness Trust estate in heart of Brixton. Earmarked for redevelopment for a number of years, the landlords are now proposing to demolish the estate and rebuild the blocks nine stories high, thereby increasing the capacity of the estate by 30%.  A group of concerned tenants, held meetings to discuss estate issues, and have subsequently endured attempts by the landlords to set up a rival tenants association”.

Plus other short films on housing and other topics that take our fancy. If you have any short films pertinent to the night’s screenings, please bring on USB stick!

See you there on the 19th!

Staying Put: An Anti-Gentrification Handbook for Council Estates in London

We at Southwark Notes mansions have been really busy working on this booklet and now we can happily announce it’s arrival into the world. We will be working on distributing the printed version to those who need it and also spreading the online PDF version to any and all who might find it helpful in the here and now. Please spread yourselves too via www, Facebook and Twitter and other.

staying put cover



This handbook explains why the regeneration of council estates often results in established communities being broken up and moved away, and housing becoming more expensive. It is designed to help local communities learn about gentrification and the alternatives they can fight for. Through the experiences of council tenants, leaseholders and the wider community in London, it contains ideas, stories, tools and resources.

Staying Put is free to use by any individuals, community or amenity groups and campaigns, TRAs, students, researchers and all. We have included two download links above to enable the booklet to be circulated as far and wide as possible. There is a high resolution PDF also if anyone is able to print further copies for community based campaigns

1: What’s going on?
    • Council estates under threat
    • What is ‘gentrification’?
    • When is ‘regeneration’ gentrification?
    • The ‘consultation’ con
    • The ‘affordable housing’ con
    • What is displacement?

2: What can you do about it?
    • Finding out what’s going on!
    • Public resources and Freedom of Information
    • More than just you! Getting together
    • Tenants and Residents Associations
    • Organising a local group
    • Telling your story
    • The consultation game
    • A word about the law

3: Alternatives to fight for
    • Community planning
    • Neighbourhood Planning
    • Lifetime Neighbourhoods
    • Community Land Trusts
    • Co-operative housing
    • Community Housing Associations
    • Refurbishment
    • Community-led Self Build

 It is a collaboration between four groups and individuals:

London Tenants Federation
Federation of organisations of tenants of social housing providers at borough level and at London level. LTF provides information and research on London’s housing issues through accessible policy briefings and newsletters. It facilitates networking and information exchange at local and regional events, linking tenants and other community and voluntary groups. www.londontenants.org

Loretta Lees
Professor Loretta Lees is a London-based urban geographer. She is an international expert on gentrification and the policies and practices associated with it. She is working to persuade policy makers and communities that there are alternatives.

Just Space
Just Space is a London wide network of voluntary and community groups operating at the regional, borough and neighbourhood levels. It came together to influence the strategic plan for Greater London – the London Plan – and counter the domination of the planning process by developers and public bodies, the latter often heavily influenced by development interests. www.justspace.org.uk

Southwark Notes Archive Group
Local people opposing and writing about the regeneration &
gentrification of the North Southwark area that has happened over the last 20 years. www.southwarknotes.wordpress.com

Sample pages:




Published June 2014


Wanted: Almost Another 50 Questions on the Gentrification of Peckham

Due to the general thumbs up we had for our Almost 50 Questions on the Gentrification of Peckham post, we are now seeking your own wise help in adding another ‘almost’ 50 questions’ to the list. Got something to say in the form of a question about the gentrification of Peckham? Let us know! Many thanks.

Any question we use will remain anonymous.

Email here: elephantnotes (at) yahoo.co.uk

Almost 50 Questions on the Gentrification of Peckham

Here follows a set of questions based on the past, present and future of Peckham as it undergoes continuing pressures of regeneration and the accompanying gentrification. Like gentrification itself, this list contains numerous trick questions. There are questions that seek answers in historical fact but there are a whole lot more questions that are asked not for an answer but because the question itself says a whole lot more than any answer.

These questions are produced from a fatigue of long-term considering the question of art and gentrification and its willing and seemingly unwilling players.
In Peckham, as some artists slowly ponder any role they may have in its changes, it must be said that the story pre-dates their arrival although not the way they have been used to sell the area.

 Almost 50 Questions on the Gentrification of Peckham

• How many estates were regenerated or demolished in Peckham in the last 20 years? Can you name 2 or 3 of them?

• Why do you never see a lot of people in McDonalds on Rye Lane on laptops even though there is free wi-fi there?

• How much public money was paid by Southwark Council for the signs and bollards and lamp posts in Bellenden Rd as part of its artistic recreation?

• What was the name of business that used to be at 44 Choumert Rd before it was recreated as Café Viva?

• What was the name of business that used to be at 46 Choumert Rd before it was recreated as Southerden Pastry Store? Did that business describe itself as being in ‘Bellenden Village?’

• What was Pelican House on Peckham Rd called in the 1980’s before it’s later conversion from Council offices to shared ownership flats?

• Which Peckham 2009 art event press release began in this fashion: ‘’In deepest darkest Peckham all things are possible, even a clash between the Bun House Bandits, littlewhitehead and the contemporary titans of havos; Swarfega. As far as we can tell from eye-witness accounts gathered from traumatized locals, and a police report, the ‘dust-up’ occurred sometime after dark on Monday…”? How does this read to you?

• Which Peckham art gallery website has six staff featured, 5 of which are white and are arts managers. The 6th member of staff is black and is finance manager?

• Is Peckham the new Dalston? What would that mean?

• If people moved to Peckham to open studios and art spaces because they were priced out of East London and Peckham was cheap, what would be the future for those people? And why?

• Can you name the group behind one of the first ‘art squat’s that was at the old Co-op on Rye Lane about 2004? What happened to those people?

• How many council flats were on the now demolished Wood Dene Estate? Where is/was Wood Dene Estate? What is happening to it in the future?

• Which local businesses can you name around the proposed redevelopment near Peckham Rye Station who are threatened with eviction? How many of the ones you name are non-art, non-creative businesses?

• How much is a beer at Frank’s Café? How much does Franks Café make per year? How are the profits divided?

• What’s the difference between jollof rice, peas and mutton curry and seared rabbit loin, pithivier and wild mushrooms?

• Which local Peckham design outfit sells a Limited Edition print of the Peckham Wall, a spontaneous outpouring of personal messages on Post-It Notes in response to the 2011 riots, as a Limited Edition art object signed by ‘The Artists’? By what commissioning route did this come about?

• Have you ever used these words to describe Peckham: ‘vibrant’, ‘exotic’, ‘mini-Lagos’, ‘diverse’, ‘feisty’, colourful’, ‘cheap and cheerful’? Etc.

• Which lowlife Peckham artist tagged the living room wall of one of Southwark Notes’ flat well back in the day and justified as ‘well, it is a squat!

• What was the verdict of our Chilean friend on returning from a party of the 78 Lyndhurst Way art squat in the mid-2000’s?

• Why when there used to be ‘art squat’s in Peckham but now there are galleries, self-organised artist spaces and arty cafes, are there no more ‘art squat’s?

• What is gentrification? What is the traditional role artists play in this? What are some other ways in which gentrification happens? Are artists always complicit in these other ways?

• Name three defences artists use to sidestep the claim that they are implicated in processes of local gentrification?

• In 2006, how much had property values increased in the Bellenden Rd ‘Conservation Area’ as a result of this designation and renovation?

• The Government funded partial demolition and renovation of the Five Estates in North Peckham from 1994 to 2008 resulted in the loss of how many council homes? How was this justified by the Council at the time?

• What is the significance of the arrival of the Overground to Peckham Rye and Queens Rd in relation to global capital?

• Which Peckham design outfit created ‘a surreal pun on two iconic forms, the block of flats rises majestically from the top of a classic chequered flat cap and contains its own miniature world where fashion icons and models rub shoulders with bin men, pigeons, and even a horse’?

• ‘Prices have risen as much as 45% in the last 12 months and well over 100% in the last five years. Rental rates are also beyond what even we could have imagined”, says who?

• What was the ‘Peckham Experiment’?

• Which part of Peckham was ranked 5,306 out of 32,482 in England (where 1 was the most deprived and 32,482 the least) in the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation? Which part of Peckham was ranked 17,702 out of 32,482 in England (where 1 was the most deprived and 32,482 the least) in the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation?

• In 1977 Paul Willis wrote a book called ‘Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs’? Peckham’s Harris Academy school is proud of their vocational resources and they are ‘unparalleled by any other school in Britain’. Is there something to be said of the former in relation to the latter’s ‘catering suite, hairdressing salon and motor mechanic garage’?

• What was Sokari Douglas Camp CBE’s influence on the Bellenden Rd Conservation Area? Where in Peckham can you find one of her sculptures? How did this come to be part of the accompanying housing development?

• Former ‘‘art squat’’ 78 Lyndhurst Way was last sold for £600,000 in 2006. How much is it worth now?

• If you are writing a puff piece about the Peckham art scene, is it better to write about Only Fools And Horses and how Del Boy and all was actually never shot in Peckham or is it better to mention how William Blake had visions as a young boy on Peckham Rye?

• What year was this description of Peckham’s art spots written: ’I’d be hard-pushed to find most of the galleries and spaces we visit: they’re tucked away down back-streets, on industrial estates or under railway arches; and, in one case, in the back-room of a pub’? Why is this different now?

• Can you be a successful and engaged artist in Peckham by producing art with local people about the dogs they own, their own ‘street knowledge’, the aesthetics of the council estates where they live, the recipes they know from their ethnic pasts, what trainers they like to wear, their memories, their desires, their problems and so on?

• Is ‘pop-up’ or ‘temporary art space’ a different way to describe the idea and function of ‘property guardianship’?

• What percentage of Peckham’s population come from West Africa? What percentage of Peckham’s population graduated art school? What percentage of Peckham’s population who graduated art school are white? What percentage of Peckham’s population who graduated art school and have set up studios, art cafes and galleries are white?

• What was the battle that began in 1996 over the public art piece by Lilian Lin and then the later International Carpet of Flowers, designed by Anne Wiles in Moncrieff Place that was part of the Peckham Partnership regeneration scheme?

• How long before the first arty café, foodie deli or gallery space opens up on Rye Lane and not just in the Georgian or Victorian side streets running from Bellenden Rd to Rye Lane?

• Quote: ‘Yes, people love Peckham. And why not? True, it still has its tricky patches, fried chicken joints, and the high street ain’t all that. But it’s got another side: adorable streets’. How do you decode this statement?

• Is Almumno Developments renovation of the old Council Town Hall on Peckham Rd as student flats a good thing for Peckham? In what light can the history of the Hotel Elephant art space’s involvements with the regeneration of The Elephant, and who intend to run a café from the new development, be viewed?

• Can you go from squatted building in Peckham Rd to a Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation funded to a tune of £50,000 a year and negotiate to site yourself in a space free of charge by Argent, the company overseeing the large scale Kings Cross redevelopment?• What’s the historical difference between community bookshop The Bookplace that was on Peckham Rd from the 1970’s up until the late 1990’s and Review, the bookshop on Bellenden Rd that opened around the end of the 2010’s?

• Can you programme work on the radical content and history of various radical communist struggles whilst being part of a global art world based on private property and investments?

• As a curator, would you like to be the first to discover a radical black group in Peckham from the 1970’s who were involved in building community self-defence and much antagonism against the police to then programme a series of visual art ‘conversations’ around this between young artists and local school children? As an artist would you work on this and then put your name on this ‘conversation’ on your CV as the ‘artist’?

• What’s the difference between the New Gallery art café and bar at the base of Pelican House and the current Peckham Pelican art café and bar?

• Were you surprised when Network Rail’s plans for the area around Peckham Rye station included a range of new build housing blocks that would lead to the eviction of most of the areas creative businesses?

• In Peckham, does to insist on ‘heritage’ sidestep the deeper question of any actual history of local buildings and the social relationships that were part and parcel of their actual building, use and disuse?

• Is being a newly emergent local area of creative economy enough to sustain you against the power and desires of property developers keen to cash in on the buzz and a compliant Council in this respect?

• When artists or institutions host workshops on art and regeneration, do you ever get the feeling that what is always being discussed is more the art than the regeneration side of things? Is there a way through this impasse?